Could online used make-up make a mark? Are there health risks?

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Could online used make-up make a mark? Are there health risks?

Related tags: Cosmetics

The media spotlight has been cast on a US company that is selling used cosmetics online at substantial discounts.

The online retailer Glambot​ buys up color cosmetic items from consumers, providing the contents are at least half full and produced by high-end and more desirable brands.

“We try to provide a safe platform for them to buy discounted, authentic name brand quality makeup,”​ said Glambot founder Karen Horiuchi in an interview with CBS News.

Are the strict principles good enough?

Horiuchi founded the online retail portal in May 2014 after experiencing the ‘downside’ of online trading and batering make-up communities first hand.

The website states that Horiuchi had experienced difficulties “such as swap lifting, counterfeits, items arriving damaged in the mail, or worst of all --items in unusable condition”… which prompted her to establish Glambot.

Trading to stricter principles that ensure the quality of the product and the fact that the makeup formulation is still in nothing-less-than-perfect condition, the retailer has built up a considerable fan base.

Big discounts but no sterilization

Consumers are attracted by significant discount, which range from 20% upwards, and if they are lucky, the products are unopened or unused.

The company line is that it ensures the quality of all products, and that once received the items are cleaned and resealed, but still questions remain over hygiene issues as once opened, color cosmetic formulations invariably start to degrade and attract bacteria.

Specifically, the Glambot customer promise does not include the sterilization of products. The CBS report questioned Dr. Carolyn Jacob, a dermatological specialist, who said she had concerns over the potential for bacterial or viral infections.

Likewise, brand owners may not be pleased at the prospect of their products being sold on in less than optimal condition. 

Related topics: Market Trends, Color Cosmetics

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