Generally, buying counterfeits is a huge blow to the original creator's intellectual property. This is why brandishing fakes is largely looked down upon in the fashion industry. No bueno! The same can also be said in the beauty world, with the buyers' safety being an even more pressing concern.
To put it plainly, knockoffs are potentially dangerous. The real reason they're usually sold at such a low price is because they didn't go through the required tests and secure the right permits before being sold to the public. The sanitation standards of the labs that produce the products are widely unregulated, too. Most of these products do not have any legal approval from organizations like the FDA, making it indeterminable whether they're really safe for cosmetics use.
If you think using fake makeup or skincare won't do anything that bad, think again. Thing is, they could pose as a health hazard, since no one is certain where these fake products come from and what exactly is in them. Knockoffs only copy the packaging of the original products, but that's where the similarities end. The quality is hardly ever similar, and they could contain dangerous chemicals that will harm your skin.
For example, FBI research found that fakes contain harmful carcinogens like arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium, as well as alarming levels of bacteria. For this reason, the federal agency reported that counterfeits can cause skin issues like acne, rashes, psoriasis, and eye infections. A test ran by MAC Cosmetics also revealed that fake MAC products contain traces of lead, copper, mercury, and aluminum, which are highly toxic and could pose serious health risks. Lead in makeup alone can cause blisters, burns, and stomach issues.
There are several ways to steer clear of counterfeit products. One would be to double-check small details like price, packaging, and the store itself. Read our full guide to spotting fakes here.
Opting for legitimate but affordable products is a safer option as well. Many budget-friendly brands produce high-quality beauty products that are safe to use. Provided that you purchase from official resellers, like those in leading malls and department stores, you're good to go!