India’s cosmetics industry is worth Rs.1800 crore, with a growth rate of 25 percent per annum. It has been surveyed that besides branded products, there are countless non-branded cosmetics products sold in open market and there is no check on the sale of such items.
The Bureau of Indian Standards has warned that substandard cosmetics could contain chemicals which could be detrimental for skin.
Dermatologists’ advice women to desist using duplicate cosmetics as such products can harm their skin and body.
There is some prescribed standard and requirement for manufacturing such products but some manufacturers do not conform to norms and produce low quality products to make money.
It has been found that even branded cosmetics can cause allergic reactions, depending on the skin type. So it is necessary to take care while selecting cosmetic products and people must read thoroughly the brand, manufacturing date and type of product before making any such purchase.
Another field where duplicate cosmetics are used is beauty parlours. In these parlours, there is no quality check on the cosmetics they use. In one survey, it was found that the use of fake cosmetics by beauty parlours has caused rash of skin disorder.
Cosmetics are governed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. The Act has been amended with time to regulate quality. Though legal framework is strong, still cosmetics manufacturers continue to use inferior raw material. In fact, there is no check over the chemicals used in these cosmetics.
Customers must be cautious to purchase beauty products because these items can directly harm their body and can cause serious ailments. They must see the list of the constituents on the cosmetics product before purchasing and avoid products with any harmful element. Some uneducated consumers cannot read the constituent list and so such problem can be resolved through standardization of products that signifies the safety of the products, such as ISI marks etc. Safety symbol is necessary to avoid duplicate cosmetics.
Government must impose heavy penalties to vendors of fake cosmetics who do not conform to the statutory information under the packaged Commodities Act.
It is necessary to publish a list of known toxic chemicals that are banned for use in cosmetics and toiletries. If producers intentionally use the banned chemicals they must be severely penalized.
It should be thoroughly assessed that the standards for cosmetic products should be commonly applicable, regardless of whether or not a product contains “herbal” ingredients.
Other effective way is to launch educational campaign, against duplicate cosmetic products. Consumers should be made aware of the dangers of using such products.
There are many ways to collect information on genuine cosmetic products such as print media and the internet where all the information about the particular product is available. Awareness about fake cosmetic product is for general well being and for avoiding health hazards.