Photo credit of AFP from Channelnewsasia
I shared this piece of news a few days ago on Facebook that Kanebo Cosmetics Inc was discontinuing the manufacture and sale of selected whitening products from 3 ranges of skincare, but was waiting for the info from the Malaysian offices before I posted a quick PSA.
Basically, about 39 complaints were initially received from customers in Japan that they suffered skin staining or discolouration and white blotches on the skin after using some Kanebo Cosmetics products, which contain 4HPB or Rhododenol 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2-butanol a product developed by Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. and used in their whitening ranges of skincare since 2008. This ingredient was certified safe by the Department of Health in Japan and over 4 million bottles of skincare products. Update: The number of affected people in Japan has increased to over 2000 (source)
Due to the recent complaints received in Japan, and pending investigation of the cause and effect of Rhododenol on skin, Kanebo Cosmetics has voluntarily decided to temporarily discontinue production of their products which contain 4HPB or Rhododenol and in Japan, to recall the products which have already been sold.
Here are the products and brands in question and what you can do if you are using them or still have stock of them.
Kanebo Blanchir Superior
This is the popular “red line” which I used to be a fan of. I used to like using the Clear Conditioner and the Make Off Conditioner (not affected) but found the products too light for me as I went along so I haven’t been using them for a few years. The products affected are as listed below:-
(1) White Deep Clear Conditioner I
(2) White Deep Clear Conditioner II
(3) White Deep Clear Conditioner III
(4) White Deep Milky Conditioner I
(5) White Deep Milky Conditioner II
(6) White Deep Night Conditioner I
(7) White Deep Night Conditioner II
(8) White Deep Mask
(9) White Deep UV Day Protector
Impress IC and Granmula
I hadn’t used either of these before, primarily because Impress products had a tendency to break me out. So when Impress IC was introduced I wasn’t too interested. But if you are using these, you might want to pay attention. The items affected are:-
(1) IC White Lotion I
(2) IC White Lotion II
(3) IC White Emulsion I
(4) IC White Emulsion II
(5) IC White Fit Mask
(6) Granmula Lotion
I’d tried the RMK Skintuner Moist which you might have recalled me liking. I did, and I experienced absolutely no issues with it. I finished it up, and was planning to repurchase but eventually did not because I’ve since found other products that work better for me. The affected products from RMK are:-
(1) Skintuner Brightening Light
(2) Skintuner Brightening Moist
(3) Intensive Brightening Essence
What can you do?
As far as anyone knows, at time of writing, the cases of skin discolouration appear to be isolated to Japan only with no similar reports from other countries, including Malaysia. However, for your peace of mind and should you wish to obtain more information, you are recommended to check with your local Kanebo counter for further advise and assistance. Here in Malaysia, Kanebo counters are located in most major departmental stores should you have any queries. For now, its just the products listed here which are discontinued. Other products not listed aren’t.
How does this affect me?
A reader Adeline was very helpful to remind me that I used to be a fan of Kanebo skincare and to ask what I thought of these latest claims.
Well, to be perfectly honest while I was using these products and my whole family and a few friends were too, we didn’t experience anything untoward. My siblings are still using the Blanchir and Impress IC with no issues and I still and will still go to the Kanebo salon for my facials I do appreciate the fact that Kanebo has acted swiftly to discontinue production and sale of these affected products pending investigation, although so far, the number of cases are quite isolated to just a few cases in one country, and no conclusive connection has yet been confirmed.
I did let my family know about this and was told that they had just finished off their products with no untoward incidences but in the interim, would switch to other products. At this time, I don’t use any Kanebo skincare in my routines so I am not quite affected by this.
Yet, I have a note of caution that I am perhaps, not too surprised that something like this can occur. I have always been a bit wary about using whitening skincare for the long term and this is one of my concerns. That you can have too much of a good thing. So, if I do use a whitening product, I usually only use the serum and even then, only for short periods of time, allowing my skin to “rest” in between. You could say that I treat “whitening skincare” as a “treatment” and not as a long term commitment. Anti-aging and Hydration is my long term commitment I think its unfortunate that its had to happen, but I think Kanebo Cosmetics has handled it well without brushing it under the carpet.
Have you been affected by this Kanebo products recall?
To be honest, I wouldn’t be the most worried person around if you have not experienced anything wrong after using the products. The cases are fairly few and pretty localized so i think widescale panic isn’t the wisest way to go about things. But to err on the side of caution, if you are affected, it might be best to head down to your Kanebo counter so they can advise you further on this. Good luck and don’t panic!