While the fragrance industry may have one less counterfeit ring to worry about with the arrest of five men in New York’s Chinatown on Wednesday, the number of counterfeit beauty products continues to grow, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
If, like us, you prefer the convenience of buying your favorite brands online turns out there is some danger. Counterfeit products, from mascara to perfume, have been laced with scary substances like arsenic and lead. (Not to mention, rat droppings—ick.)
“If you’re getting a counterfeit beauty product or cosmetic the reality is you don’t know what’s in it,” said ICE Homeland Security spokesman Khaalid Walls..
So, before you order beauty products online—whether through eBay, a website based in another country, or any other e-retailer that’s outside the norm—heed the following advice on how to tell if a product could be fake.
- Keep an eye out for bad grammar
- Check the return policy
- Find the expiration date
- Compare the product in question to the real thing
- Double check the brand’s authorized retail list
Remember, the single easiest way you can be sure you’re getting the real deal is to buy your products straight from the brand or its authorized dealers and retailers.