Counterfeit beauty products are a big business (we are talking billions of dollars!)- and it's quite possible you have purchased a "fake" without even knowing it. While counterfeiting used to be a problem exclusive to the luxury goods market (fine fragrances, high end skin care) it has now filtered into everyday personal care products like shampoo, makeup and even toothpaste! If you think that you could easily spot a fake, don't be so sure. These counterfeiters do an excellent job of matching the original package - however, the product inside the bottle or tube might not be what you expected.
Why is this dangerous?
Counterfeit beauty products are manufactured outside of the United States (mostly in the Asia Pacific region) which raises two main issues:
How do I avoid buying counterfeit?
The best piece of advice is to buy products from a trusted retailer. Most of these counterfeit products live on online auction and trading websites sold by dubious sellers. While you can get a lot of great stuff on eBay I'd be very hesitant about buying beauty products from the seller. You want to make sure you purchase from a reputable retailer and understand where the product is coming from. Also, if a product is priced significantly lower than the market value, it's almost guaranteed to be counterfeit.
Counterfeiting is a big problem - it comprises the safety of the consumer and can tarnish the reputation of the actual brand. Remember that if something appears too good to be true than it probably is.
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