If you purchase skincare products on Amazon, you’ll want to heed the advice of one TikToker. Christine (@kbeautymom) says that dupe, or counterfeit, Korean skincare products are on the rise.
In a viral video posted last week, TikToker (@kbeautymom) pointed out several of the tactics companies are using to mislead customers. By Thursday, the video had over 598,000 views.
@kbeautymom Not the positive reviews that would totally throw you off too 😭 #fakeskincare #fakekoreanskincare #koreanskincare #beautyofjoseon #beautyofjoseonsunscreen #beautyofjoseonsunstickreview #roundlabsunscreen #viralskincareproducts ♬ original sound – Christina
The Daily Dot reached out to Christine via TikTok comment and Amazon via email.
The first product she cautioned viewers about was Beauty of Joseon’s organic sunscreen. The company is known for several best-selling Korean beauty products, such as Ginseng Moist Sun Serum and Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide.
Since Christine owns the original product, she was able to compare both. This allowed viewers to spot a key difference: The fake version removed some Korean characters from the logo.
“This reseller even has their items under prime,” Christine added. This makes the product seem more trustworthy to customers, especially Amazon Prime members who benefit from free shipping.
But since these details are so minute, most people miss them when shopping. This means that people realize a product is fake only after they’ve tried it.
Another example comes from a company selling a Beauty of Joseon sunscreen dupe. But unlike the others, it had negative reviews.
“This is the person’s review. They saw that there was no seal, and they always come with a seal,” Christine said.
Christine explained that it’s possible for vendors to sell dupes because there’s a loophole on Amazon. A Beauty of Joseon sunscreen dupe served as another key example: One company only changed some of the Korean characters on the product’s box.
But if you were to open the box up and compare the product side-by-side to the real thing, you’d see that both logos are the same. This means that the company changed just enough of the outside packaging to avoid suspicion.
From there, Christine gave a few more telling examples, like the Sun Stick from Beauty of Joseon and the Cosrx x Snail Mucin.
“This one is fake,” she said as she pointed to an ad for the snail mucin. “You can see it says a different company, not Cosrx, but they made the packaging look exactly the same.”
The product had positive reviews, which makes it more tempting for other customers.
Lastly, Christine showed a duped version of the Round Lab Sunscreen. Again, the packaging was similar to the actual product.
If her investigation wasn’t enough to educate viewers, she ended her video with a strong warning: “Be careful when you buy on Amazon. I love Amazon too, I shop there all the time, but especially because these are things that you put on your face, please be careful.”
In the comments, viewers slammed Amazon for allowing companies to profit from ripping people off.
“Amazon does this a lot,” one user commented. “Unfortunately Amazon pools together the same products in their warehouses regardless of who sells it,” another wrote.
“Not me panicking to check the labels on all my products,” a third commented with a crying emoji. “I think I’m in the clear lol.”
Others panicked when they realized that they had seen Christine’s video too late.
“Not me seeing this when I literally ordered the round lab spf and anua toner off Amazon last night,” this user commented.
“Literally just bought one of the sunscreens and returned it after I opened It,” another wrote, adding, “It even smells different.”
“Girl I bought MOST of these off Amazon….. in the trash they go,” a third commented.
Other users shared additional advice to shop smart on online stores like Amazon.
“Good way to avoid fakes is just to simply purchase the products from the brands actual store front,” one person wrote.
Another says to always shop from official Amazon brands. “Yes!! I almost got fakes but you have to check the brands the items are listed under!” they wrote.