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 episode of the docuseries explored the rise of the counterfeit culture surrounding the cosmetic industry and the dangers associated with counterfeit beauty products. We learned some seriously horrifying information that we want to pass on to you guys, in case you haven’t seen this episode.
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. While the popularity has brought up some positive attention due to new products and brands, there has also been some negative consequences, a major one being the rise of counterfeit cosmetics.
Why the Rise of Counterfeit Cosmetics?
According to the docuseries episode, the rise of counterfeits in the beauty industry is in part due to social media, the popularity of influencers, and scarcity marketing techniques.
Social media influencers often create enormous hype about certain brands or products, turning them into instant hits to create enormous 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 instance, they only produce a small amount of the sought after product, to drum up demand and perceived value.
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. They 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. These counterfeits are made in non-sterile, non-regulated “labs” that are often completely unsanitary. Quality, safe ingredients in the original formulas are often replaced 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 were also found 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 that were manufactured in the USA. When a cosmetic product is manufactured in the USA, you know it’s following the FDA regulations, plus you can rest assured that the ingredients listed are what they really are. You also have the confidence of knowing that the product was created in a facility with strict safety regulations. Makeup that is imported from other countries is not required 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. All of our products are proudly made in California. 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.