A recent study conducted by Belgian Institute of Public Health scientists has reportedly revealed that nearly 60 percent of skin-whitening products available in shops and  drugstores in Belgium contain one or more illegal ingredients.  Using a new analysis method that  can apparently better detect components present in suspect cosmetics, scientists examined 163  skin-whitening products and observed that two out of three products contained at least one illegal  substance. The most commonly found ingredients were corticosteroids—chem- ical variants of a  natural hormone that inhibits bodily reactions occurring in cases of inflammation or infection, and  hydroquinone—a chemical purported to have carcinogenic and mutagenic effects. See  ChemicalWatch.com, March 14, 2014.