EcoWaste Coalition to E-Commerce Sites: Block Online Sales of Mercury-Added Cosmetics, Go Mercury-Free

19 February 2023, Quezon City.  The EcoWaste Coalition, an advocate for a zero waste and toxics-free society, has decried the unabated sale of skin lightening cosmetics containing mercury in online shopping platforms, which goes against the global ban on such products to protect public health and the environment. 

“We decry the impunity that has emboldened online sellers of mercury-adulterated cosmetics to defy the mercury ban and make profits out of some people’s desire for a flawless white skin complexion,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. 

“The e-marketplace is rife with ads for such dangerous products despite their clear inclusion among the items prohibited in online shopping platforms and notwithstanding the repeated calls to have them removed,” she observed.  “You need not make a trip to crowded Baclaran, Binondo, Divisoria or Quiapo as these products are just an ‘add to cart’ away.”

To illustrate the problem, the group cited the listing on Lazada, Shopee and Carousell platforms of Pakistan-made Goree Beauty Cream and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tested and subsequently banned for containing mercury as per FDA Advisory 2017-289.

While “beauty products that contain hazardous/poisonous chemicals, including but not limited to mercury, (e.g. Goree) are prohibited,” as stated in Lazada’s Prohibited and Controlled Products Policy, particularly on “Flammable, Explosive and Hazardous Chemicals”, unscrupulous sellers are able to circumvent the restriction by listing “Goryang” instead of “Goree.”

“Sellers who are identified to have violated the guidelines under Flammable, Explosive and Hazardous Chemicals will be issued up to 48 (non-compliance) points per product,” which “will result in an immediate deactivation of (the) store,” the Lazada policy said.

Despite Shopee’s explicit policy that “FDA warned products as listed in the FDA website are strictly prohibited on the Shopee Platform,” numerous listings for deliberately misspelled “6oree” or “Goryang” products can be found. 

Goree is also included in the “list of specific brands/products not allowed on the Shopee platform,” which includes items that “may contain unsafe substances” or “cause adverse effects to the consumer.” 

While included in the said list, the EcoWaste Coalition has monitored other mercury-added cosmetics on sale at Shopee such as Ailke Boost Luster Super Whitening, Ailke Perfection Salvation Rosy Whitening AB Set, Aneeza Gold Beauty Cream, Angel Placenta Day & Night Cream, Erna Whitening Cream, Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Freckle Eliminating AB Set, Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, and Meyyong (Seaweed) Super Whitening.

Goree Beauty Cream is also among the "products found to contain banned substances and/or are identified to cause adverse side effects (that) are not  allowed to be sold on Carousell."

“Without doubt, e-shopping has become a notorious way for mercury-added cosmetics to be traded in violation of multiple laws and regulations, especially the Minamata Convention on Mercury,” Lucero emphasized.

Cosmetics with mercury content above one ppm such as skin lightening creams and soaps are among the mercury-added products whose manufacture, import and export were phased out in 2020 as required by the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

To address the situation, the toxics watchdog group urged Lazada,  Shopee and Carousell to effectively block online sales of mercury-added products and firmly enforce their respective policies against the listing of prohibited items, including the imposition of non-compliance or penalty points to erring stores and their eventual deactivation.

"We dare all online shopping platforms to go mercury-free," the EcoWaste Coalition concluded. 



Examples of Product Listings for FDA-Warned Mercury-Added Cosmetics (as monitored on 12 & 18 February 2023):

A.  Goree Beauty Cream and Goree Day & Night Beauty Cream 

Carousell (search words: "Goree cream")

Lazada (search word: “Goryang”)


Shopee (search word: ‘6oree”)


B.  Ailke Perfection Salvation Rosy Whitening AB Set:


C.  Ailke Boost Luster Super Whitening:

D.  Aneeza Gold Beauty Cream:


E.  Erna Whitening Cream:

F.  Jiaoli 7-Day Specific Freckle Eliminating AB Set:

G.  Jiaoli Miraculous Cream:


H.  Meyyong (Seaweed) Super Whitening: