What are the harmful effects of counterfeit cosmetics?

It is generally seen that during the festive season consumers throng at cosmetic shops and outlets attracted by huge discounts and lucrative offers. However, many times the prices are too good to be true and consumers are at the risk of buying counterfeit, sub-standard and harmful cosmetic products.

Counterfeit cosmetics not just lead to monetary loss of manufacturers and but also affect the health of consumers. Forgers generally use harmful and poor-quality raw materials for manufacturing counterfeit cosmetics. They do not pay heed to consumer’s safety and blatantly ignore the safety laws and industry guidelines.

Fake cosmetic products are manufactured in dirty, unhygienic illegal facilities. Many times, such products are made in the backyard of homes, garages, and godowns. From this, you can clearly understand the level of danger of fake cosmetics that you are going to directly apply to your skin. In fake cosmetics, the danger hides inside the product which is made to look visually similar to the original product and befool the consumer.

Before we discuss the list of toxic ingredients used in the manufacturing of knock-off cosmetics, let’s ponder on some facts related to counterfeit cosmetics.

  • There are about 35% of fake cosmetics available on e-commerce in India. (Source: LocalSurvey)
  • Social media now contributes to more than 50% of black-market cosmetics sales. (Source: Cosmeticsbusiness.com)
  • In 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized more than 2,000 shipments of counterfeit cosmetics, worth an estimated $1.4 billion. (Source: CBS News)

From the above-shared facts, you can have a clear understanding of the growing problem of counterfeit cosmetic products. As stated earlier, fake cosmetics not only bring down the sales of manufacturers but also pose a risk to the health of the consumer. Fake cosmetics can usually contain chemicals like lead, arsenic, copper, mercury, beryllium, cadmium, aluminium, cyanide and even human faeces & bacteria.

Holostik provides customized anti-counterfeiting solutions for manufacturers from the cosmetic industry so that they may secure their products against counterfeiting or tampering. To get the best customized anti-counterfeiting solution for your products to call us on +91–785-785-7000 or mail us at connect@ec2-54-210-245-44.compute-1.amazonaws.com.

Counterfeiting on the global level-An overview

Counterfeiting or duplication is a growing problem across the world. It badly affects the government, businesses, and consumers. People across the world are suffering from the menace of duplicate products which is regularly authenticated by different reports and news coming from different parts of the world.

Market experts believe that the growing globalization is the main reason behind rampant duplication. They say that in order to increase their manufacturing capacity and hire cheap labor big companies shifted their base to developing and third world countries. However, the major problem in these areas was that of lack of anti-duplication regulation and poor IP laws.

This made the way for counterfeiters and they were easily able to steal technology to manufacture duplicate goods. With the passage of time, they became more organized and took counterfeiting on a much larger scale.

According to a report by OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) United States, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, and Germany are the hardest hit countries, with the majority (83%) of fake goods originating (not surprisingly) from China and Hong Kong. European brands are among the most impacted, with an estimated 5% of all goods imported into the European Union (EU) being fake. This represents as much as $118 billion.

With the growth and penetration of internet technology counterfeits are now being sold on different internet platforms. According to the International Trademark Association, “Criminals prefer to sell counterfeits on the Internet for many reasons. They can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet with the Dark Web even their IP addresses can be hidden. The Internet gives them the reach to sell to consumers globally-outside of the national limits of law enforcement.”

The global problem of counterfeiting must be addressed on multiple fronts with collaborative efforts of the government, industry players and anti-counterfeiting solution providers.