5NEWS Investigates: Counterfeit Cosmetics

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(KFSM) -- Makeup is a product that many women love to own and wear, but it can be an expensive purchase.

This has paved the way for people who want to make money by re-creating luxury cosmetics and selling them as the real deal.

It’s a problem that has been reported in our area.

5NEWS investigated the matter after being contacted by victims locally who told us they’ve bought counterfeit cosmetics.

“I said, ‘Hey, this could save me some money,” said one 17- year-old female from the Fort Smith area, who wanted to remain anonymous.

She found and bought these allegedly counterfeit cosmetics through a Facebook business page called Beastly Cosmetics.

“You know just by looking at this and just by trying it on, I just knew, you know, it wasn’t authentic,” the teenager said.

Not everyone can identify the real, brand-name product when compared side-by-side with the counterfeit item.

5NEWS talked with Joshua Odom, who is a state licensed esthetician in Arkansas.

He told us how you can differentiate between them.

“They’re pretty adamant about the perfection of the packaging,” said Odom.

He warns consumers to pay close attention to whether the packaging is scratched up, if a sticker is put on crooked, or if the font differs in size.

However, Odom has bigger concerns when it comes to counterfeit cosmetics because they aren’t FDA approved.

“Unapproved chemicals in counterfeit cosmetics can actually penetrate through the deepest layers of the skin, which can get into your bloodstream,” said Odom.

He has treated clients who have had lesions or irritations on their skin from those types of products.

5NEWS reached out to the woman listed on the Beastly Cosmetics Facebook page in search of answers.

“The stuff I bought was off of eBay and distributors. And I tell people that when they buy it from [me] that I get this from eBay. I don’t know where it comes from,” she said.

Furthermore, we asked if she was alright with selling potentially counterfeit products that pose health risks.

“Well, just because of the fact that some of what I sell is authentic, while others may or may not be questionable. I don’t know. I don’t research this,” she said.

At this time, several local police departments aren’t aware that this problem is happening in our area.

If you think you have bought a counterfeit cosmetic product, notify the FBI by clicking here.

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