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Why You May Want to Re-Check Your Cosmetics Labels

posted: 05/19/15
by: TLC
Cosmetics can be counterfeit
iStock

How much do you like rat poop? Cyanide? Chances are not a lot. Certainly not enough to want to slather it on your face, right? And yet! According to a new report from the City of London Police, that's exactly what millions of women are doing each year, thanks to the burgeoning black-market counterfeit cosmetics market.

Counterfeit cosmetics are big business -- women spend more than $141 million each year on fake makeup in the UK alone -- buying mascaras, glosses, powders and foundations on discount sites promising the real thing. But the reality is, these luxury makeup brands RARELY, if ever, offer their goods for discounted rates, so if you see brands like NARS, MAC, or Benefit for sale on a site you've never heard of, chances are, it's a knock off.

So what's the harm in that? Well, knock off products are highly unregulated and are made with tons of unsafe and, frankly, unsavory ingredients. And when the London police tested some of the counterfeit products they confiscated they found everything from arsenic, mercury, and lead, to <i>human pee</i> and cyanide in the tested samples.

Yup, human pee. And some samples were also laced with rat poop. What's more: The makers of these products are often connected to other kinds of illegal crime like human trafficking and drug trafficking.

So what can you do about it? Thankfully it's pretty easy to avoid counterfeit cosmetics. Don't buy from unlicensed retailers on eBay or on Amazon, avoid shady discount sellers, and instead, stick to mainstream reputable cosmetics' sellers like Sephora, Ulta and the makeup counters at major department stores.