15,000 In Japan Suffer Blotches From Popular Skin-Whitening Cream

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

More than 150,000 people in Japan have filed complaints with the cosmetics giant Kanebo, after a skin-whitening cream left them with skin blotches, the company said Tuesday.

Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. received 15,192 complaints in Japan alone from 54 skin-whitening products containing a chemical called “Rhododenol.” Another 70 people overseas, including 54 in Taiwan and others in Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea, also complained of skin discoloration. Acute blotches are white, pink and red, while recovering skin is the color of scar tissue, similar to a healing burn.

“The number may rise somewhat hereafter but the pace is slowing down. We hope there will be no large increase,” a Kanebo spokeswoman said.

While some report recovering from the skin discoloration, others have serious symptoms with obvious blotches across their face and hands.

Kanebo apologized last week when the public became aware of the fact that the company continued to ship out Rhododenol cosmetics for a week after the skin blotches were brought to their attention.

In July the company recalled millions of products containing Rhododenol sold across the world, including the U.K.

Kanebo’s parent company Kao suffered a six percent loss in market value since the scandal broke.

Sources: TIME, Raw Story