Dangers of knock-off makeup and skincare products

Scammers are tricking people into buying knock-off makeup, and it's not cheap. These skin care products aren't just illegal, they can also be dangerous due to harmful chemicals.

We’ve all heard of counterfeit Gucci and Louis Vuitton, but what about your makeup? Knock-off makeup and skincare products aren’t just illegal, they actually can be dangerous.

Lipsticks, eye shadows, and moisturizers -- if the price is too good to be true, it usually is.

These fake either make up products or skincare products can have urine, human feces, animal feces, arsenic, lead, mercury,” said Dr. Daniella Fisher, an anesthesiologist.

These harmful ingredients can lead to chemical burns, bacterial infections, and sometimes worse. You may think you’d be able to spot a fake anywhere, but these dupes have been found to have strikingly similar packaging and texture.

“I have looked at compared fakes to real and even for me it is so hard to tell and especially because companies are always rebranding,” Fisher said.

Stay away from resale sites, but counterfeit products are also sold by places like Amazon and large retail stores.

“The big thing is that there is no oversight on places like Walmart Marketplace and Amazon in terms of third-party sellers,” Fisher said.

Buy from a reputable source like Ulta, Sephora, or the company’s website. Spot-test the product by swatching it on your hand before applying to your face, and if you’re really concerned...

“Toss it. And certainly, if they think it’s fake, like it has a funny smell, or it’s got a funny consistency,” said Fisher.

It’s important to remember that cosmetics are different than a handbag or jewelry. These are chemicals that go on the face and in the eye -- you should have peace of mind knowing that the ingredients are safe and regulated.

Another tip? Note the expiration date on all of your makeup and skincare products as expired makeup can also start to harbor bacteria.