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Beware Of The Fakers

Last week, the City of London Police issued a warning against potentially lethal hair and beauty products on sale to British consumers. Whilst it wasn’t the first we’ve heard of the dangers of counterfeit products, I was shocked to discover just how hazardous these items can be.

Authorities warned that rats’ droppings, arsenic and even human urine has been traced in some cosmetics, all of which could be potentially lethal to buyers. In addition to this, it was concerning to read that it’s not just the expensive designer perfumes, make up and expensive hair straighteners that are being copied, but even mid-priced items like shampoo, hairspray and – even more worryingly – sun protection. Users of these products have suffered swelling, rashes and, in some cases, even lethal poisoning.

It’s estimated that £90 million is spent each year on fake products. Electrical items have been singled out by authorities as a particular risk, as imitation hair curlers, dryers and straighteners aren’t put through the same stringent safety tests as genuine items, with some units prone to overheating, therefore presenting a fire risk.

Producers of counterfeit hair and beauty products are extremely good at what they do and, as a result, it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between what’s genuine and what’s not.

Generally speaking, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is, but here are some other tips from experts to help you spot fake products online.

  • Be wary of high pressure sales tactics – established brands don’t need to use these
  • Watch out for repetitive use of words like ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’
  • The retailers of real products will have a consumer-friendly returns policy in place, so be wary of sellers that don’t
  • Never buy from a website that doesn’t disclose full contact details
  • It may sound simple, but keep an eye on spelling errors on websites and even in URLs!

Whilst hair and beauty products may be expensive and cutting the cost by buying cheaper – potentially counterfeit – products may be an attractive prospect, you’ve got to remember that your health is involved and we’ve all got to agree that you can’t put a price on that!

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