MANY people seek out beauty cosmetic products that are formulated from healthy, nontoxic ingredients.
Unfortunately, some unfaithful manufacturers and business people have been producing and distributing toxic cosmetics.
It's important that consumers are informed and purchase products that are healthy and safe because some chemicals in certain cosmetic products may be toxic.
It is from this backdrop that the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) was given the mandate to provide public awareness to consumers and all traders dealing with cosmetics business to seek information from the bureau that clarify genuine beauty products which are safe and healthy for human use.
With the Finance Act 2019, the obligations on the safety and quality control of food and cosmetics were officially transferred to TBS from the former Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA).
The TBS Coordinator for the registration of business premises for Food and Cosmetics, Moses Mbambe said cosmetics produced or imported into Tanzania are now regulated by the country's standards watchdog.
Through the Finance Act 2019, TBS is obliged to conduct awareness campaigns on the effects of toxic cosmetics, undertake impromptu inspections in all merchandises on cosmetics to make sure these harmful products are uprooted from the local market.
Business people, apart from seeking correct information on genuine cosmetics from TBS, also needed to register all cosmetics products in the shelves as way to approve their quality and safety as well as identifying toxic beauty products from the local market.
The safety and quality are vital for the manufacture of personal care products such as cosmetics, hair and skin care products.
The TBS campaigns have enhanced awareness to the end consumers who are increasingly demanding proof of quality, compliance and efficacy from raw materials to finished products.
Most types of cosmetics and creameries which are used in the local market are imported. This is why TBS is imposing much control to make sure that the beauty products entered into the domestic market meet the country standards.
Some of the harmful cosmetics are cream and lotion with hydroquinone ingredients, soap with mercury elements as well as phytolacea Spp. Mercury containing skin lightening products are hazardous to health and as a result have been banned in many countries.
Among the banned cosmetics confiscated by TBS include Carolight, Movate, Coco Pulp, Diproson, Viva White, Carotone, Bronz and Eclair.
Others were Citrolight, Tent Clear, Tender White, Clinic Clear, TCD, Baby Face, Light up, Dermotyl and Top Lemon.
On the hazards of using such cosmetics, he said they affect the human skin, through corrosion and in case of surgeries to the user, stitching of the skin becomes problematic.
He also said that the cosmetics cause cancer, and added that many people apply to their skins after seeing other users with light skin thinking they are safe.
To enhance awareness and education to the public, TBS is emphasizing on the need for users cultivate habit to read labels in order to know which ingredients are included in the formulation and all important information of products for correct understanding.
Such awareness campaigns support the government's efforts on ensuring that only safe products are marketed in the country, knowing that the majority of people are unaware of harmful effects which result from the use of unsafe cosmetics.
The TBS official said cosmetics made of 'arctostaphylos Uva URSI (bearberry extract) plants with hydroquinone and abutin ingredients having five samples of Tin oxide ingredients corrosion in the skin particularly close to the eyes.
Other cosmetics with malic acid ingredients which cause scratches in the skin cell making the skin to appear like aha whitening cream.
Moreover, hair cosmetics with apocynum Cannbium root extract ingredients like the african gold glo and cosmetics made of tussilago farfara namely softn free hair food are harmful for human use.
The other toxic cosmetics are the antiperspirant that contain aluminum zirconium compound like triplc dry antiperspirant. In the list are also creameries with hormones in steroids, jellies with steroids and many others with hydroquinone and steroid ingredients.
Harmful cosmetics cause cancer, kidney failure, hair loss, infertility, loss of body immunity, brain damage and other health problems.
As a custodian of standards TBS said a list of harmful and toxic cosmetics that are not allowed in the Tanzania market is available in all zonal offices of the bureau and will soon be available in the website.
Dealers in cosmetics beauty care products in the country ought to comply with the safety and quality market standards in order to protect the health of the people and achieve full market access.
The country's standards for cosmetics and regulation aim at ensuring that no product that affect health and safety will be imported, manufactured, stored for the purpose of being sold or given unless it conforms to the available national or international standard.
Some women have become victims of using toxic cosmetics that resulted into diseases like cancer and other skin diseases.
Cosmetics and other beauty products that meet the required standards are meant to cleanse, beautify and generally impart a sense of wellbeing.