‘Toxic’ beauty products seized by Finnish customs

botox-littleA number of banned beauty products en route to Russia have been intercepted by Finnish customs officers.

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport customs agents confiscated the chemicals that were apparently to be used for cosmetic purposes. Botox, Xenon, Sculptra and Radiesse were among the batch, worth an estimated 150,000 euro. The shipment, of mainly ampoules along with Radiesse gel, did not possess valid sales licences for within Finland and was believed to be on the way to Russia or the Baltic states.

A false description of the contents had been used to disguise the nature of the goods and their monetary value was stated to be far lower than their actual worth. Authorities said that while some of the goods were from within the EU, the majority came from outside the bloc.

The most well-known chemical discovered was Botox, which is made up from the strong neurotoxin botulin. The substance, which is widely used in the beauty industry to paralyse wrinkle-causing nerves in the face, can lead to serious allergic reactions, according to the Finnish Medicines Agency FIMEA. Other side effects include drowsiness, tired eyes and headaches, as well as problems with swallowing and eyesight.

Botox is a prescription-only drug in Finland, used for the medical treatment of muscle cramps caused by strokes and occasionally to tackle excessive armpit perspiration. Its use is confined to licensed professionals, who are the only practitioners allowed to administer the drug, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

In Finland and Estonia there are a number of beauty clinics which advertise the use of botulin for the treatment of wrinkles and fine lines. The publicity states that such therapy is safe so long as the correct dosage is applied in the right places.