On July 25th, 2022, Vietnam issued an announcement to list deoxyarbutin (arbutin is divided into α-arbutin, β-arbutin, and deoxyarbutin) in the list of banned ingredients in cosmetics. The reason is that it may release hydroquinone during use, posing health risks to consumers.
Before Vietnam, the European Union announced that deoxyarbutin was banned in cosmetics last year, and the United Kingdom and Malaysia also planned to ban this ingredient in cosmetics. China also listed hydroquinone as a prohibited ingredient in the 2015 edition of the Safety and Technical Specification for Cosmetics.
Deoxyarbutin is generally considered a cosmetic raw material with strong whitening properties, and cosmetics products containing it are popular among consumers these years. However, its concentration of additives and side effects have been controversial in the industry.
In March this year, the European Union’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) issued a draft regulation (SCCS/1642/22) on α-arbutin and β-arbutin, arguing that if there is no data on the release of hydroquinone and its final fate, the safe concentration of deoxyarbutin in cosmetics could not be determined, hence SCCS showed safety concerns about it.
The announcement takes effect on July 25th, 2022, with a transition period of 18 months until Janurary 24th, 2024.