The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported a seizure of more than $300,000 worth of counterfeit makeup in the downtown area last week, according to a KTLA 5 article.
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According to the article, the bust follows brand-name companies receiving complaints from customers claiming to have bumps and rashes from using makeup bought in the downtown Los Angeles area.
The products, which came from China, were found in a store and included counterfeit MAC and Kylie Cosmetics lip kits, which KTLA 5 reports are a frequent find on the makeup black market.
No arrests were made yet according to the LAPD captain. In 2018, after visiting 21 stores in the L.A. Fashion District, an LAPD task force seized around $700,000 in counterfeit makeup that contained high levels of bacteria, human waste and animal feces.
The FBI has stated that the volume of counterfeit cosmetics and fragrances entering the United States is on the rise, with testing having found fake products contain dangerous chemicals like arsenic, beryllium, cadmium or even DEHP, a probable carcinogen, according to KTLA 5.
Customers can avoid buying counterfeit products by checking to see if the packaging differs slightly from the authentic brand, checking the makeup’s consistency/ texture, see if it’s being advertised as a “limited edition” and if the product is selling at a discounted price.
According to a 2016 report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, more than 72% of global trade-related counterfeited items come from China alone and sellers are increasingly moving online.
“Please purchase from an authorized retailer,” LAPD Captain Lillian Carranza said on Twitter Thursday while sharing photos of the piles of confiscated cosmetic products.
“Previous test of counterfeit makeup revealed animal feces and chemicals that can be hazardous to your health,” Carranza said after the most recent seizure.