China is the world capital of fakes. Here you can get counterfeit handbags, watches and electronics that look identical to the real goods. You can visit an amusement park with over 130 replicas of other countries’ landmarks, and shop on streets lined with stores like “Cnanel” and “Tifeany” and “Starbocks”.
There are many budget-conscious fashionistas in China and abroad who are proud to swing convincing Guccis and Pradas from their shoulders, but when it comes to makeup, perfume and skincare products, fakes pose a very real danger.
Mercury, lead, arsenic, cyanide and even human urine and rat droppings are often found in counterfeit cosmetics made in China. The level of toxins in some of these products have led to severe allergic reactions including skin rashes and burns, disfigurement and long-term health problems such as high blood pressure and infertility.
While replicas of products from popular brands like MAC, Benefit and Urban Decay have long been piled high at night market tables across Asia, foreign governments have recently raised the alarm that fake beauty products made in China are being sold to online shoppers around the world.