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The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) are today advising consumers to be vigilant for counterfeit ‘high-end’ beauty products on sale through certain outlets, markets and websites in the lead up to Christmas.

Tests carried out by the HSE on a number of the 728 counterfeit and imitation products that the HPRA has detained, identifies some contain harmful substances, such as arsenic and lead, which can be potentially harmful to people’s health. Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner and Urban Decay were among some of the forged cosmetic brands which were found to contain these illegal substances.

The counterfeit products detained by the HPRA include, Kylie Holiday-Burgundy and Bronze eyeshadow palettes, Kylie Matte liquid lipstick and lip liner, and Urban Decay eyeshadow palettes.

The HPRA warns that the Christmas season is the peak time of year for rogue sellers of counterfeit products and shoppers are strongly urged to avoid these potentially harmful products.

The HPRA states that over the past few months significant quantities of counterfeit and imitation cosmetics have been seized on entry to the country by Revenue’s Customs Service.

The majority of counterfeit cosmetic products seized have been eye-shadows and lip products. Some of these products can be purchased online from websites based outside of the EU and are being sold to Irish consumers online and through social media. They have also been found in some trade shows and at markets throughout the country.

Aoife Farrell, Cosmetics Compliance Manager, HPRA, states:“The HPRA is extremely concerned that highly toxic substances, such as arsenic and lead, have been detected in products which are available to Irish consumers."

"Prolonged exposure to both of these banned substances can severely damage your health causing potential harm to your brain and kidneys, among other organs. The suppliers of these products are unconcerned about the health of the consumers who purchase them."

"We can’t emphasise enough the need for consumers to be vigilant when purchasing cosmetics this Christmas; while they may be sold at a cheaper cost than legitimate beauty products, it is never worth gambling with your health when buying these products.”

 “As well as the possible toxic ingredients which may be contained in counterfeit cosmetics, the way the products are manufactured and the safety and cleanliness of the production environment is unknown, which is another reason to avoid purchasing and using these cosmetics at all cost.”

The HPRA highlights that the genuine Kylie Cosmetics by Kylie Jenner are currently only available from the company’s website in the USA, and other genuine high-end cosmetic products are usually only available through high street stores or pharmacies.

he HPRA and the HSE advise extreme caution if consumers are offered such products at markets or through non-reputable websites. In Ireland, the market surveillance of cosmetic products is carried out by the HPRA and Environmental Health Service and Public Analysts’ Laboratories of the HSE.

“Beauty brands usually list their licensed retailers on their websites and this is an easy way for consumers to ensure that they are purchasing a genuine cosmetic product. If a product is much cheaper than in a high street store or pharmacy, consumers should be immediately suspicious and think twice before buying the beauty product,” Ms Farrell advised.




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.