Knock-Off Make-Ups: Why You Should be Afraid of Counterfeit Products


When you find cheap deals of high-end cosmetic brands like NARS and MAC that seem too good to be true—they almost surely are counterfeit products. You may ask: So what? Buying knock-off shoes, bags and clothes are all pretty common anyway, right? What’s the difference?

Well, remember that those knock-offs are going on your face, and what goes on your face and skin goes into your body. If ever you’re thinking of skimping on make-up, you might want to check the list below before rushing to an unauthorized retailer.

  1. Allergic Reactions

You don’t know what ingredients were mixed to produce these counterfeit products. Some fake cosmetics are laced with arsenic, cyanide and mercury, which often cause allergic reactions like skin rashes. Although most cases can be immediately treated, the negative effect may linger for a longer time.

  1. Infections

We’re not talking about fake designer bags that you just carry around, but products that once applied on the face, the skin will absorb. Bacteria from fake eyeshadow products, for instance, can cause severe infection to the eye (a.k.a. the most sensitive area of your face), making your eye area swell, or worse distort your vision.

  1. Lead Poisoning

Some fake cosmetics contain 20 times more than the legal dosage of lead in cosmetic products. Accumulated lead absorbed in the body from the skin can cause poisoning, which can result to severe physical and mental impairment or, in extreme cases, death.

  1. Rat Wastes

These unauthorized cosmetic laboratories did not undergo legal inspection, so you can’t expect a clean and sanitary environment in the making of knock-off products. Many tests made with fake cosmetics have revealed that rat feces were one of the components. Whether it was added intentionally or not, one thing is certain: we do not want it anywhere near our skin nor get absorbed into our body.

  1. Paint Stripper

Sold in most hardware stores, paint strippers must be handled with caution as some of the hazards associated with it are skin diseases, and even damages to the nervous system, internal organs and the brain when these chemicals are inhaled in excessive amount. Unfortunately, paint strippers are commonly used in counterfeit liquid liners and mascaras. While these cosmetic products are meant to be used sparingly, continuous use can possibly cause health problems later on.

It’s tricky to detect a counterfeit make-up product. If you’re unsure, do extensive research about the seller and the products before buying. However, your best bet is to purchase your beauty favourites from reputable retail outlets, such as Sephora and other local drugstores.

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