2018-08-29 11:37:00

China’s food and drug authority has ordered a cosmetics brand to recall a skin care product that looks like bottled juice in order to avoid confusing — and potentially harming — consumers.

The State Food and Drug Administration issued the consumer alert on Wednesday, cautioning against the misuse of Pure & Mild’s Loquat Skin Juice Refresher, manufactured by Shanghai Zotos Citic Cosmetics Co. Ltd. The administration ordered the company to stop producing and selling the product, and immediately recalled it from the market.

Pure & Mild — which won a prestigious Red Dot Design Award in 2016 — was established as a brand under Japan’s Shiseido Group in 2001 specifically for the Chinese market. “Because the product’s packaging is similar to a beverage, and is labeled with words like ‘fresh’ and ‘juicy,’ it may mislead children into thinking they can drink it,” the statement said.

A bottle of Pure & Mild’s Loquat Skin Juice Refresher skin toner. From Weibo

A bottle of Pure & Mild’s Loquat Skin Juice Refresher skin toner. From Weibo

The directive applies to all varieties of the product, which comes in orange, apricot, raspberry, and yuzu. The packaging, according to the authority, violates China’s Administrative Provisions on Cosmetic Labeling, which prohibits misleading product design and marketing.

By Wednesday morning, the product was no longer available on the company’s website, nor could it be found on domestic e-commerce platforms like Taobao. The skin toner was previously marketed as “a beverage for the skin,” and “refreshing and mouthwatering, like fresh fruits!” The bottles do carry a notice that says they are cosmetic products and not beverages.

In terms of sales revenue, China’s cosmetics market has nearly doubled in the last five years, which have proved lucrative for both domestic and international brands. Shiseido China expects to see an overall sales growth of 7 percent by 2020, and plans to “open up new channels” to promote Pure & Mild products nationwide, according to its 2017 annual report.

Pure & Mild had not responded to Sixth Tone’s interview request by time of publication.

Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

(Header image: Imagenavi/VCG)