For those of you who love to pay less for beauty products online, you might want to be a bit more careful when you’re making your purchases. The counterfeit beauty products you’re buying on auction websites and sketchy e-tailers might be more harmful than you thought.
A campaign by the City of London Police is warning shoppers that the counterfeit perfumes, jams and jellies they’re buying on the ‘net are filled with icky chemicals you definitely don’t want anywhere near your body. Lab tests done on bootleg makeup products turned up levels of arsenic, lead and mercury. In cheapo perfumes, cyanide and human urine. The Guardian notes that the makeup is made in factories that aren’t the most sanitary, and that in some cases, traces of rat feces have been found in the products. Electrical beauty items like blow dryers and flat irons are not excluded, either. Because they are so poorly made, they “can result in electrocution or the item overheating and catching fire.”
And it’s not just your health you’re putting at risk when you’re buying fake cosmetics online. “We have had victims who have bought fake items online only to discover later that the criminals behind the site have used their payment details to make further purchases or even use their personal details to set up hundreds of illegal sites selling counterfeit goods,” City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s Maria Woodall explained.
So, if you’re looking for a cheaper version of SK-II’s Facial Treatent mask, you’re much better off paying full price for the real thing.