The Scary Truth Behind Counterfeit Skincare Products

The pandemic is ever-changing life as we know it. E-commerce is now booming in a post quarantine world. Markets such as Amazon and eBay are seeing an uptick between 20-30% in sales of at home skincare and beauty products as consumers are choosing to socially distance. These lower prices and convenience of delivery are coming at a cost to consumers. Counterfeiters are seizing this opportunity within the pandemic using the internet to saturate markets with fake goods. Brand protection agency, Incopro, claimed in 2019 that 52% of Americans have previously lost trust in brands after unintentionally purchasing counterfeit products. Such products contribute to many harmful factors for consumers and society as a whole. The production, transport, and sales of counterfeit beauty and anti-aging products lead to numerous issues such as poor working conditions, violations of international trade policies, distrust in big-name brands, and severe contact dermatitis when applied to the consumer's skin.

Internet retailers are consistently criticized for having an astronomical amount of counterfeit skincare products. Marketplaces, such as Amazon, allow for individual sellers to retail products. Even though Amazon has cracked down on their marketplace over the past few years thousands still transact and ship through this web service, unfortunately leaving research to the consumer in regards to if their products are the real deal or not.

Over the last decade or so, skincare brands have been working tirelessly to counteract the sales of counterfeit products in hopes that they can maintain
their brand's reputation. Information disclosing what counterfeits may look like are often posted on a manufacturer's website. The best way this has been reinforced is by only allowing authorized retailers to sell their products. At skinfo®, we are fighting harder than ever to stop the sale of products we endorse through unauthorized outlets. Our products sold in-store are strictly sold through dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and medically supervised spas. When a consumer purchases these products online from a source that varies from the label's list of authorized retailers there is no guarantee that they won't be counterfeit, diluted, or expired, which in turn, can have hazardous effects on the skin.

Other than purchasing from an authorized retailer, there are a few other ways to spot if a product is the real thing or not. One of the biggest giveaways of a counterfeit skincare product is the packaging and label. Spelling errors, unusual colors, differing fonts, and uneven sticker placement are all signs you have a counterfeit skincare product. Be wary if the item is priced far below the usual retail price. There's a solid chance it's not the real deal in this scenario. Also note the product texture, color, viscosity, smell, and feel itself when sampling. If you have the chance to feel the real product in person at an authorized retailer, you'll usually notice that the texture is not the same in counterfeit products.

If there is any inkling in your mind a product you have acquired is counterfeit, play it safe by doing a patch test. Typically, authorized retailers are required to send back pharmaceutical products for testing when returned due to allergic reactions. When testing products that have been suspected of being counterfeit, traces of substances like lead, arsenic, copper, mercury, beryllium, cadmium, aluminum, cyanide, bacteria, animal feces, and urine have been found. These additives are harmful to the human body as a whole due to their carcinogenic features.

When purchasing cosmeceuticals, it is imperative to take the recommendations of your doctor to heart to avoid counterfeit items. Dr. Taub hand selects all products within our practice after vigorous research and testing to offer you the best products for whatever your skin's needs are. All of our products are sourced directly from the manufacturer so you can rest assured you not only have the best product for the concern you are looking to address but also that you have a real, untainted product that will improve whatever condition you are trying to address, not exacerbate it.

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