Beauty expert, Shahnaz Husain explains the side effects of using FAKE cosmetic products

Updated on Aug 29, 2020 04:02 PM IST  |  2M
Beauty expert, Shahnaz Husain explains the side effects of using FAKE cosmetic products
Beauty expert, Shahnaz Husain explains the side effects of using FAKE cosmetic products

Lots of people unknowingly use fake cosmetics, which may potentially contain high amounts of dangerous chemicals and bacterias. Many of these chemicals are carcinogens. Using such products may have grave adverse side-effects and health risks. The toxic ingredients like Lead,  mercury,  nickel, lead, cobalt, chromium etc which have an adverse effect can leave scars from chemical burns, and cause severe rashes on the face.

The cosmetics industry was called a recession-proof industry until the COVID pandemic engulfed the whole planet. It has been growing at a steady rate every year. Counterfeiting in makeup brands, too, has been increasing simultaneously at an alarming rate. Unscrupulous elements use the packaging of popular brands thereby deceiving the general public into buying theirs, especially when these items are offered at huge discounts.  Customers are attracted in buying these products thinking they are getting the real item at a fantastic bargain but only to get cheated.

As per a FICCI CASCADE report, 30% of FMCG items in India were found to be fake. The more shocking finding is that 80% of the customers bought these counterfeit products thinking that they are purchasing genuine ones. 


Counterfeiters imitate the real products so well that it is challenging to differentiate between real and fake ones. For example, if they copy lipsticks, they copy the packaging and the shade in such a way that the buyers don’t suspect the authenticity of the product until they experience unwanted side-effects. The side-effects may include skin allergies and rashes. Consequently, genuine makeup brands lose revenue, customer trust, and reputation because of their fake products. 

Here are some major side effects of using fake cosmetics which one should be aware of :

- Puffy Lips –  If you notice that your lips have become puffy, then it could be a reaction to a toxic chemical ingredient in the makeup. It may also have a similar effect on your eyes

- Eye Infections –  Such a situation can occur when the makeup applied near and around the eyes causes inflammation. If you observe this whenever you use a specific makeup, chances are it is a fake product

- Skin Burns – One of the more serious risks of using fake makeup, is when toxic and harsh ingredients burn your skin and leave long-lasting or even permanent damage. Chemical burns can occur after using a faulty or fake product for so long or can happen as an immediate reaction

eye infections

- Skin Abrasions –  One of the most common types of symptoms of counterfeit makeup, inflammation is a very serious occurrence. At first, you may notice red skin, overtime you will notice discomfort in the area as well as dry or peeling skin

- Allergies – If any allergic reactions are triggered, it could be because of a specific ingredient is being used but not included in the packaging label

- Other Health problems – Some researches suggest that exposure to harmful ingredients with toxic chemicals being applied to your face can increase the chances of high blood pressure, infertility and other serious health complications

If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, immediately seek medical attention and stop using the product. Do not discard the product though, keep it aside so you can report it to the relevant authorities so that these counterfeiters are taken to task. 

Also, by keeping these products, doctors can identify what ingredients have caused harm and how they can best treat it.

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

Also Read: How to deal with textured skin and get skin clear as glass? Dermatologist Dr Ajay Rana weighs in


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