Some consumers seeking to change their skin colour are turning to injectable products marketed to whiten or lighten their complexion. These products are potentially unsafe and ineffective, and might contain unknown harmful ingredients or contaminants. FDA has not approved any injectable drugs for skin whitening or lightening. “These products pose a potentially significant safety risk to consumers. You’re essentially injecting an unknown substance into your body-you don’t know what it contains or how it was made” says In Kim, a pharmacist at FDA. Beyond the potential harm from the product itself, improper or unsafe injection practices may transmit disease, cause infection and result in serious injury. Injectable skin whitening products often promise to lighten the skin, correct uneven skin tone, and clear up blemishes. Some products even claim to treat conditions, such as liver disorders and Parkinson’s disease. These products are marketed for injection into a vein or muscle or under the skin, and are sold online and in some retail outlets and health spas. Although the average consumer may not assume so, these products are unapproved new drugs. “We have noticed a number of online companies marketing injectable products for skin whitening and are concerned that these products and their ingredients may cause serious harm to consumers” Kim says. The products contain ingredients that can include glutathione, vitamin C, collagen and even human placenta.