Is your make-up lead free?

July 18, 2016

We all want to look beautiful and presentable. Cosmetics can be a quick an easy way to temporarily solve beauty problems of an individual.  For that most people don’t mind spending money on cosmetics which has made cosmetic and make-up business a multi-billion dollar industry. However, not all consumers know that fake or counterfeit make-up are being sold in the marketplace? What is damaging is the fact that consumers use it without knowing the risks it poses as these counterfeit products are loaded with toxic and harmful chemicals. 

A complaint-driven research conducted by the Consumer Council has confirmed that our market is hit with counterfeit cosmetic products. For instance, fake versions of MAC cosmetics have been sold by a popular boutique.  It is likely that other stores may also be trading fake branded cosmetic which is yet to be unveiled.

While the price of these fake lipsticks, mascara, eye liner and other make up may seem affordable but it may cost you more on health given that counterfeit makeup often contain hazardous materials such a lead, aluminum, mercury and even arsenic. These substances can cause severe allergic reactions, skin rashes, chemical burns and long term health problems. Unsurprisingly, people have cited dermatitis, eye infections, and aggravation of conditions such as acne and eczema as being linked to suspected counterfeit products.

For consumers it may be difficult to differentiate fake cosmetic from an original product. Therefore, consumers will have to take precautionary measures to ensure that they know what they are buying.  Always look for features to authenticate the real from the fake make-up. There could be differences in the packaging, the texture of the makeup, coloring, smell and the general look of the product.

Fake make-up may have a chalkier or thinner consistency than the real product. Also, fake make-up and the original make-up will have different colors even if they have the same name. Fake product usually have a lighter color and it wears off easily.

Counterfeit cosmetics are made from cheap ingredients which explains the cost difference when compared to branded products.  A lot of money is spent on designing the look of the branded product. The font used in labeling, the color and manner of the packaging are some of the things that are unique to the product when it is being designed. Counterfeit products will try to imitate this as best as possible. But there are some giveaways that can indicate the product is not genuine. These include uneven fonts, misspelled words, inconsistent patterns, and incorrect shade names printed on the label and leaflets. The fake product usually use lower quality metal or plastic casings and the product may be packaged in a haphazard manner.

You can never be too sure of the originality of the product if you buy it from the corner store. It is advisable to buy make-up from an authorized dealer that can provide evidence of authenticity. Also remember to ask for a receipt. Should a problem arise, one can go back to the store with the evidence of purchase and demand a redress. Some stores many not offer a return policy. This should be the consumers’ first warning signal.

It is advisable to purchase products that you are already familiar with. It will be easier to spot the counterfeit. Counterfeit products often do not have batch number or serial numbers. So always look for it in the make-up that you purchase.

Counterfeit make-up sellers often use URL similar to the products that are being copied. As seen in the instance of the fake MAC cosmetics, the counterfeit make-up website: was very similar to MACs real website: So, always check the authenticity of the purchasing website as well.

Beauty products are meant to enhance your features, and not ruin your health. Be aware that fake cosmetics and perfumes are in the market. So choose carefully.