ABU DHABI // Three tonnes of expired cosmetics and beauty products have been seized from beauty salons and other retailers. The products, whose labels did not list their ingredients and expiration dates, were collected over the past two weeks as part of an inspection campaign in the capital to ensure health standards and prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
"This inspection campaign is very important to regulate cosmetics, labels and contents," said Khaleefa al Romaithi, the municipality's head of public health. "Also to determine if [the product] is eligible and not harmful for human consumption." About 66 retailers were fined between Dh500 and Dh10,000 each, according to the amount of offending products on sale and how hazardous they were. Some owners have been sent to court, banned from performing certain cosmetic procedures, or have had their commercial licences revoked.
Cosmetics, hair dye and creams were among the products confiscated. According to the municipality, the risks associated with using expired products or those with unknown ingredients include dermatitis, allergic reactions, short-term and chronic skin rashes and infections. Shops that did not have any products seized said they approved of the inspections. "They come every week. They're coming, they check the brush, everything," said Layla Manisha, who works at Al Lailak Beauty Saloon in Khalidiya.
She said the inspections encourage staff to maintain high standards of hygiene. "Before I ask them, if you don't have work at night, clean before you go home so when the clients come in, first ones it's all clean. "Now they're cleaning at night because the inspectors are coming in the morning, so for me it's better." Jennifer Buenaobra, the supervisor of Tips and Toes in Marina Mall, added: "Most of the time they check, and if [the municipality] has faults they give a warning and then we take actions straight away."
firstname.lastname@example.org * With reporting by Matt Kwong