The Ugly Side of Makeup: By Jumana Al Awadhi

I’ve heard many discussions comparing original makeup products with counterfeit makeup, which mimics the original, but with lower quality raw materials. There are those who prefer cheap makeup because it can be cheaply replaced often, while there are some who prefer to invest in expensive makeup because it’s healthier for their skin.

The damage caused counterfeit makeup may not be immediately visible on the skin. Although cosmetics are tested for authenticity and have certificates from laboratories and pharmacists, that does not protect us from unexpected damage in the long run. Even globally recognized brands sometimes have to change the composition of some products after discovering safer and less harsh ingredients, or by discovering the adverse effects of a particular substance.

So what do you expect from unlicensed materials that are prohibited in the developed nations? Choosing suitable materials is not an easy task for the scientists who do research in the cosmetic industry. And the international laws to allow or prevent these products are constantly changing, according to the results of such research.

The permissible percentage of the presence of substances such as lead, mercury, and benzene is governed by laws developed to protect the consumer. Although these laws and their applications vary from country to country, it is useful to continue monitoring the global situation and be educated to protect ourselves. Some materials may be found in miniscule proportions in some licensed products, but in counterfeit makeup it may be much higher.

International companies have to get rid of a large number of product and bear heavy losses if the product do not conform to international quality standards, or even because of a typographical error in packaging. And the cosmetic pirates access these rejected products and sell them illegally.

It’s sad that some people look for counterfeit makeup and do not realize that they have been deceived. In addition to health damage there is a moral harm, since it violates the copyright and trademark laws of the companies. This is in addition to cheap factories, which may use unsterilized and unauthorized chemicals.

These toxins enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the body over time, which accelerates the appearance of wrinkles and causes hormonal imbalances, along with disorders of the immune, reproductive, and nervous system; and even cause depression.

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