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Dangerous Cosmetics Warning

South Tyneside Council's trading standards service is warning residents about buying potentially dangerous cosmetics online.



The advice comes following an incident where a Hebburn woman suffered an allergic reaction to a product she purchased on a website.


The 61-year-old, who did not wish to be named, bought an eye serum online from an overseas outlet. The product was unbranded and did not contain any instructions or a list of ingredients.


She said: "I ordered an anti-ageing eye serum off a website because it was very cheap.


"The day after I used it the skin around my eyes was bright red, stinging and itchy. I didn't make the connection to the serum and the doctor thought it might be an infection.


"It wasn't until I used it for the second time and the same thing happened that I realised it was the product causing it.


"It cleared up with eyedrops and anti-histamines but it could have been more serious. I've learned my lesson and will only be buying beauty products from reputable retailers."


UK legislation requires products to display certain information.


Cllr Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "All cosmetic products should provide important information to consumers, such as ingredient lists, directions for use or necessary warnings.


"We would urge people to be wary when buying items from unknown online retailers. If it seems too good to be true, then it most probably is."


South Tyneside Council's Trading Standards department give the following advice on purchasing cosmetic products:

  • Always buy cosmetic products from trusted websites or well-known UK retailers.


  • Be wary of '3rd party sellers' who will advertise their goods on social media platforms or community selling sites.


  • Check the business's website domain before you buy. If the website is based outside the UK, be wary of the potential for unsafe products.


  • Remember, if the price of a product appears to be 'too good to be true', then it most probably is.


If you believe you may have purchased cosmetics which do not comply with UK regulations and require advice, please contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0345 4 040506 or via

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