Next time you see a great deal on a hard-to-get, cult favorite lipstick or moisturizer, do your research before making a purchase. Unscrupulous manufacturers are in the business of making counterfeit versions of popular, high-end cosmetic items. But far from being a brand-name comparable bargain, these shady products can actually cause real harm. As such, we highly encourage you to learn more about the dangers of counterfeit cosmetics.
1. They often contain lead
Most alarmingly, counterfeit cosmetics from China contain up to 19 times the legal limit of lead. If lead builds up in the body, poisoning causes ill effects like headaches, joint pain, muscle aches and even memory loss. Pregnant women who are exposed to too much lead risk miscarriage and stillbirth.
2. They are not hypoallergenic
Department store cosmetics are often hypoallergenic, which means they don’t contain ingredients that tend to cause irritations and skin reactions. Knockoff products don’t carry this same assurance, which means they could give you a rash or even a serious burn.
3. They can contain carcinogens
The Federal Drug Administration has warned that counterfeit cosmetics have been tested and found to contain high levels of cancer-causing chemicals, including arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and DEHP. In addition to leading to cancer, arsenic alone causes abdominal pain, shock and even death in large enough quantities.
4. Manufacturing conditions aren’t regulated
While legitimate brands ensure that the products are made and shipped in pristine condition, counterfeit creators don’t enforce the same quality standards. The result? Cosmetics that are tainted with bacteria from humans and animals, rodent urine and feces, insects and roaches and other stomach-turning contaminants. Not only are these unwanted ingredients disgusting, but they can also spread disease and irritate your skin and lungs. One common bacterial contaminant, e. coli, causes severe diarrhea, anemia, urinary tract infections and even kidney failure.
5. They can cause serious eye infections
When eye makeup is counterfeit, it can lead to serious problems with one of your most important senses. Since the skin of your eyelids is so delicate, it’s extra susceptible to the effects of bacteria. This can lead to puffiness, swelling, redness, irritation and even vision problems.
Knowing the Dangers
One of the simplest ways to avoid counterfeit cosmetics is to check the price; if something seems too inexpensive, it’s probably not the real deal. You should also consider buying cosmetics only through reputable dealers, since the fakes are often found in nameless mall kiosks and on sites like eBay. You can also talk with the experts at Medical Aesthetics of New England to learn more about the dangers of counterfeit cosmetics. We have offices in Acton and Fitchburg. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.