The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) of South Africa told the Daily News that government notice R1 227 prohibited the sale of any cosmetic product which purported to be a skin bleacher, skin lightener or skin whitener.
The CTFA’s executive director, Adelia Pimentel, said: “There is sufficient anecdotal evidence indicating a very high demand for skin bleaching products in the country which has made it lucrative for small operators to illegally import creams, lotions and soaps which are then sold over the counter and on the streets. These goods can easily be obtained without a prescription or being compliant with South African standards.”
Pimentel said some of these products contained substances which were banned from use in cosmetics and toiletries. She said the cosmetic industry had been self-regulated for at least 24 years but the Department of Health recently published regulations relating to the labelling, advertising and composition of cosmetics.
They were currently in a “commentary period” which would end on March 22. Promulgation would take place soon afterwards. This meant that the regulations were not yet enforceable, said Pimentel.