You may have read the disturbing news about investigations by local councils into counterfeit cosmetic products. A Local Government Authority (LGA) report has revealed that hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit cosmetics have been uncovered by trading standards officers across the country. We want to urge everyone to take care to only buy their cosmetics products from reputable sources.
Speaking about the findings, Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
"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. Fake designer products costs businesses and the taxpayer thousands of pounds each year. Councils have been targeting rogue retailers selling these fake products, and the fines they have received should deter others from selling these dangerous products.
"People should always do their research and take a pragmatic approach when they are buying make-up and cosmetics. Check the reviews of online sellers, and bear in mind that if something is really cheap, it's likely to be fake and could potentially be harmful. Anyone who has purchased make up that they think is dangerous should stop using it immediately and report it to their local Trading Standards team.
"It is vital that people report any concerns, so that councils can take action to prevent anyone being harmed or scarred for life."
Fake make-up, claiming to be well-known brands, containing illegal amounts of heavy metals, is being sold online. The problem with counterfeit products is that the packaging and look of the product can be almost impossible to tell from the real thing. Unfortunately, the product inside is nothing like the genuine product. Not only is it not likely to work as well as it should, it may actually be unsafe and cause you harm.
Counterfeiting doesn't just affect cosmetic products, of course. It is an unfortunate fact that counterfeiters target nearly every type of consumer product as well as important sectors such as medical, automotive and foods.
Always make sure you buy your products from reputable outlets. Be suspicious of any products offered for sale from unusual places such as car boot sales, markets or less well-known internet sites. Always be wary of offers that seem 'too good to be true'. Remember, using counterfeit products could cause actual harm. The authorities say that proceeds from such crime also fund other serious organised crimes such as drugs, arms and people trafficking, ID theft, money laundering and child pornography amongst others.
The cosmetics industry takes your safety seriously. CTPA is concerned that such counterfeit and illegal products could jeopardise your safety and also threaten the trust that millions of consumers have in the many, many legal and safe products available and used today.
For more information on what to do if you suspect a counterfeit product, visit our dedicated section on counterfeiting.