Everyone loves a bargain - but if you buy copycat makeup brands from market stalls or unofficial sellers online you might be putting your health at risk, The Local Government Association has warned.
It says Trading Standards has seized hundreds of fake goods from rogue traders, including counterfeit perfumes, mascaras, lipsticks, concealers, lip and eyebrow pencils purporting to be genuine Benefit, Chanel, Dior, Nars and MAC.
Fake cosmetics can pose “serious health risks”, including chemical burns and skin rashes, the LGA says. This is because they can contain mercury, arsenic and even rat droppings.
Exposure to mercury in fake cosmetics can be detrimental to people’s health, as it can have toxic effects on the nervous system, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes.
Because counterfeit products are illegal, and are often made overseas, there is no way of ensuring they do not contain any dangerous ingredients.
“Counterfeit cosmetics can be dangerous as they can contain toxic chemicals and dangerous high levels of lead which can be detrimental for people’s health,” says Councillor Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board. “Fake designer products costs businesses and the taxpayer thousands of pounds each year.”
Blackburn says that people should always research the products they are buying: check the reviews of online sellers and bear in mind if something is too good to be true, then it could be potentially harmful.
“Anyone who has purchased makeup that they think is dangerous should stop using it immediately and report it to their local Trading Standards team.”