Girls, if you are not sure if the new MAC foundation you got for Christmas is counterfeit or not, best to leave it aside.
Concerns are mounting after harmful ingredients have been found in a number of faked make-up cosmetics intended for the Irish market.
The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) have issued a statement that they have identified "harmful substances" present in a number of counterfeit products which take the names of well known cosmetics brands such as MAC, Benefit and Urban Decay.
Some of the harmful ingredients found in these products include arsenic and lead.
The HPRA are urging consumers to be careful when buying counterfeit products from markets, shops and websites leading up to Christmas.
And according to the cosmetics compliance manager with the HPRA, Aoife Farrell, using these products regularly can have lasting, damaging consequences.
"Long periods of exposure to substances such as arsenic and lead can have potentially harmful effects on the body such as damage to numerous organs and systems, such as the kidneys, as well as the central nervous system."
"Symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches and vomiting."
"Even those products that may not contain banned substances are often manufactured in unhygienic conditions using poor quality raw materials. These products may lead to skin irritation or possibly eye infections."
So this Christmas, if you can't afford the real deal, better to go for some more affordable drugstore brands instead.