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Even though we might want to buy cheaper versions of our favorite makeup, there’s an unfortunate side effect of spending less. Some knock-off brands can cause horrific skin irritations and ailments because of the cheaper formulas that utilize dangerous chemicals.
Unfortunately for consumers, it can be difficult to tell which brands are fake since they look nearly identical to the real thing. For fake money, bills must be at least 75% or more than 150% of the actual bill, so they’re fairly easy to detect with a trained eye. This is beneficial for movie props in particular.
But counterfeit makeup is hard to detect. Even beauty bloggers and stylists who have knowingly used knock-off products have achieved disastrous results, including skin rashes, chemical burns, allergic reactions, and acne breakouts.
The Better Business Bureau estimates that over $27,000 was lost to the purchase of counterfeit goods in 2017.
This is primarily because many knock-off brands utilize high levels of mercury and other chemicals to sell at a low price point. Others completely ignore safety standards and may contain lead, rat droppings, or other harmful contaminants. This makes them exceedingly popular for shops who want to sell goods and services at a low price point. One tanning salon owner in Cheshire, England sold over 100,000 euros in counterfeit products.
The BBB’s content and communication director, Victoria Craker, claims you need to buy directly from the source to ensure you’re getting the proper products. This also gives money directly to the creator and not the middleman.
If you’re one of the many that prefer cheaper products, luckily, there are ways to spot counterfeit products.
One of the best ways is to compare it to the cost of the original. If it’s at a drastically lower price point, where the cost is simply too good to be true, it’s likely that you’re getting a fake and potentially harmful product.
You should also go to verified resellers and makeup stores like Sephora and Ulta if you do not buy directly from the source.