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Counterfeit Makeup: Why Fake Makeup Is A Serious Risk To Your Health

Counterfeit Makeup: Why Fake Makeup Is A Serious Risk To Your Health

Alice O'Donnell

We all love a bargain; buy one get one free – yes please! If there’s a sale, we’ll be there. While sometimes you can save money by keeping an eye out for deals, another way people manage to save those euros is by buying knockoff products which replicate a brand.

While buying a fake Prada handbag and knockoff watches for a fraction of the real cost seems harmless fun, there’s one group of items you should never ever go counterfeit on – makeup.

We do love a good makeup dupe, but there’s a world of difference between buying a “lookalike” product in Penneys and a Kylie Cosmetics lipkit for €5 in a dodgy shop or on a random website.

Here’s why fake makeup could be a serious risk to your health…

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2 for $25 on all blush, bronzer and highlight happening now on ⭐️ hurry, ends tomorrow 11:59pm pst ❤️ @cassydaraiche

A post shared by Kylie Cosmetics (@kyliecosmetics) on

What is counterfeit makeup?

Counterfeit makeup is made to replicate a well-known brands, but is sold at a fraction of the cost. However, the amount of care and health and safety factors are also done at a fraction of the level they should be at.

Not only is the makeup far weaker and less pigmented than the original, it can also be extremely dangerous depending on the ingredients found in it. Counterfeit makeup has been known to contain harmful chemicals and bacteria which can be dangerous when they come in contact with your skin.

How to spot counterfeit makeup

As counterfeit makeup is normally never sold in a reputable shop, beware of markets and especially online shops claiming to sell makeup brands at a ridiculously low price.

Luckily, some replicas are pretty obvious fake – from brand misspellings to off-colouring labelling, to typos. Even if the branding looks pretty identical on the outside, normally the makeup itself will seem shabbily made, from unfitting mirrors to unevenly filled eyeshadow palettes.

However, as the fake makeup market become more profitable, many rip-off are becoming harder and harder to distinguish from the real brand. Luckily, one sure way to detect a fake is the cost. As the saying goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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Sunday Funday 🎀 @thebeautyradar shows off her #jeffreestarcosmetics collection 💖 Do you see any of your must haves?🙌🏼 #skinfrost #velourliquidlipstick

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A post shared by Jeffree Star Cosmetics (@jeffreestarcosmetics) on

Dangers of counterfeit makeup

Unlike legitimate brands, counterfeit makeup and skincare is not regulated by any health and safety regulations, which unfortunately means some serious awful ingredients can go into the products.

Earlier last year, the Los Angeles Police Department seized nearly a million dollars’ worth of counterfeit makeup in the city, and after testing, the products were found to contain bacteria, arsenic, and even animal waste. We know – gross!

Even if you’re lucky and the counterfeit product contains no harmful ingredients, the conditions the product was manufactured in was probably far from hygienic and can lead to contamination of the product.

The effects of counterfeit makeup range in severity, but can include infections, rashes, swelling and even chemical burns. Even if you’re lucky and escape any serious harm from using counterfeit products, the idea of having such awful ingredients on your face will surely turn anyone off using these fake makeup items.

Although skin care products can sometimes cost big bucks, it’s worth it, as you can guarantee exactly what you are putting on your face. As more and more people become aware of the dangers of fake makeup, and with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Jeffree Star spreading awareness of the counterfeits, hopefully the day will come when there’s no longer a market for fake up market. However, until then, it’s in everyone’s interest to be aware of the dangers of counterfeit makeup products.

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