A new soap containing salmon semen is said to be making waves online in Thailand as consumers continue to seek products to whiten their skin.
The skin whitening market is big business in Thailand as consumers seek products that promise quick results to lighten the face, body, armpits, and pubic areas within days or weeks are in high demand, with many going to legal or illegal lengths to get them. The salmon semen soap is said to being sold on the internet for 50 baht amidst claims the semen has whitening qualities.
Speculation is reaching fever pitch following the online advert’s claims that it’s efficacy is better than more well-known whitening ingredients such as glutathione, arbutin and vitamin C. However, professionals in the medical field have cast doubt on its effectiveness, with Weerachai Phutdhawong, a vice-rector at Kasetsart University and chairman of the school’s forensic science studies programme, suggesting on his Facebook page that although it has been used in the cosmetics industry before, he has seen no suggestion that it can help lighten skin.
Likewise Institute of Dermatology Deputy Director Jinda Rojanamatin said, “People should not use products if you don’t know their source, because you don’t know the side effects. They may cause an allergic reaction. The products must receive approval from the FDA first.”
The FDA has said that they have had no requests to use salmon semen in cosmetics in Thailand. Indeed products that are not supported by scientific proof are considered a violation of cosmetic control laws and can result in a penalty of a year in prison and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.