Online shopping has given us access to more affordable products, and great ones that are unavailable in Singapore, but there are downsides to it, too.

Two products sold online were found to contain high levels of mercury, says the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) in an alert issued on Tuesday.

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Image: Health Sciences Authority

The products, Pati IbuPutih by Janna Lawwa Day Creamy Face n Body White (Putih Gebu Kekal), and Pati IbuPutih by Janna Lawwa Night Creamy Face n Body White (Putih Gebu Kekal) are marketed as whitening creams.

Mercury is prohibited for use in cosmetic products, and may cause rashes, skin irritation and blotchiness of the skin.

As the ingredient can be absorbed through the skin, long-term exposure may also affect the kidneys and nervous system, says the HSA.

If you’ve bought or used any of these products, you’re advised to discard them and seek medical attention should you experience any adverse effects.

And the next time you shop online, check to find out more about how to guard yourself against dubious products. The site also has a list of illegal health products, so you can do a little bit of research before hitting the checkout button.

Concerned about harmful ingredients in your products? Find out how you can protect yourself from buying lipsticks containing lead, and why hand sanitisers may be doing more harm than good.