Half of the cosmetic products that claimed to block the skin from fine dust did not have the effect, the regulator said.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it has tested 53 products, including sunscreens, moisturizers, and cleansers, which had claimed that they could block or cleanse fine dust.
The result showed that 27 of them did not work, the ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry’s checking on the products was to provide the correct information for consumers, as cosmetics makers increasingly promoted that their goods could protect the skin from fine dust. Companies can mention anti-fine dust effectiveness in their advertisements only when they can back up the claim with verifiable data, under the Cosmetics Act.
The ministry said they received data from cosmetics manufacturers who claimed to prove the effect of preventing absorption of fine dust or cleansing it.
Considering fine dust’s harmful impact on testers and technical problems, the ministry used alternative fine dust such as fine carbon powder in the experiment. The ministry evaluated the effect by comparing the degree of prevention of fine dust absorption or cleansing of the fine dust before and after the use of the product and the control product.
The ministry’s test on the 53 products revealed that only 25 of them were effective to block or cleanse fine dust. Another 10 had inadequate data for verification, and the other 17 did not have any data for verification.
The 10 products with inadequate data include Etude House’s Wonder Pore Tightening Essence, Soon Jung Mild Defense Sun Cream, Leaders Cosmetic’s Leaders Insolution Anti-dust Magnet Mask, Clinique's Even Better City Block Anti-pollution, and OU International OU Me Nyeo Cream.
Manufacturers of 17 products including Celltrion’s Skincure and Hanskin’s City Cream advertised anti-fine dust effects and sold the products without valid data.
The ministry said it would suspend 26 manufacturers’ advertisement of the 27 products, which did not have any verifiable data or whose data were inadequate for verification, for two months.
In addition, the ministry ordered 547 online sites to either correct the false or exaggerative ads on the anti-fine dust effect or to close the site.