A HAYES beauty firm was fined £2,700 for selling illegal skin-lightening products following an investigation by trading standards.

JP House Limited, trading as Precious Gems Hair and Beauty, of Coldharbour Lane, appeared before Uxbridge magistrates.

Director Joseph Umunegbu admitted five counts of breaching regulations after selling skin-lightening creams containing a banned substance.

An inspection by Hillingdon Council’s trading standards team led to a total of 386 products believed to contain harmful ingredients being seized, together with 378 others containing steroids and unlicensed medicines.

The banned substance, hydroquinone, can cause long-term health problems such as kidney and liver damage, as well as increased risk of skin diseases.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said: "These dangerous cosmetics could cause real harm so it’s good news they’ve been removed from sale."