Many skin lightening creams and soaps contain some form of mercury as an active agent. But mercury is dangerous. It can cause kidney damage and may also cause skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, as well as a reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, as stated in the World Health Organization (WHO) June 2012 Information Sheet.
The Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) recommends that Member States promote public awareness of skin whitening products that may contain any chemical form or compound of mercury and the risks associated with exposures to different forms of mercury.
Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization