Health on the altar of beauty and youth
Of course, we are all people, and most often while choosing a new cream or lotion we pay attention to the price. A beautiful label, a logo of a famous brand, a promise of almost eternal beauty in the description, and an unusually small price? Why not?! That’s exactly what the producer of a counterfeit product was thinking about. However, trying to save here you can eventually pay a bigger price with your health or even life.
The frauds usually don’t follow even minimally required sanitary norms while doing their products. Nobody tests counterfeit products and doesn’t check as these people don’t care about your health, and the consequences after using such products might result in redness, itchiness, swelling of the mucous membranes and respiratory tract, anaphylactic shock, or even death.
The study of Red Points Agency showed that in counterfeit cosmetics products arsenic, copper, mercury, beryllium, cadmium, bacteria, animal waste products, cyanide, and various solvents can be used. For example, a lab analysis showed that the amount of lead in MAC fake lipstick exceeds the permissible limits by 15 times.
The Healthline publishing house shows the example of the impact which counterfeit products have on your health. A citizen of Northern Ireland, Rachel McLaughlin, bought a set of Kylie Cosmetics lip care products for $4, while the original set costs around $29. Right after the woman applied these cosmetics, she noticed that her lips got swollen and a few hours later a rash and wheals appeared in her mouth cavity.
Brands also suffer
In the US the market of beauty fakes in 2020 increased by 56%, especially the makeup, hair, and skincare categories were particularly affected. Amazon and eBay became the main marketplaces for the sale of counterfeit. The rate of supply and sales of counterfeit cosmetics is increasing along with the growth of sales of original products. Due to the pandemic and the fact that people buy online more often, it has become easier for the swindlers to sell their products, pretending they are brands. According to the lawyer of Benefit Cosmetics, Ashli Weiss Uğurlu, the popularity of fakes is largely based on the simplicity of online shopping.
“It’s very simple for a consumer to just go online and shop for a deal that’s too good to be true, so it’s probably counterfeit”, says Uğurlu
In tune with the times
Besides world marketplaces, swindlers create pseudo-official sites using logos, colors, and fonts of famous brands and register similar domain names and accounts on social networks to promote their fake products.
The majority of consumers consider that manufacturing brands have to minimize the number of these forgeries by themselves and thus protect not only their names but consumers also. It’s obvious enough that the representatives of the beauty industry take all necessary measures to prevent the appearance of these fakes and eliminate negative consequences associated with their use.
For example, in 2018 Baby Foot brand initiated an online meeting on their official website where it was calling out not to buy fakes and even developed the guidelines helping to distinguish the original from the counterfeit.
Swedish brand of beauty gadgets Foreo monitors any mentioning of possible fakes on the Internet and tries to block them as quickly as possible. The company has already managed to block 22 000 ads of counterfeit products since 2018 for the amount of $2.5 million.
Blockchain technology is also actively used for the protection of brands in the cosmetics industry. Logistic and financial data allow the customer to track the whole route of the products and timely understand whether it can be fake or not.
LVMH started using this technology as back as 2019. A blockchain Aura, developed by LVMH in collaboration with Microsoft, provides all data about the product, from the origin of the raw materials and manufacturing process and up to the moment it’s handed to the customer. Aura also indicates where the conditional bottle of perfume was originally purchased and where it is offered for resale, which helps to track trade in the gray market.
The smart package is another way to protect brands and consumers from counterfeit. The most popular type of such packages is a holographic one. It doesn’t only protect the product from counterfeit, but also attracts customers.
Moreover, in the modern world, many manufacturing companies try not to forget about ecology. Besides trusts and sponsorship fees, some companies have started refilling policies. Thus, perfume house Mugler came forward with an initiative #IVoteForRefill. The brand offered customers to refill used bottles using Mugler Source. You can refill the same bottle multiple times. And also, the brand said that shortly, all packaging of their products will be made only from plastic found in the ocean.
All the methods above, provided by manufacturers, are essential and have the right to exist. We all hope that soon they will give significant results and dangerous fakes will no longer scare us. Right now counterfeit still appears and swindlers find new ways to sell their low-quality products, so ordinary consumers also have to protect themselves. Paying attention to the following simple features can help you identify whether it’s a fake or an original product:
- The price of the product is much lower than the usual retail price;
- Large volumes of products;
- Short domain history;
- Poor site interface;
- There is accurate information that the seller retails other fakes.
Be considerate of yourself and others. Sometimes it’s better to spend more time, pay a few extra dollars and receive a good-quality product rather than save and risk your health.