The National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) of the Malaysian Ministry of Health has issued a statement on April 1 banning two cosmetic products containing diphenhydramine, a scheduled poison.
The products in question are Bao Fu Ling Skincare Cream and Bao Fu Ling Snow Lotus Cream 15g. As a result of the ban, anyone caught selling and distributing the product could face up a fine up to RM50,000, 5 years of jail, or both.
What is Diphenhydramine?
Diphenhydramine is a pharmaceutically potent substance that is under the control of the Malaysian Drug Control Authority. It is an antihistamine that when applied topically is used to treat skin irritation caused by things such as bug bites.
Unsupervised used can lead to increase skin sensitivity to sunlight among other problems.
At least one case of a child dying from exposure to the substance has been documented.
With these kinds of side effects, the substance clearly doesn’t belong in a cosmetics product and should only be prescribed by a doctor.
But it’s still available in Singapore
It is also available on a Facebook page called Embreis which calls itself the “sole distributor” of Bao Fu Ling in Singapore
Information regarding the use and regulation of diphenhydramine in Singapore is scarce on government portals.
The Singapore Ministry of Health has yet to issue a statement regarding the matter.