Last October, the local Food and Drug Administration released a memo on knockoff cosmetic products that are in the market―this included items from MaxFactor and Etude House. While this alarmed customers, it was also noted that not only were they not registered with FDA, the products are also not sold in any of the stores.
This isn’t new anymore, counterfeit cosmetics are everywhere. There are even fake Kylie Lip Kits, Lime Crime, and many others being sold online and at side streets. It’s true that they’re cheaper, but you don’t really know what’s in them. (Kylie Jenner said one of the fake Lip Kits had glue in it.) The product may not work properly and it might be dangerous for your health. To emphasize this further, here are some warning signs and effects if you use counterfeit products.
#1 Hazardous ingredients
A common warning of the FDA is the presence of hazardous metals like lead and mercury in unregistered products. There are also reports that arsenic and rat droppings were found in counterfeit MAC and NARS products sold in eBay and Amazon. It’s scary and gross, I know. Sometimes you won’t even realize that they have these since they mask it with pigment and scents, making us believe that they’re real. This brings us to our next point.
#2 Getting skin irritation, allergies, and painful eye infections
Our skin gets irritated when it’s exposed to foreign bodies like bacteria. So imagine if the makeup is made in unsanitary factories like this underground one found in China last year. You might get serious burns from the dangerous chemicals used, severe allergic reactions like what happened to this woman who used a fake MAC product, and eye infections from fake eyeshadows.
#3 Long-term health problems
The World Health Organization explains that exposure to both lead and mercury may cause neurological disorders when they’re inhaled and consumed. They also noted that excessive levels can cause infertility and worst, death. These problems are completely avoidable and curable once you stop using the products, so make sure that you’re buying from authorized retailers.
#4 Not enough pigment
Now that we’ve gotten the health problems out of the way, let’s talk about the products themselves. A surefire way to know if a product is counterfeit is when their packaging and swatches are subpar. Some blushes or eyeshadows would feel chalky and thin, others would even have a greasy texture to them. But then again, what do you expect from really cheap knockoffs, right?
#5 It affects the brands’ business
An article on News.com.au summarizes this perfectly: “They spend millions of dollars promoting their brand and doing all the right things with innovation and product development, only to have somebody create a substandard product with false branding,” Liz Webster, Myer’s general manager of cosmetics, tells them. The article goes on, saying that several brands are tarnished by these fake products being used by customers, especially those that have caused harm onto them. We have to understand that while getting them cheap is a bargain, we also need to make sure that they’re real and of good quality for the sake of the brands’ livelihood and also your well-being.
Art by Dorothy Guya
Follow Preen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Viber