LGA - Councils issue warning about sale of illegal toxic cosmetics

28 Aug 2018 09:29 AM

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of counterfeit cosmetics, including make-up and perfume, have been uncovered by trading standards officers across the country, councils revealed yesterday

Fake cosmetics being sold by rogue dealers include rip off versions of well-known make up and cosmetic brands including MAC, Chanel and Benefit. 

The LGA is warning that, as well as defrauding consumers and legitimate businesses,  these products can pose serious health risks, including chemical burns and skin rashes, due to the chemicals included in them.

Exposure to mercury in fake cosmetics can be detrimental to people’s health, as it can have toxic effects on the nervous system, digestive and immune systems, lungs, kidneys, skin and eyes. According to the NHS, at very high levels, lead poisoning can result in hallucinations, seizures, coma and death.

Recent investigations and prosecutions by councils include:

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:

“Counterfeit cosmetics can be dangerous as they can contain toxic chemicals and dangerous high levels of lead which can be detrimental for people’s health.

“Fake designer products costs businesses and the taxpayer thousands of pounds each year. Councils have been targeting rogue retailers selling these fake products, and the fines they have received should deter others from selling these dangerous products.

“People should always do their research and take a pragmatic approach when they are buying make-up and cosmetics. Check the reviews of online sellers, and bear in mind that if something is really cheap, it’s likely to be fake and could potentially be harmful.

"Anyone who has purchased make up that they think is dangerous should stop using it immediately and report it to their local Trading Standards team.

"It is vital that people report any concerns, so that councils can take action to prevent anyone being harmed or scarred for life.”