Published: Wednesday, 20th July 2022

A hair and beauty shop in Woolwich has been fined £5600 for selling illicit cosmetics which contain harmful ingredients.

Following an investigation by The Royal Borough of Greenwich's Trading Standards team into Shaba Hair & Cosmetics in Woolwich, a total of 243 non-compliant items were seized for evidential purposes. Samples were made of nine seized products. These were submitted for labelling examination and analysis for the presence of a prohibited ingredient, hydroquinone and clobetasol propionate, a steroid that is only permitted in medicines.  Both ingredients are prohibited due to the health risks associated with their use. Without proper control or regulation by a doctor or pharmacist, products with a high percentage of steroids can have extremely harmful side effects, including skin thinning and muscle loss. 

Bexley Magistrates fined owner Mr Shazeb Ahmed £2000 with a 12 months community order involving 100 hours unpaid work and a further £5600 fine for his company along with £4000 costs after he repeatedly failed to comply with extensive advice and guidance from Council Officers. 

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “It is always disappointing to see local businesses putting consumers at risk. Cosmetics like skin lightening creams can be extremely dangerous and cause severe ill-health. This is why the cosmetic industry is tightly controlled so that it keeps the public safe from harmful ingredients

Our Trading Standards Team will work with local businesses to operate to the best standards possible for the benefit of consumers but they will not hesitate to prosecute when business owners refuse to cooperate or insist on profiteering to the detriment of consumers' health."