By: IRENE NJOROGE-KRISTIAN
Fake products are practically overrunning the beauty industry. Almost every popular product has an imitation sold at a fraction of the price of the original.
For instance a fake Mac lipstick sells at Sh100, while the original costs about Sh2400. Before these fakes were sold at downtown stalls but now even high-end beauty shops stock counterfeits at high prices.
The fakes business is big because the people behind it don’t have to come up with their own products to compete against the popular name brands. Instead they ride on the known name by imitating the popular brands which they sell at a ‘friendlier’ price.
Brands such as Mac, Black Opal, Sleek, Naked, Iman, Revlon, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay are affected by the proliferation of fakes.
DANGERS OF USING FAKE PRODUCTS:
These products are unregulated. They do not have the Kenya Bureau of Standards marks. This means that they are manufactured using unknown formulas and ingredients. Most of the lipsticks contain lead, a toxic substance that has been banned in the US and the EU. The whitening creams contain mercury.
HOW TO DETECT A FAKE PRODUCT:
Pricing: If the price is too good to be true, it is.
Packaging: The packs often look identical to the genuine ones, but at a closer glance, a trained eye can tell the difference. On skin care packs, the instructions are not clear. They have grammatical and spelling errors that big cosmetic houses could never make.
Perfumes and quality: Fake products all have the same perfume. This is a sure sign of fakeness because every international cosmetic house has its own signature fragrances. The quality of fake products is often poor.
For example, foundation will have poor coverage and incorrect colour. It could be too yellow or too dark for most skin tones.
The same formulation is used for all the products regardless of the brand name. With fakes, a ‘Sleek’ foundation is the same as ‘Iman’. This goes to show that they are all from the same source.
HOW TO AVOID THEM:
Be prepared to spend the correct amount of money for the genuine products. Buy your products from the direct franchise holders who will often allow you to test and examine the products carefully.
It is safer to use local products because it is certain that they have undergone the rigorous Kenya Bureau of Standards screening before being approved for sale.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION