The directors of three Peckham "beauty" shops have been sentenced for selling dangerous skin-lightening products laced with illegal ingredients.
The three Rye Lane shops: Fas Hair & Cosmetics Ltd, Peckham Hair & Cosmetics Ltd, and Jinny’s Beauty Ltd were all targeted in an investigation by Southwark Council.
Throughout 2015, Trading Standards officers made undercover ‘test’ purchases of dodgy cosmetics such as Caro White Lightening Beauty Cream being sold ‘under the counter’.
Analysis showed the products contained hydroquinone, an ingredient banned since 2001 under EU law for its danger to health.
Trading Standards launched raids on the three shops with the police. They found stashes of illegal products containing mercury, corticosteroids and hydroquinone.
The known side-effects of Hydroquinone include nerve and liver damage and the increased risk of skin cancer, while corticosteroids have a record of inflicting eczema, skin infection, sores and boils.
The shops’ directors were all fined thousands of pounds after pleading guilty at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court on 15 April 2015.
Fasil Mushtaq, 22, of 4 Woodwarde Road, Dulwich, London SE22 8UJ of Fas Hair & Cosmetics was made to pay a fine of £7,750 and costs of £11,393. Some 1,200 products were seized from his premises, including a small quantity of prohibited Naphthalene mothballs and counterfeit ‘Tangle Teezer’ hairbrushes.
Sohail Sindho, 37, of 131 Shuna Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G20 9QR and Shakeel Ahmed, 25, of 3 Queen Elizabeth Court, Clydebank G81 3BU, both of Peckham Hair & Cosmetics will pay £7,200 in fines and costs of £8,000. Police uncovered a product called ‘Grace Duo’ contained eighteen per cent hydroquinone – believed to be the highest amount ever found in one sample.
Forest Gate man Sher Afgan, 38, of 469 Katherine Road, Forestgate, London, England, E7 8DR of Jinny’s Beauty was handed a £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £6,109.
(Source: Southwark News, 28 April 2016 supplemented by other research)