Mercury in Skin Creams

​In California, over the last nine years, there have been over 60 poisonings linked to foreign brand, unlabeled, and/or homemade skin creams that contained the less toxic form of mercury, mercurous chloride or calomel. You should avoid handmade or unlabeled creams and other brand-name containers that are not sealed when purchased. Unsealed containers could have been tampered with and may contain mercury. People use these types of creams for fading freckles, blemishes, and age spots; treating acne; and lightening the skin. These creams are usually sold in small stores, swap meets, by individuals, or on the internet.

In earlier poisonings linked with imported skin cream, several children and babies who were not cream users became very sick from contact with mercury contamination in their homes or through contact with family members who used the products. Children and pregnant women are especially sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury. Some of these products contain more than 200,000 times the legal limit of mercury.

General Signs and Symptoms

  • Difficulty concentrating, memory loss
  • Nervousness, irritability, anxiety
  • Depression, insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss, fatigue
  • Tremors, numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or around the lips

Children with Prolonged Exposure

  • Pink hands and feet
  • Skin flaking
  • Excessive saliva or thrist, gum disease
  • Irritability, poor appetite
  • Poor muscle tone, leg cramps
  • High blood pressure, rash

Anyone using these creams should stop using them and get a blood and urine test from their doctor or care provider. They should put these creams in a closed Ziploc bag and contact the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) at (510) 981-4354 or

Pond's Rejuveness Products

  • All "Pond's Rejuveness" products are made in Mexico.
  • Some are specifically made for USA distribution, with a bilingual label.
  • Some are made for Mexican and Latin American distribution, with a Spanish-only label.
  • All "Pond's Rejuveness" products have a protective foil seal.
  • If your product does not have a protective foil seal under the lid, it may be adulterated with mercury.
  • For more information, please contact the Unilever Customer Engagement Center at (800) 909-9493 (8:30 am EST to 9:00 pm EST).

To report a cream, contact CDPH's Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB):

For more information:

  • Visit the CDPH EHIB Mercury Skin Cream website, contact CDPH EHIB and leave a message at (510) 981-4354, or email
  • Contact Poison Control at (800) 222-1222
  • Contact Sacramento County Public Health at (916) 875-5881

The photos below show some skin creams that have tested positive for mercury.

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Product Name

Country of Origin; CA County Where Positive Cream Found







Unknown; San Joaquin County

Crema Aguamary

Mexico; Sacramento


Aranda Balsamo Blanco

Mexico, Tulare County


Unknown; San Joaquin County


Block & White, Radiance SPF 15 Whitening Face Powder

Philippines; San Mateo County

Dr. Japan, Nano

Unknown; San Joaquin County

ESKINOL Skin Therapy, Gluta-Milk Whitening Face Powder

Philippines; Solano County

Espinicida Voam


Mexico; Tulare County

Formula AA Arche Pearl Cream

Unknown; Tulare County

Freckle Killer #2

China; Alameda, San Francisco Counties



Garnier SkinActive Aclarante

Mexico, Tulare County

Gluta Speed White Sakura

Unknown; San Joaquin County



Golden Pearl Beauty Cream

Afghanistan; Unknown

Jalea Real Grisi

Mexico; Kings County



XinJaoLi 7 Day Effective Whitening & Spot Removal AB Set 7087.1

JiaoLi No. 1 & 2 Set 7135 

JiaoLi HuiChunSu Face Cream

7 Day Specific Eliminating Freckle

AB Set

China; unknown

JiaoLi HuiChunSu

Miraculous Cream


China; unknown

XinJiaoLi Whitening Speckles Removed Cream 7042.1

XinJiaoLi 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set 7069.1 

JiaoLi HuiChuSu, Whitening Speckles Removed Cream AB Set

China; unknown

JiaoLi HuiChunSu, 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set

China; unknown



Kojie San

unknown; San Joaquin County

La Crema de Rebeca

Mexico; Kern, Kings, Sacramento, Tulare



La Milagrosa

unknown; Kern, Tulare Counties

Ly-Na Nourish Face Cream

Taiwan; Tulare County




unknown; San Joaquin County

Milk Cream

unknown; San Joaquin County



Miss Beautiful

unknown; San Joaquin County

Monsepa: Express Peeling

France; Santa Clara County



Natural Body Recipe, Skin Whitening Powder

Philippines; Solano County

Pond’s Clarant B3 (mercury added, 2010)


Mexico, San Francisco City and County



Pond's Rejuveness (mercury added, 2019)

Mexico; Sacramento, Tulare Counties


unknown; San Joaquin County



San Ruby, Beauty Whitening Cream

China; San Francisco City and County

Shichade Tokyo

unknown; San Joaquin County




unknown; San Joaquin County

Spot Remover Cream

unknown; San Joaquin County



Tia Mana

Mexico; Kern, Sacramento, Tulare Counties

Top Beauty, Whitening Night Cream

Unknown; Santa Clara County



Unlabeled – Crema de Casa

Unknown; Kern County

Unlabeled – “Crema Esparza”

Mexico; Tulare County





Unlabeled (homemade label) –

“Crema Jimena”

Unknown; Kings, Tulare Counties



Cambodia; San Joaquin County




Mexico; Tulare County


Mexico; Tulare County



Cambodia; San Joaquin County


Cambodia; San Joaquin County




Unknown; Alameda, Orange, San Joaquin Counties

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