Excessive heavy metals found in Etude House and Aritaum makeup

Korean cosmetic giant and owners of Etude House, AmorePacific Group apologise to their customers after news about heavy metals in their makeup makes headlines.

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Thanks to their anti-ageing, skin lifting and colour control products, masstige makeup companies Etude House and Aritaum quickly became trusted names in the South East Asian mummy market, including Singapore. But all that seems to have changed.

As it turns out, Korean cosmetic giant AmorePacific Group (owners of Etude House and Aritaum) were forced to apologise to all its customers on Tuesday (March 20) after news about heavy metals in makeup produced by them made headlines.  

“We apologise for the incident, we should have put all our focus on quality assurance. We will do our best to prevent similar cases from happening again,” the company said in a statement

AmorePacific — the owners of Laneige and Sulhwasoo — also added that they have begun withdrawing the six products. 

These are from AmorePacific’s brands: a concealer and an eyebrow pencil from Etude House and four concealers from Aritaum.

Here is the (unofficial) list of affected products, as posted on Reddit:

1. Etude House

  • AC Clean Up Mild Concealer, Item code: AAH(2021. 01. 08)
  • Drawing Eyebrow Duo #3 Greybrown, Item code: GLG (2020. 12. 17)

2. Aritaum

  • Full Cover Stick Concealer #1 Light Beige, Item codes: AAH (2021. 01. 12), BAH (2021. 01. 30), CBH (2021. 02. 11)
  • Full Cover Stick Concealer #2 Natural Beige, Item codes: ELG (2020. 12. 17)
  • Full Cover Cream Concealer #1, Item codes: GLG (2020. 12. 14), AAH (2021. 01. 30)
  • Full Cover Cream Concealer #2, Item code: AAH (2021. 01. 14)

The company also shared that since each country has its own safety regulations, they will thoroughly inspect the products and recall when needed. 

“Safety regulations differ from country to country. But we will issue recalls in any country that demands it,” the company spokesperson told The Investor, adding that they are also offering refunds.

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Etude House Singapore also wrote to theasianparent with additional information about their refunds. 

“Customers holding affected products may visit our stores to exchange for a different product of the same amount or lower or receive a full refund,” an official spokesperson clarified. 

While Etude House products are being sold in Singapore, Aritaum products are not. 

For more information on Etude House products in Singapore, please contact them here, or via their official Facebook page

MFDS finds heavy metals in makeup by Etude House

On March 19, the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) shared that it found traces of the heavy metal antimony in the products made by the company’s local ODM cosmetics maker — Hwasung Cosmetic. 

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This was voluntary reporting on Amore Pacific’s end, who wanted to make sure that MFDS was also in the know.  

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Antimony is a silvery, hard and brittle heavy metal that is used to make semi-conductors as it lends strength to a product. However, it is extremely dangerous and can lead to eye irritation as well as gastrointestinal problems. 

Naturally, given these medical complications, MFDS allowed companies to use only 10㎍/g of antimony in their finished products. However, as The Korean Herald reported, their products exceeded the permissible limit of 10 micrograms per gram. 

AmorePacific group added heavy metals in makeup and toothpaste too!

This is not the first time AmorePacific has been in trouble regarding use of heavy metals in their products. Apart from heavy metals in makeup, they were also found guilty of toxic elements in their toothpaste.

In 2016, the Korean giant recalled 11 toothpaste products after MFDS found traces of toxic chemicals in them. 

It remains to be seen how soon the company will relaunch its quality checked products. But if you have been using these products, we suggest that for now you take a little “natural” break with these simple tricks. 

3 tips to naturally make your skin look flawless  

1. Exfoliate 

As mentioned in our previous article, exfoliating daily can prevent clogged pores and promote cell turnover, which helps with anti-aging and achieving a youthful look.

But instead of a chemical products, try a mixture of a half-cup of white or brown sugar and a tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil.

Apply this paste to your face in a circular motion. This concoction will remove dead skin cells and unclog your pores. If you don’t have any of these, you can even rub a lemon on your face. It has alpha hydroxy acid and removes dead skin cells while brightening your skin tone. 

2. Moisturise 

Moisturising your face will help you to look and feel younger. You will have softer, more elastic skin, and it will keep your skin hydrated. But why go for a machine-made product when you have so many naturally available products at home? 

You can use organic honey, coconut oil, buttermilk, olive oil, shea butter, cucumbers and even avocados as your natural moisturisers.

If your skin is dry or combination, oil-based products will work well. If you have oily skin, try water-based natural products like cucumber and avocado. Apply them for an hour on your face before you go off to sleep, and you will see visible difference in your skin the next morning. 

3. Protect 

After you have exfoliated and moisturised your skin, the natural products will leave it feeling soft and supple. But you don’t want to go out just yet with that flawless skin, lest you want your skin to get pigmented. 

So the next best step is to protect it with some homemade sunscreen. Here’s a recipe courtesy of Wellness Mama

  • Almond or olive oil – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut oil – 1/4 cup
  • Beeswax – 1/4 cup
  • Zinc oxide – 2 tbsp
  • Red raspberry seed oil – 1 tbsp
  • Carrot seed oil – 1tbsp
  • Shea butter – 2 tbsp
  • Essential oil of your choice 

To prepare the sunscreen, combine all the ingredients together except zinc oxide and put them in a jar. Next, boil some water in a pan and place the loose capped jar on top so all the ingredients melt. Do not place them on direct heat. 

Now, add zinc oxide and mix well. Let the mixture cool and use it when needed. 

Sources: Yonhap News, Asia One, Yahoo, The Investor

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