Cosrx has issued a warning to shoppers about the rise of counterfeit versions of its products being sold through TikTok Shop and Amazon resellers.
The Korean skin care brand said these copycat goods can be “incredibly” hard to differentiate, as they often use the same logo and Korean copy to make it look authentic.
The packaging can also look convincingly real, but Cosrx said there are small changes, often in the text, which can highlight it as being a fake.
This is being exacerbated by Amazon resellers in particular having positive reviews on their shops, and even a Prime sticker, which can further confuse consumers.
“TikTok shop is not an authorised seller of Cosrx and no individual on the app is approved to sell the brand via the platform,” the brand said in statement.
“This should also be avoided to guarantee authenticity.”
Cosrx believes the rise in counterfeit products being sold has grown alongside the current era of beauty 'dupes', as shoppers seek to save money on trending products.
“Recently, there are fake products finding a presence on online channels that offer cheaper pricing,” said Abraham Kayrouz, UK representative at Cosrx.
“We are warning customers to purchase products from only official UK channels such as Boots and Superdrug, as well as LookFantastic, Sephora, Cult Beauty, Beauty Bay and now at The Fragrance Shop to ensure authenticity.”
Kayrouz explains it is a challenging situation as TikTok is a “crucial tool” for reaching out to its target customers and amplifying the growth of the brand.
But the positive social media exposure can be easily muddled with the content being created by those selling copycat products.
“We already had our relationships with all of the established UK beauty retailers, so this has not changed,” added Kayrouz.
“We will continue to prioritise these channels for Cosrx, and encourage shoppers to purchase from these partners only.”
The beauty industry is one of the worst hit industries when it comes to the issues of fake products according to brand protection company SnapDragon.
The sector loses around US$5.4bn in sales every year due to counterfeits, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
“In recent years we have witnessed a spike of fake websites impersonating cosmetics brands in order to defraud customers,” Daniel Shapiro, VP of Strategic Partnerships & Brand Relationships at digital revenue recovery firm Red Points, told Cosmetics Business in an interview.
“In most cases, unsuspecting consumers will turn to the genuine brand for compensation or to complain.”