Trading Standards officers are warning people to be cautious after skin-lightening products on sale in Northamptonshire were found to contain a banned substance.
The cosmetics included the ingredient hydroquinone, a substance that is banned from being supplied over the counter in such products, and also failed to have information on their packaging about where the product is from, as required by European law.
Skin-lightening products are largely marketed at men and women from ethnic groups, but can also be used to lighten blemishes and scars.
Hydroquinone has been proven to be harmful to health and can cause permanent skin damage.
Northamptonshire Trading Standards has also intercepted 2,500 bottles of counterfeit perfume in the run-up to the festive period.
Anyone who has concerns about a banned or counterfeit cosmetic product, or would like to report a trader selling such items, can contact Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.