Islamabad-Medical experts on Sunday warned the public about the dangers of buying fake beauty products as rising demand for deeply discounted cosmetic products is leading to a spurt in fake items, many with import tags, which not only violate intellectual property rights but also pose serious health risks. Senior Dermatologist, Dr Hiba Javed talking to private news channel said, counterfeit and low-quality cosmetic products being sold in markets, discount stores and online, are imperilling the health of consumers and harming the country’s economy.

Hiba Javed said, “Now days everyone loves a good deal, which makes incredible beauty discounts online or on the street hard to resist. But consider this before bagging that bargain, counterfeit beauty products have become increasingly common. They’re being manufactured and sold at such a rapid pace these days that it’s now considered a global epidemic.”

She said consumers are reporting a number of symptoms from using counterfeit makeup, including eye infections, allergic reactions, skin rashes, swollen lips and chemical burns. In worst cases, the toxic ingredients in many fake makeup products have caused long-term health problems such as high blood pressure and infertility.

However, most customers are unaware of the harmful side effects until it’s too late, she mentioned.  “Almost 30 to 60 per cent of the people in our country suffer from allergic reactions, and yet we continue to use cosmetics to a large extent, she said.

“Cosmetics are not a healthy choice, but one cannot stop using them. It is advisable to use the products in moderation, and only when absolutely necessary. Long-term exposure can lead to the accumulation of toxic materials in the skin, which can cause skin cancer,” said the doctor. Some products that claim to be protective agents against the sun does not protect the skin but, on the contrary, lead to skin burns, she claimed. Skin Specialist Imtiaz Rao says it is crucial to indicate the expiry date and place other forms of information on products.

The doctor advised adequate consuming conditions must also be clearly written on products together with the production dates. He further explained that fake eye shadows, blushes, lipsticks, and powders typically have a chalkier or thinner consistency than the real counterparts. 

Experts added the use of these fake products with chemicals can lead to a lot of dangerous conditions like allergic reactions, heavy metal poisoning, arsenic poisoning, exposure to dangerous bacteria and skin cancer.

Despite these dangers, the media continues to advertise these deadly products. The government should fulfil its responsibility to protect the public from harm by taking action against the sale and advertisement of counterfeit and cheaply made cosmetics. Dr Hiba recommended the best advice she can give to consumers is to avoid third-party sellers or unauthorized retailers and to find out where the brands you use are sold by authorized dealers. 


“For example, if you know your favourite skin care line is sold on the company’s own website and in a specific department store, make the effort to purchase it in those places. By doing this, you can be assured that the products are authentic.

Avoid the temptation to purchase it from more convenient online locations as you have no idea how the product made it to that marketplace or where it came from in the first place”, they added.