How To Spot a Fake: Are Your Cosmetics Laced with Arsenic?
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When it comes to cosmetics, imitation is not the highest form of flattery. I’m sure we can all agree that lead and mercury belong on a periodic table, not your face. A recent discovery delving into the ingredients of counterfeit cosmetics has revealed some unsettling news about the stuff in your makeup. “Fake” cosmetics have been making headlines across the globe as laboratories test the contents of counterfeit luxury makeup and perfumes that are often made in basements under sweatshop conditions. The issue has really taken a toll in London, where authorities estimate that consumers collectively spend more than $141 million on the toxic stuff.

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A police statement from May of this year revealed that “Laboratory tests have shown counterfeit perfume often contain chemicals including cyanide and even human urine. While fake cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara, lipgloss and foundation have been found to contain toxic levels of chemicals and harmful substances such as arsenic, mercury and lead.”

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Falling victim to the counterfeit cosmetic scheme is as easy as purchasing a designer bag on the street or online. While some companies have mastered the art of imitation, consumers can avoid falling victim to the scheme by being mindful of spelling and the URL where they purchase the products. Designer brands typically do discount their cosmetics, so if the price seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Four Ways to Spot a Fake:

  • Be mindful of spelling.
  • Pay attention to packaging. Lux brands put a lot of money in to brand marketing, so if the products is chipped or feels cheap, it’s likely a fake.
  • Be sure that the URL you’re shopping is secure; check for the symbol of a lock to appear next to the URL. Also be sure that the brand is spelled correctly and that a contact for customer service has been provided.
  • Lastly, pay attention to texture, color and smell. If something seems off, do not use it.

Your best bet to avoid falling victim is to purchase all of your cosmetics from a department store or directly from the retailer online. The long terms effects of using counterfeit products are still unknown, but our guess is your skin will fare better without all of the toxins. If you’re over-priced cream is down to last dollup, switch to a drugstore equivalent in the interim until can afford to splurge again.