Police warn YouTubers not to use “fake” make-up in tutorials because they could be harmful
The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is calling for YouTubers to stop using fake make-up items in comparison tutorials because of the health risk they pose, worried young fans will follow in their idols' footsteps.
Laboratory tests have shown that fake cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss and foundation can contain toxic levels of chemicals and harmful substances such as arsenic, mercury and lead, which can cause infections, rashes and even burns.
The warning comes after some YouTubers have posted videos using fake products to see how they compare to genuine brands, including James Charles who compared his official eyeshadow palette to a counterfeit one.
“We’re concerned that popular YouTube stars are using counterfeit make-up in their tutorial videos. This not only puts them at risk of infections, rashes and burns, it could also encourage their followers to use the same harmful products,” said Detective Inspector Nick Court of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit.
“It’s great that YouTubers are calling out counterfeit make-up for not giving shoppers the same quality as the genuine brands. We are, however, keen to make sure they don’t expose themselves to health risks in the process. Make sure you wake up, don’t fake up!”
Counterfeit make-up is often produced in unsanitary and unhygienic factories, with the police stating there have been cases where rat droppings and poison have been found in knock-off products.
The PIPCU has warned that counterfeit beauty products are becoming more common and are easily available on auction sites, online market places and social media. Simple ways to identify if a website is counterfeit is by checking the spelling, grammar and images, while the use of inconsistent fonts is another giveaway.
The PIPCU unit has overseen the disruption of more than 70,000 counterfeit websites since its inception in 2013.