SK-II, is a Procter & Gamble beauty brand, launched in 1980 in Japan.
In September 2006, the People's Republic of China halted all imports of SK-II products, after a consumer found traces of neodymium and chromium. Both are banned in cosmetics, and can cause allergic dermatitis and eczema. P&G withdrew several of the affected products, however there was much confusion on P&G's initial status on the subject.
One employee was quoted as stating: "We believe only a small batch of products suffered the problem", however, P&G's official press release defended the amount of the heavy metals found in the products as being "safe" and "insignificant to human health". Nonetheless, P&G withdrew several affected products, but continued selling the rest of the line, requiring consumers to sign a "safe product" agreement, in which they recognize that the SK-II products they bought are safe and release P&G of liability.
However, by the end of that week, P&G had suspended sale of the brand altogether, shutting down its stores and pulling all products (including refund centers for affected items) from counters.
- "China to halt imports of SK-II if problems show up again - China - News Brief". Newsgd. Retrieved 2012-11-06.