Makeup Mirage

Demystifying Makeup

Where to report

What should you do if you have an adverse reaction to a cosmetic? Or if the name-brand makeup you bought doesn't seem quite right? Don't suffer in silence: please report it, not just for your own safety, but to help the industry and the government recognize and recall unsafe products and hold bad actors accountable.

A Reaction or Side Effect

An unexpected reaction or side effect to makeup can be serious. You might have an unknown allergy or sensitivity to an ingredient, the product may be a knockoff or counterfeit that uses unlisted or dangerous ingredients, or it might simply be past its expiration date.

If you have a reaction, you should:

  1. Stop using the product immediately
  2. See your doctor or a dermatologist (and bring the product with you)
  3. Report your reaction to the manufacturer
  4. Report your reaction online to MedWatch, the FDA's safety reporting program
    or by phone: 1-800-FDA-1088

Find out more about “What happens when a reaction is reported to the FDA”?

A Possible Counterfeit

A knockoff is a product that is similar to but different from and usually cheaper than a name-brand product. Knockoffs usually have similar names and packaging, but you can see the differences if you compare one with the original. While not illegal, they may use lower quality ingredients in order to keep prices low.

Counterfeits are unauthorized, illegal copies of brand-name products. They may look exactly or almost exactly the same as the original, at least on the outside. The texture, scent, or color of the makeup inside, however, may be noticeably different and of lower quality.

If you suspect a counterfeit:

  1. Don't use it! Some counterfeits contain harmful ingredients
  2. Report or return product to the seller
  3. Report incident to the manufacturer of the real product
  4. Report a retailer selling counterfeits to the appropriate government agency
    (FDA, FBI, IPR Center, Consumer Product Safety Commission, etc.)
  5. Report a retailer selling counterfeits to the Better Business Bureau