Fake Urban Decay and Kylie Lip Kits are being sold... and they could be toxic
Counterfeit beauty products that look remarkably similar to the real deal are currently doing the rounds.
And it seems that the cosmetic rip-offs are proving immensely popular in the run-up to Christmas.
However, after the HSE carried out tests on 728 fake items seized by officials - shockingly it found many were tainted with the likes of lead and arsenic.
Both substances are highly toxic and can even damage organs.
The fake products include Kylie Jenner eye-shadow palettes, liquid lipstick and lip liner, as well as Urban Decay eye-shadow palettes.
"The Christmas season is the peak time of year for rogue sellers of counterfeit products and shoppers are strongly urged to avoid these potentially harmful products," warned a spokeswoman for Health Products Regulatory Authority.
"The majority of counterfeit cosmetic products seized have been eye-shadows and lip products," she added.
"Some of these products can be purchased online from websites based outside of the EU and are being sold to Irish consumers online and through social media. They have also been found in some trade shows and at markets throughout the country."
Aoife Farrell, cosmetics compliance manager at the HPRA, stressed: "The HPRA is extremely concerned that highly toxic substances, such as arsenic and lead, have been detected in products which are available to Irish consumers.
"Prolonged exposure to both of these banned substances can severely damage your health causing potential harm to your brain and kidneys, among other organs.
"The suppliers of these products are unconcerned about the health of the consumers who purchase them.
"We can't emphasise enough the need for consumers to be vigilant when purchasing cosmetics this Christmas. While they may be sold at a cheaper cost than legitimate beauty products, it is never worth gambling with your health when buying these products."
She concluded: "If a product is much cheaper than in a high-street store or pharmacy, consumers should be immediately suspicious and think twice before buying."
HPRA ADVICE ON HOW TO SPOT A COUNTERFEIT COSMETIC
- Is it significantly cheaper than on the high street?
- Is the distributor reliable? Beauty brands usually list their licenced sellers on their website.
- Physically check counterfeit cosmetics for:
- Uneven fill levels e.g. in eye-shadow palettes
- Faded packaging
- Misspelling on the packaging or in the information leaflet
- Slight differences in the name of the product or shade
- A different print (font or style) on the container
- Mirrors that don’t quite fit or are of bad quality