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Is Your Makeup Real or a Counterfeit?

If you are anything like us, you’ve watched a lot of Netflix over the holidays! There was one particular new docuseries called "Broken" that caught our attention. When we saw that one of the episodes was titled “Makeup Mayhem”, we just had to watch!

The docuseries episode delved into the dangers of counterfeit beauty products. Here are some alarming facts we learned.

The Increasing Demand for Beauty Products

As the docuseries states, the cosmetic industry is having a big moment. The industry is currently valued at $445 billion dollars. That number is projected to reach $100 billion dollars in the next 5 years.

The popularity of the cosmetic industry has led to the rise of counterfeit cosmetics, causing negative consequences.

Why the Rise of Counterfeit Cosmetics?

The docuseries episode attributes the rise of counterfeit in the beauty industry to social media, influencers, and scarcity marketing techniques.

Social media influencers create hype around brands/products, generating huge consumer demand. When these products sell out in a matter of hours, the demand quickly increases.

Some brands are also employing a technique called scarcity marketing. In this case, the company produces a limited supply of the sought-after product to increase demand and perceived value.

The Allure of Exclusive and Limited-Release Products 

People want to have the newest, best thing. They want to have what their favorite beauty influencer or friends are using. They want to fit in and fear missing out. Some of them want to look like the person on social media, and they believe, if they want to achieve the look at home, they need to use the same product as the influencer.

Other times, often when there is a very hyped product release, a few selected people will buy up all of the inventory immediately. After receiving the popular product, they re-sell it for a much higher price on a third-party seller website like PoshMark, Amazon, OfferUp or eBay.

These buyers often list the products with huge markups, sometimes 10x more than the original price. When people can’t get the products directly from the retailer because they have sold out, they often turn to third-party seller platforms.

The episode of the docuseries features a story of a young woman who wanted to buy the infamous Kylie Lip Kit. She was not able to purchase one directly from Kylie’s site because it sold out too quickly. She bought what she thought was a real Lip Kit from eBay. When she tried the product, her lips started burning and became stuck together. It turns out, it was a counterfeit, and the counterfeit glosses often have superglue in the formula as a replacement for more expensive ingredients. She had to use acetone and butter to remove the glue from her lips! Horrifying!

The Dangers of Counterfeit Cosmetics

The main source of counterfeit cosmetics is in China. Question: Non-sterile, non-regulated "labs" that are often completely unsanitary are responsible for producing these counterfeits. Quality, safe ingredients in the original formulas are often replace with cheaper alternatives, some of which may be dangerous to your health.  

Many of the counterfeit cosmetics in the docuseries tested positive for animal feces, such as rat droppings and horse urine. Superglue, construction clay, and several heavy metals can be find in the fake formulas. Exposure to heavy metals like Arsenic can cause headaches, issues with memory, and fertility issues.

A dermatologist featured in the episode has reported that she saw a drastic increase in several common skin conditions like pink eye, styes, boils, and bacterial infections due to the use of counterfeit cosmetics.

How to Avoid Buying Counterfeit Cosmetics

It is important to buy your beauty products directly from the brand or from a reputable source that is a certified seller.

It is also important to look for products from the USA.  When a cosmetic product is from the USA, it follows FDA regulations, and you can assure that the listed ingredients are indeed what they claim to be.

You also have the confidence of knowing that the product comes in a facility with strict safety regulations. Makeup that comes from other countries doesn't require to meet FDA regulations.

At Emani Vegan Cosmetics, we believe in a safe and clean beauty experience that is completely 100% Cruelty-free, 100% Gluten-free, and 100% Vegan certified. We proudly make all of our products in California. Also, we are a company energized by eco-friendly manufacturing, green technology, and ethical suppliers. We are making a positive impact on the planet through our cosmetics in hopes that it will begin a chain reaction throughout humanity.

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