Amorepacific apologises for toxic heavy metal found in cosmetics

Beauty products under the Etude House and Aritaum brands were found to contain dangerous levels of the substance antimony


Amorepacific has apologised after some of its beauty products were recalled over fears of unsafe levels of the metal antimony.

The products, mostly distributed in Korea but also in Singapore, include Etude House and Aritaum branded concealers and eyebrow pencils.

Manufactured by an Amorepacific subcontractor, Hwasung Cosmetics, the products were pulled from shelves and sales suspended over fears of health risks to consumers.

"As a manufacturer and distributor, we should have paid full attention to ensure quality control of all products sold," Amorepacific said in a statement. "We are very sorry for causing inconveniences.

"We will make every effort possible to minimise any further inconveniences in the process of retrieving the products."

The Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said that 13 cosmetics products – six sold by Amorepacific – had been found to contain over the permissible amount of antimony.

The other companies with products recalled included 3CE, Makeheal, Black Monster, Skeda, Skinfood and XTM.

Levels in the offending products ranged from 10.1ppm to 14.3ppm, with the legally-allowed limit being 10ppm.

Antimony is a metal that can have a toxic effect if ingested or inhaled, while it can cause skin irritation.

Amorepacific shares took a knock following the news of the recalls, falling 5.7% on Tuesday, shortly after the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announcement.

Earlier this month, Amorepacific entered the Australian market with its premium brand Laneige, selling through its first Australian partner Sephora.

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