SK-II


SK-II

SK-II, is a Procter & Gamble Beauty brand, launched over 25 years ago in Japan and four years ago in the United States. SK-II is often considered one of the most expensive beauty brands in the world.

SK-II is sold in the following markets:
* Japan
* South Korea
* People's Republic of China (including Hong Kong)
* Taiwan (Republic of China)
* United States
* Canada
* United Kingdom
* Spain
* Singapore
* Malaysia
* Australia
* Indonesia
* Thailand

Concern in China

On September 14 2006, the People's Daily reported that the Guangdong Center for Inspection and Quarantine had detected in the product of SK-II heavy metals of chromium and neodymium whose densities are higher than the local normals and that the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) had reported the issue to its Japanese counterpart [http://en.chinabroadcast.cn/2946/2006/09/21/272@142138.htm] . Those products are banned from import to China [http://english.people.com.cn/200609/21/eng20060921_304691.html] .

Chinese media repeatedly associated the issue with Japan where SK-II had originally been commercialized instead of the U.S. where the multinational company is based. Many Chinese customers demanded return of goods. Some attempted to refund the money on fake SK-II [http://www.business-i.jp/news/china-page/news/200609230035a.nwc] . Some broke into P&G China's office in Shanghai and smashed the door. [http://news.sawf.org/Business/21801.aspx]

In Japan, it was speculated that it was retaliation by the Chinese authority for Japan's introduction of the positive list system for agricultural chemicals in food that had resulted in the decline of China's agricultural imports to Japan [http://www.nikkeibp.co.jp/style/biz/feature/risk/061107_sk2/] .

In the past, there have been documented cases of counterfeit SK-II products being sold in China [http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-06/27/content_454794.htm] .It is likely that the problems arose when consumers choose to either buy goods from dubious sources or counterfeit goods were sold in place of the genuine skin care.

Later in response, P&G stressed the safety of their products: The trace levels of chromium and neodymium found in SK-II products are well within limits recognized as safe by regulatory bodies around the world. The trace levels do not pose a safety or health concern. Trace amounts of chromium and neodymium exists naturally in the environment. They exist in a range of everyday products, including: food, water, milk powder and other cosmetics products. The amount of chromium you would get from the use of any of these SK-II cosmetics is 100 times less than what the World Health Organization considers safe in your everyday diet. Similarly, the level of neodymium exposure is 1,000 times less than what is considered to be a safe level in your everyday diet. [http://www.sk2.com/jp/info/china.html]

In contrast to China, the Korea Food and Drug Association of South Korea, the Department of Health of Taiwan, the Health Sciences Authority of Singapore and the Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong announced that SK-II posed no harm to human health. Finally, on October 23, AQSIQ and the Ministry of Health of China jointly stated that the P&G products were safe to use although they did not admit their initial mistake [http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15398840/] .

As of December 2006 SK-II sales resumed in China.

In Chinese case, several other things are involved according to Chinese news. In one commercial, the company claimed that SKII can reduce the wrinkel obviously after 28 days of usage. A customer sued because she got skin allergy instead of less wrinkels. Her lawyer found out there was no ingradient suggested on the Chinese label. It is against the Chinese law. They also found out that a label in Japanese covered by the Chinese version showed ingradients, in which NaOH is indicated. Later on, the company claimed that NaOH is used for adjusting the pH and is widely used by cosmetic products.

**Later in response, P&G stressed the safety of their products: The trace levels of chromium and neodymium found in SK-II products are well within limits recognized as safe by regulatory bodies around the world. The trace levels do not pose a safety or health concern. Trace amounts of chromium and neodymium exists naturally in the environment. They exist in a range of everyday products, including: food, water, milk powder and other cosmetics products. The amount of chromium you would get from the use of any of these SK-II cosmetics is 100 times less than what the World Health Organization considers safe in your everyday diet. Similarly, the level of neodymium exposure is 1,000 times less than what is considered to be a safe level in your everyday diet. [http://www.sk2.com/jp/info/china.html] **This paragraph is scientificly confusing. The natural concentration of neodymium can be got at http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Nd/geol.html. If the data is correct, the highest is in crustal rocks, 33mg/kg. It is more than 10 folds of 4.5mg/kg, which is what Guangdong Center for Inspection and Quarantine found in SK-II. However, 4.5mg/kg is much higher than the natural concentration in universal, sea water or stream. Since they checked the official imported products and the company never argued on this issue, it is not likely they checked the counterfeit SK-II products. Therefore, it is critical to clarify what is the natural concentration and how it is enriched in SK-II product, since it may be made of organic material.The sentance "The amount of chromium you would get from the use of any of these SK-II cosmetics is 100 times less than what the World Health Organization considers safe in your everyday diet." is scientificly misleading. Only miligram level of SK-II is used dayly, so it is obvious the total amount used is less than safe amout for diet. However, SK-II is put on human face, so the critical point should be the safe concentration but not the amount.

External links

* [http://www.sk-ii.com SK-II Global Homepage]


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