Spotting a bargain on your favorite cosmetics is great. Chemicals in your perfume...not so much. If you've ever snagged a bottle of designer perfume at a price that seems too good to be true, chance are it is. Perfume knockoffs are all the rage - at flea markets, on street-side tables - and they can actually make you sick.
"You rarely see reactions to fragrances when they are high-end and made from high-quality ingredients such as essential oils," says Jeannette Graf, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. "Knockoffs are poorly made, cheap, and reactive. You don't have accountability with a knockoff. It could be made in someone's bathtub for all you know." Bad reactions, she says, range from a runny nose to redness and eczema.
What's in there that makes you so sick? You may not want to know... but we've got the details here. Avoid getting scammed in the future with these helpful tips:
HOW TO SPOT A FAKE SCENT:
Take a Closer Look: If the liquid looks too pale, it could be an alcohol-heavy phony. If it's too dark, it could consist of impure or faux ingredients.
Be a Label Connoisseur: If the label is off-kilter, smudged, poorly printed, or misspelled, it's not legit. If the bar code or an identifying mark looks sketchy, it could be a phony.
Buy Right: Top-quality perfumes are sold at department stores, beauty specialty stores such as Sephora, and sometimes high-end boutique pharmacies and apothecaries.
Don't Be Fooled: Real fragrances are not sold on tables in tourist hot spots or at flea markets, supermarkets, discount stores, or out of the back of a truck.
Beware of the Bait and Switch: Some unsavory vendors will display the genuine fragrance up front when you're shopping but substitute a fake when handing over your purchase.
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Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.