Counterfeit cosmetics contain mercury, carcinogens, bacteria and feces

Good grief.

In addition to counterfeit food and counterfeit drugs, we now must beware of counterfeit cosmetics.

Serena Gordon reports for HealthDay (via MedicineNet), Oct. 17, 2019, that cosmetics with prices that seem too good to be true, or that you buy on the internet or from flea markets may be counterfeit — and dangerous.

Those counterfeit cosmetics may even carry name labels.

Earlier this year, a 47-year-old California woman was semi-comatose for weeks after using a Pond’s-labeled skin cream purchased in Mexico. Turns out the product had been adulterated with mercury. The levels of mercury in her blood were 500 times the normal amount.

Pond’s said in a statement that it does not use mercury in its products and that “Illegitimate sales, product tampering and reselling are beauty industry issues that deserve close attention and consumer awareness.” The company is working with authorities investigating this product-tampering.

Fortunately, most incidents of cosmetic counterfeiting or product tampering aren’t as serious as the mercury-adulterated skin cream. But if you don’t buy from reputable retailers, it’s hard to know exactly what’s in the products you’re putting on your face.

Last year, officials in Los Angeles seized $700,000 worth of counterfeit cosmetics from a well-known outdoor shopping area. The knock-off products included high-end brand names, including Urban Decay, NARS, MAC and Kylie Cosmetics. Lab tests of the products showed they were contaminated with high levels of bacteria and feces, according to ABC News in Los Angeles.

Detective Rick Ishitani of the L.A. Police Department told ABC News counterfeit products aren’t made under the same safe and hygienic conditions that real products are. That’s why “feces will just basically somehow get mixed into the product they’re manufacturing in their garage or in their bathroom — wherever they’re manufacturing this stuff.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges consumers to be cautious. An FDA spokesperson said “Counterfeit products, including cosmetics, are illegal and may be harmful to a consumer’s health” because the counterfeits may contain harmful or banned ingredients, unacceptable by-products of manufacturing or unapproved color additives.

According to the FBI, some of the ingredients that make up counterfeit cosmetics and fragrances are downright dangerous:

  • Phony cosmetics often containthings such asarsenic, beryllium, and cadmium (all known carcinogens) along with high levels ofaluminum and dangerous levels of bacteria. Some of these products have caused conditions like acne, psoriasis, rashes, and eye infections.
  • Counterfeit fragrances have been found to contain something called DEHP, classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen. These phony perfumes and colognes, which sometimes contain urine as well, have been known to cause serious skin rashes.

Companies that make cosmetics and skin care products are actively fighting counterfeiting.

Dr. Scott Wasserman, founder and CEO of Cosmetic Alchemy, maker of LiLash and LiBrow, products used on eyelashes and eyebrows, said “Cosmetic counterfeiting has been the scourge of the industry and it’s only getting worse.” Wasserman said Homeland Security contacted his company three times in one month to identify suspected counterfeit products found in shipping containers. The internet is another source of counterfeits. When Cosmetic Alchemy submitted a product trademark to the website Alibaba, the site had to remove 465 listings that were offering fake products.

How can consumers protect themselves?:

  • Dr. Shari Lipner, a dermatologist with NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, said it’s almost impossible for the average consumer to tell the difference between a branded product and a well-done counterfeit. She said: “My best advice is to buy cosmetics and skin care products from reputable sources.
  • The FDA recommends:
    • Beware of products on sale at flea markets or re-sold online in channels such as auctions.
    • Check packaging carefully for any evidence that the product might have been repackaged or relabeled.
    • Make sure the product looks and smells like it should.

What if a cosmetic you bought irritates your skin?

Dr. Lipner said you should stop using the product, and if the skin rash worsens, becomes painful or blisters, see a doctor, preferably a dermatologist.

~Eowyn

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Watertender
Watertender
1 year ago

Gives “Get that SHIT off your face” a whole new meaning now doesn’t it!!

