PIPCU asks YouTube influencers to stop using fake make up

YouTube stars should stop using fake make-up in their online tutorials, says the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

“We’re concerned that popular YouTube stars are using counterfeit make up in their tutorial videos,” says PIPCU Detective Inspector Nick Court. “This not only puts them at risk of infections, rashes and burns, it could also encourage their followers to use the same harmful products.”

Laboratory tests have shown counterfeit cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara, lipgloss and foundation have been found to contain toxic levels of chemicals and harmful substances such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

All of these can cause allergic reactions, such as skin irritation, swelling, rashes and burns as well as leaving the consumer with longer term health problems. PIPCU says counterfeit beauty products are becoming increasingly common and easily available on auction sites, online market places, rogue websites and social media.

Vlogger James Charles (pictured), with 15m YouTube subscribers, is among the influencers who have made comparison videos between genuine and fake products.

“It’s great that YouTubers are calling out counterfeit make up for not giving shoppers the same quality as the genuine brands,” adds Court. “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!”

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