With the holiday shopping season beginning I want you to know the sneaky ways counterfeit and potentially harmful products are sold to you. The following is important for beauty products & hair care but also for any other items you see online. Every wonder why Amazon could sell something so much cheaper? Because it’s FAKE
Let’s talk Amazon, Walmart, & Ebay
We will use Amazon for example but both Walmart & Ebay sell products 3 ways:
1. Sold by Amazon – real companies sell stuff to Amazon that Amazon resells – Yay!
2. Fulfilled by Amazon- distributed by an Amazon warehouse but not ‘sold by Amazon’- Maybe okay
3. Ships from and Sold By A Third-Party Seller – Never in the hands of Amazon and ships direct from the seller – where most counterfeit items are sold – NOPE!
Amazon has made huge strides in verifying its products in recent years in categories 1&2 but due to volume there are still huge amounts of counterfeit and expired products making their way to your home.
Now category 3 – this will look and feel like category 1&2 but if you look closely in all the photos and details you will often see the item was ‘re-packaged’ in a foreign county. That means there is zero regulation that your favorite shampoo or facial cream wasn’t counterfeit using toxic ingredients or legit packaging wasn’t ‘re-bottled’ with a foreign substance. Every wonder why every store sells the bottle for $20 but it is available for $12 on Amazon? Most often it is fake, expired, or re-bottled with fake product in a different country. Amazon has almost no way of controlling Third-Party Seller products.
It got good reviews
Sneaky companies even set up ‘cluster reviews’ automatically so if someone complains a flood of 5 star reviews are submitted to drown out the negative review. Most of these reviews are dated within a few days of each other and will use similar words and phrases. Read the 1 star reviews and the 5 star reviews and you can start to see patterns and may suspect a product is counterfeit.
Take a look at Marshall’s, Ross, or TJMaxx on your next trip and you will see high-end hair care and beauty products but rarely drugstore hair care and beauty. Why? Quality hair care and beauty products have much shorter expiration dates than mass produced products. Mass produced products have sulfates, parabens, phalates, and sometimes even formaldehyde to keep them shelf fresh for longer. Think of it like a can of green beans vs fresh green beans.
Retailers of high-end beauty sell their expired or opened product (like if someone opened the shampoo to smell it) to discount stores. Many of these products are expired and some are WAY expired. Expired products can change smell, color, texture or simply become useless.
How do I check to see if something is expired?
Beauty companies don’t stamp an actual date on the product like food manufacturers. Instead, there is a batch or product code on either the product itself or the products packaging. Below are 2 websites that allow you to put in the brand and product/batch number to see the manufacturing date. If you type the website in to your smart phone then click the Bookmark button – see photo below – you will always have it handy. When in doubt, check it out!
Here is me discovering a lipgloss in my purse was made in 2013!
But how long is it good for?
On most all beauty and hair care there is a little stamp that says how long a product is good for once it is opened considering oxidation and microbe growth. A little jar with 12M for example means it is good for 12 months after opening.
A good rule of thumb is:
Shampoo, conditioner, hair care - 24 months
Foundation 6 months
Shower Gel 24 months
Nail Colour 1 year
Fragrance 2-5 years
With this is mind you might be horrified to see how expired – and potentially harmful – the products in your bathroom might be. Bright side is this is the perfect reason to trash the old and make some breathing room for something new!
Where should you buy your hair & beauty products?
Purchase anything that goes on or in your body from a reputable name brand department store or online store. Save your coupons, store credits, and credit card points for these purchases if you are looking for a discount. Please do not spend your money on toxic or useless expired products.