Title blog image for counterfeit cosmetics post

Buying beauty products online is risky, especially when trying to get our hands on the latest beauty product coming out of the US. We’ve all watched American vloggers review cosmetics only to be super disappointed to discover they can not be purchased here in England. It’s a common complaint amongst British women of colour in search of more beauty products that cater to them, such as foundation for darker skin tones:

“why isn’t that US beauty brand available here in the UK?”

The hard truth is that those coveted products probably contain ingredients that are not considered safe by the UK government. There are over 1,300 cosmetic ingredients banned in Europe, while only 10 are banned in the US. Also, UK and EU regulations state that all cosmetics for sale must pass extensive safety testing and comply with a number of labelling requirements (We discussed the expiration label requirement here).

You’ve probably seen new websites pop-up selling popular US products that were previously unavailable in the UK.  However, if that US brand has not made an official announcement about an EU expansion, it’s quite possible their products are being sold here illegally and they may not conform to EU safety standards.

You also have to watch out for companies selling counterfeit cosmetics that are manufactured under dangerous and toxic conditions. Just last May, the City of London Police launched an awareness campaign warning consumers of the risks posed by fake beauty products. Though the police and brands are working hard to prevent the spread of counterfeit cosmetics, these goods are becoming increasingly common and easily available on auction sites, online market places, rogue websites and social media. Even if the products are genuine, there are many companies selling expired and even used makeup to consumers on these sites. So, how do you stay safe when shopping for cosmetics online?

Only purchase cosmetics from a TRUSTED retailer

Below are two of the most important questions to ask yourself before buying your makeup or skincare products online:

  • Where is the company based? Look to see where the retailer is based and whether they provide a postal address – just because the web address has ‘uk’ do not assume the seller is based in the UK.  If there is no address supplied or there is just a PO Box or email, be wary.
  • Is this company a legitimate stockist of the brand? Most cosmetic brands will have a list of their authorised retailers on their website. If the web address you are considering purchasing from is not listed as a stockist on the  brands’ own website, you may be dealing with a fraud .

The police also have a number of tips on how to safely shop for cosmetics online. You can find them here. At the end of the day, trust your instincts. While its tempting to hit ‘buy’ on a new website stocking a product that seems to be sold out everywhere or offering it at a price at half of what it would normally cost, always remember – if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.

At Melariche, we are taking a number of steps to ensure that we become a retailer you can rely on for quality products that are safe and authentic.

Earning your trust is important to us at Melariche

So here are some of our promises to you:

  1. We will only stock products that have been supplied directly by the brand owner or from a confirmed authorised UK/EU distributor.
  2. Our store policies will always be transparent and clear.
  3. Our team will not hide behind the screen. We want to get to know you and build a relationship with our consumers.
  4. We will maintain a secure ecommerce website with SSL certificates.

We’ll be announcing a few of the brands that will be available in our online shop in a few short weeks, so stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter to be first to know.

Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences shopping for makeup online – the good, bad and the ugly! We want to hear it.