5 Ways to spot a fake cosmetic product according to beauty guru Shahnaz Husain

Fake cosmetic and beauty products are a common sight in markets and online today. How to spot the difference between fake and real? Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain tells it as it is.
5 Ways to spot a fake cosmetic product according to beauty guru Shahnaz Husain5 Ways to spot a fake cosmetic product according to beauty guru Shahnaz Husain
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As a manufacturer of cosmetics, we as well as many companies face serious problems of fake cosmetic products being marketed by unscrupulous people, who are trying to derive illegal benefit from well-known brand names. 
You, as a customer, must be wondering if it is possible to identify a fake product and if so, how it can be done. Some red herring’s to keep in mind while buying cosmetic products are:

Improper Ingredient Information 

Authentic products always have their ingredients indicated on them. If you find that this information is missing or improper then you should immediately be on your guard that this product may be a fake one.

Testing the product for fishy smell and consistency 

Ask for a tester and test the product before buying. The look and smell of the products can tell you if the product is old or fake. For example, there may be a rancid smell or oils may have separated. The consistency of the product may be different. Check to see if lipstick colours are the same, or if a product like Mascara or Lipstick is dry and crumbling. 

Lower Price of the Product

You may find that the prices quoted for fake products are much less than the actual price and if you bargain, you may even be able to bring down prices further. It is surprising that people do not stop to think about how it is possible to sell items at such low prices. One should also be beware of heavily discounted products of reputed brand names that are selling online. This is mainly happening on E-Commerce sites with third-party sellers.

The All India Cosmetic Manufacturers Association (AICMA) has warned that not only customers but also shopkeepers buy heavily discounted products and this encourages the market for spurious products. 
The customer always has the option of confirming the correct prices on the genuine company’s website. 

Bad Quality of Packaging 

It is also possible to spot fake cosmetics by making a note of the packaging. A reputed company’s products will be properly sealed and the products may even be inside a carton type of packaging. Check to see if there is a hologram, as most companies now use holograms to help distinguish a genuine product from a fake one. The makers of spurious cosmetics use the same jars and print copies of the original labels. The differences are too minimal to be noticed by the customer. But, one should visit the company’s website and make a note of the original packaging. Then check to see if there are any differences in colour, font size, style of writing, the shape of the jar and lids, etc. 

Missing details in Date of Manufacturing 

One should also check the details of manufacturing on the product that you are buying if you suspect that it may be a fake. Check the dates of manufacturing and expiry, the bar code and serial number. The batch number may be missing. One of these may be missing from a fake or spurious product. 
If the product is a counterfeit, then the first 2 or 3 digits of the bar code may not match the country of origin listed either on the packaging or product itself. And most importantly, before you buy something, make sure that the serial number on the product itself matches the number on the box.

Customers should buy products only from authorized Distributors and Retail Outlets so that there is surety and guarantee of buying genuine products. Online shoppers should purchase products from the online store of the company itself, instead of buying the product from third-party sellers. Purchase of products from non-registered dealers will be totally at your own risk. 

Author: Ms. Shahnaz Husain, beauty expert and founder of Shahnaz Group.  

Have you purchased a fake product unknowingly? Let us know in the comments below. 

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