Baby In S’pore Suffers From ‘Moon Face’ After Mum Applies Skin Cream, Unlicensed Seller Fined S$18K

4-Month-Old Baby Suffered From ‘Moon Face’ & Was Hospitalised After Mum Applied Skin Cream

In 2022, a mother applied skin cream that she had bought online on her four-month-old baby boy.

The child later suffered from ‘moon face’ — a rounded facial appearance resulting from Cushing’s syndrome — and had to be hospitalised.

The woman who sold the product has been fined S$18,000.

Woman sold skin cream to baby’s mother online

Malaysian S-Pass holder Chin Sook Yee, 30, started selling a product named ‘Star Cream’ (星星膏) over Shopee in September 2020, according to court documents seen by Lianhe Zaobao.

She also sold hundreds of bottles of the item on Carousell and Facebook, with prices ranging from S$60 to S$118.

Between January and May 2022, she sold Star Cream to the baby’s mother four times.

Baby suffers ‘moon face’ from skin cream

In a press release about Star Cream’s effects on the infant in June 2022, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said the baby’s mum had been applying the product on him for diaper rash since he was two weeks old. His confinement nanny had apparently recommended it.

Unfortunately, the baby began to suffer side effects that included:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Abnormal eye alignment
  • Bulging fontanelle (the soft spot on top of a baby’s skull)

These symptoms were consistent with signs of higher brain pressure.

The hospital later confirmed that he had Cushing’s syndrome, which manifests in a ‘moon face’ appearance, as well as upper body obesity with thin limbs.

Source: Court documents via Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

The child stayed in hospital for five days before doctors discharged him to recover at home. Thankfully, a health examination that he underwent a year later showed that he had recovered.

Cream found to contain steroids

HSA explained that the use of steroids over a long period results in Cushing’s syndrome.

This is despite Star Cream being touted as containing natural herbal extracts and no steroids.

After analysing samples of the cream, HSA detected clobetasol propionate (a potent steroid) and ketoconazole (an antifungal).

Without medical supervision, the use of these ingredients can pose serious health risks, especially in infants and children, the authority added.

Woman relisted item many times

After the various online platforms took down her listing, Chin persisted in selling Star Cream and relisted the product several times.

Prosecutors pointed out that there were no instructions or ingredients on the bottles.

Chin herself didn’t know much about the product she was selling and didn’t conduct due diligence.

However, she continued to claim in her listings that it didn’t contain steroids.

Woman pleads guilty & faces S$18K fine

In November 2023, Chin was charged with 11 counts of selling poisons without a licence under the Poisons Act.

She pleaded guilty to three charges, while the court took the rest into consideration.

Eventually, she was fined S$18,000.

Chin could have faced up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to S$10,000.

Also read: Toddler Hospitalised After Using Baby Cream For Diaper Rash, HSA Advises Against Buying Product

Toddler Hospitalised After Using Baby Cream For Diaper Rash, HSA Advises Against Buying Product

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Court documents via Shin Min Daily News on Facebook and Health Sciences Authority.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author