DCG
Admin
DCG
1 year ago

Um yeah, cosmetics at a flea market are never a good thing!

kjf
kjf
1 year ago

Why, wear make-up? God created you as you. If you are ugly blame your parents, its their dna mix…

eah
eah
1 year ago

No doubt most if not all of it comes from Asia — many Asians are unscrupulous in ways people in the Christian (not Judeo-Christian) West cannot understand.

William
William
1 year ago

Hmmm, urine and feces. That settles it, I’m not buying any more cosmetics at flea markets 🙂 But “high-end brand names like Urban Decay”? Nothing says health and beauty like “Urban Decay”

RIP CA
RIP CA
1 year ago

The same can be said for these street vendors you see selling cut up fruit, elotes, tacos, hot dogs, etc. I once saw a woman inside a park bathroom cutting up fruit on the counter. She was selling it outside by the playground. Another time I saw the elote man scratching his ass (hands down his pants) and selling elotes to kids. No joke. Do not try to play the good guy thinking you are helping those people out of hardships. Most of them are on welfare and pocket this extra cash. They’re gaming the system and making Americans sick… Read more »

William
William
1 year ago
Reply to  RIP CA

Same in NYC, the street vendors (hustlers) have six figure incomes. The cops chase them from street to street. They sell literally everything, with “designer” labels, all Chinese crap. What are elotes?

m walker
m walker
1 year ago

mercury, carcinogens, bacteria and feces ,same crap found in vaccines.

Carl R Hassell
Carl R Hassell
1 year ago

The Satanists are killing us on multiple levels: physical, mental, spiritual. My plan of action is to keep my mind on prayer & expecting the end, as these are the last days.

kjf
kjf
1 year ago
Reply to  Carl R Hassell

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, offer you my heart and my soul.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Assist me in my last agony.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
My I sleep and take my rest in peace with you.
Amen

Lana
Lana
1 year ago

This is a good warning, but needs to go further. The fact is most cosmetics and all perfumes are full of horrible crap whether counterfeit or not. Environmental allergies drove me to learn what was in the stuff we put on our bodies. The fact is the perfume industry in totally unregulated and any manufacturer can put anything in their product and call it a proprietary trade secret. One study collected many perfumes, both drugstore and high end, and they all contained toluene which is on the EPA’s environmental waste list. Most perfumes are not distilled from flower essences anymore… Read more »

Truckjunkie
Truckjunkie
1 year ago
Reply to  Lana

Dryer sheets DO have a valid use-I buy the cheap ones every time I put a vehicle in storage,and put one or two: under the dashboard under each seat on the engine on the battery in the trunk in each u-joint in the tailpipe in each outside mirror in the headlight buckets,if you can wiggle them in anywhere else you see a place to fit one-wasps are VERY aggressive at finding places to build nests. They repel wasps,field mice and ants,for some reason. It’s worthwhile to replace ’em every other year,and remember to remove them before starting and using the… Read more »

Lana
Lana
1 year ago
Reply to  Truckjunkie

Valid use I suppose Truck , far different than millions of homes spewing it out into the air! Love ya, but I could never buy one of your trucks as the smell of that stuff never goes away- same as air fresheners. You gotta burn a place down before you can ever get that smell out of the walls!

Auntie Lulu
Auntie Lulu
1 year ago
Reply to  Truckjunkie

Truck . . . .What a wonderful hint. Who in Heaven’s name needs to worry about wasps taking up residence in our vehicles?Thanks!

Truckjunkie
Truckjunkie
1 year ago

ANOTHER reason I prefer Women who DON’T use cosmetics. NATURAL is where it’s at. God Bless you,REAL Women!

apstemp
apstemp
11 months ago

Or maybe this is propaganda? I mean, who the hell can dig up mercury to add to their fake face cream? Where exactly does one buy cadmium, arsenic, and beryllium? If the point of fake cosmetics is to do it cheaper, why invest in heavy metals? Does one grind up old batteries to get that special color of eye shadow? And I wonder what the “feces” content of your evening supper is? After all, we all cook everyday at home. If your home made food does not have too much feces, then why would the cosmetics you make in your… Read more »