Fraudulent “Anti-Aging” Products

The volume of counterfeit cosmetics arriving in the U.S. is on the rise. The Internet has given consumers widespread access to "anti-aging" products that they don't know are fake. Counterfeiters of personal care products increasingly view dealing in these fake items as a low-risk crime since many of them are located outside the U.S.

Government and industry studies and testing have discovered dangerous ingredients within counterfeit "anti-aging" products. Fraudulent cosmetics may contain arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium—all known carcinogens—along with high levels of aluminum and dangerous levels of bacteria. Some of these products have caused conditions like acne, psoriasis, rashes, and eye infections.

Tips for Avoiding Fraudulent “Anti-Aging” Products:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for “secret formulas” or “breakthroughs.”
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the product—find out exactly what it should and should not do for you.
  • Research a product thoroughly before buying it. Call the Better Business Bureau to find out if other people have complained about the product.
  • Be wary of products that claim to cure a wide variety of illnesses—particularly serious ones—that don’t appear to be related.
  • Be aware that testimonials and/or celebrity endorsements are often misleading.
  • Be very careful of products that are marketed as having no side effects.
  • Question products that are advertised as making visits to a physician unnecessary.
  • Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary or nutritional supplement.