Melissa Juried Kriebel
A beauty business based in West London has been hit with a significant fine for selling dangerous skin lightening products in store. JP House Limited, trading as Precious Gems Hair and Beauty, of Coldharbour Lane in Hayes, was sentenced during a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on July 13.
At the hearing, company director Joseph Umunegbu admitted five counts of breaching the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 after selling skin lightening creams containing the banned substance hydroquinone. The court was told that, following an inspection by Hillingdon Council’s trading standards team, a total of 386 cosmetic products believed to contain harmful ingredients were seized together with a total of 378 other products containing steroids and unlicensed medicines.
The seized medicine products were forwarded to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for review, which later confirmed that the products are unlicensed for supply in the UK. Hydroquinone can cause serious side effects and can cause long-term health problems such as kidney and liver damage, as well as increased risk of skin diseases.
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Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “This is another great result thanks to the hard work of our trading standards team. These dangerous cosmetics could cause real harm so it’s good news they’ve been removed from sale and we’ll continue to take to task businesses in our borough selling goods that put the public at risk.”
JP House Limited was fined £540 on each count and further ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190 and a contribution towards the council’s prosecution costs of £1,500. A forfeiture and destruction order was made for the seized items.
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