A hair and beauty shop in Woolwich has been fined £5,600 for selling illicit cosmetics which contain harmful ingredients.

Owner Mr Shazeb Ahmed was fined £2,000 with a 12 month community order involving 100 hours unpaid work during a hearing at Bexley Magistrates’ Court.

The company, Shaba Hair and Cosmetics, in Woolwich, was fined £5,600 along with £4,000 in costs after he repeatedly failing to comply with extensive advice and guidance from Council officers.

The company had 243 non-compliant items seized for evidential purposes by Greenwich Council’s trading standards team.

Samples of nine seized products were made and submitted for labelling examination and analysis for the presence of prohibited ingredient hydroquinone and clobetasol propionate.

This steroid is only permitted in medicines.

Both ingredients are prohibited due to 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.

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."

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