We get it: everyone loves a good deal, which makes incredible beauty discounts
online hard to resist. But consider this before price shopping your beauty
and skincare routine from an unauthorized dealer (most likely on Amazon):
Counterfeit beauty products have become increasingly common and can cause
serious harm. They’re being manufactured and sold at such a rapid
pace these days that it’s now considered a global epidemic. And
unlike that Chanel “replica”—which might only cause
you a little embarrassment if it doesn’t simply fall apart—fake
beauty products could end up sending you straight to aCharlotte’s
The Ugly Truth About Counterfeit Beauty Products
Sometimes the difference between buying authentic beauty products and buying
counterfeit ones could mean not having to deal with permanent skin damage
and long-term diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. The Police Intellectual
Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), found fake cosmetics and skincare to contain
toxic levels of chemicals and unpleasant substances, such as arsenic,
mercury and even urine. Back in 2012, Inside Edition tested counterfeit
cosmetics bought on the street and the results were surprising. The tests
found high levels of aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s disease), beryllium
(a known carcinogen) and bacteria in the products.
With more and more people shopping online, it has become easier for counterfeiters
to distribute their products anywhere in the world. Even giant online
retailers can have a hard time controlling the authenticity of beauty
products sold by third parties. In the U.K. alone consumers spend $140
million on fake beauty products, and most of them probably didn’t
even know it until they noticed the side effects.
Here’s the rub: Counterfeiters don’t have any standards to
uphold. They infringe intellectual property rights (yes, it is illegal).
They use the cheapest ingredients to turn the biggest possible profit.
They take shortcuts. And importantly for skincare, they don’t abide
by the FDA’s sanitation guidelines, and their products don’t
undergo rigorous tests required by law before they’re released to
How to Spot a Counterfeit Beauty Product Online
It’s easy to identify a fake designer handbag when the item in question
is something that normally retails for thousands of dollars and it’s
available for less than $100. Beauty products, however, are trickier to
spot and the sad truth is that counterfeiters are becoming better at making
and imitating product packages. So good, in fact, that it can be nearly
impossible to tell a fake from the real thing, especially when it’s
being sold at a comparable price on Amazon or eBay.
The single easiest way you can be sure you’re getting the real deal
is to buy your products straight from the brand or its authorized dealers
and retailers. Some brands like SkinMedica do a great job of actually
listing the bogus websites that sell their products. Aside from compromised
ingredients, in skincare the shelf life of a product is also very important.
Buying cosmeceutical products from offline retailers may result in old
product inventory that is past it’s prime. To make sure your getting
the real deal, check for authorized dealers listed on the brand’s
official website. You might not get the lowest price, but your health,
safety and well-being won’t be compromised.
Originally featured on Yahoo Beauty