Today, 10/04/2017, Dr. Oz covered the (billions of dollars) business of the counterfeit beauty industry and how easy it is to become a victim. Not only are you getting a fake product, the ingredients can be harmful and even deadly. Most of these products are manufactured in China, even though the packaging may say Paris. These black markets have mastered the boxes, bottles, etc. and it may be almost impossible to recognize which ones are fake. Dr. Oz walks us thru steps to help us identify some of the characteristics of fake products; but the alarming news, some of the retailers couldn’t tell just looking at them. What lies beneath the packaging will make you run from flee markets, online sellers, and even some retail outlets. Bottom line, you could be poisoning your body by trying to save a few bucks.
Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor of Refinery29, sat down with Oz and discussed how this business is out of control and not monitored nearly enough. Lebsack remarked how these products were found in brick and mortar stores, on the streets, and are being found even at drug stores. While the counterfeit market use to be exclusive to high end products, it is now in the toothpaste, body wash, suntan lotions, and even shampoos. “When we had some of these analyzed, there was horse urine in some of them,” Lebsack remarked.
Ingredients found in counterfeit beauty products
- Cyanide and human urine were found in fake perfume
- Arsenic, mercury and lead were found in eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and foundation
- Rat droppings and horse urine were discovered in some of the items analyzed by the UK
In the UK, the problem is out of control. Regular bulletins are being posted warning citizens not to purchase these items. Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Buying counterfeit goods might be seen as a victimless way to get presents for family and friends on the cheap, but many of these items will have a long back story of criminality, often involving violence. “However, it goes much deeper as those products are likely to have supported child labor or human trafficking or used to fund serious organized crime. A pair of boots analyzed were made of dog skins.
Inside Edition tested counterfeit cosmetics bought on the street and the results were surprising. The tests found high levels of aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s disease), beryllium (a known carcinogen) and bacteria in the products.
How to avoid buying counterfeit products
- Always buy from the reputable retailer
- Never buy products from street vendors, flee markets, online, and discounted stores (some cheaper clothing stores carry harmful products)
- Never buy online from a seller other than the patented manufacturer-(Amazon and Ebay have sold a lot of counterfeit skin, beauty, and perfume items)
- A missing seal
- Obscure packaging that doesn’t look right
- Steeply discounted pricing
- Expired product
- Ingredients that have been banned by the FDA
Some of the most common items found that were counterfeit were Chanel perfumes, Naked cosmetics, computers and accessories, optical wear, designer handbags, footwear, pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and watches/jewelry.
Counterfeiting is a huge problem and compromises the safety of the public. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Don’t compromise your health for a low price. Law enforcement is on this problem every day and if you feel you have been scammed report it immediately to your local police or sheriff department.
Photo courtesy of Bing.com