Are you concerned about where beauty products are made?

Are you concerned about where beauty products are made? What do you look for?

I’m concerned more about companies that offer really, really low prices and don’t have the backing of a major conglomerate behind them (who have already done lots of research through their higher end brands). I worry about quality control – from ingredients to sanitation.

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monika Avatar

You should care!Products made in China are very unexpensive and the quality may be great,so why are they so cheap?Because people there are used for very little money if not for free,and most of them are children!They are forced to work.I don’t support this !

Nicole Avatar

I guess even big companies that research Alot even have carcinogens in their products. I generally don’t trust big companies. Lush products contains parabens, which is found in breast cancer. So I generally don’t trust big brands when they say they are organic. Still uses them though.

alex Avatar

KarlaSugar has some really interesting information about parabens, it’s in her hot topics section and it’s called ‘All About The Parabens’. sorry to plug another blog but the mention of parabens reminded me and i think it’s better to know more about these things!

Nicole Avatar

I use it as one of my excuses for purchasing high end products, but in all honestly I don’t think about it as often as I should. I find products made in France and Italy to be fantastic quality, and that’s why I keep going back. I don’t know as much about drugstore products, and mass manufacturing in far away lands make me inherently suspicious. It would be interesting if the information (both the good and the bad) was more readily accessible.

Christine Avatar

It seems like the palettes are readily available from wholesalers and can be rebranded (since we have seen the 88 and 120 palettes on eBay for years – long before Coastal Scents came around, or at least gained popularity). I do have general concerns about the quality level and whether all of the dyes are safe. It’s a palette I’d swatch but not one I’d personally use so much.

For me, DIRT cheap is not good – there is a difference between something that’s just affordable/inexpensive vs. dirt cheap. Overall, for anything in life, I follow, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

Dusty Avatar

easy one: yes. but most people probably already know that about me 😉 i’m the same way with everything from clothes to food. it only takes a second to look at the label and find out where something came from, or who makes it. i consider it smart shopping.

Christine Avatar

My main concern is quality. I naturally associate good quality with Italy, France, Japan, London, Canada, USA. I tend to shy away from cosmetics made in Asia and China, only because I’m currently not familiar with any high quality brands made there.

Donna Cooper Avatar

Yes. Especially if its China. So much knock off stuff is coming from there and just look at the health scares from their factories. I don’t mean branded companies who have their factories but the stuff made some place. But unnamed brands who just put their labels on. These are the ones you have no idea what ingredients are really in the product. Look at the toxic pet food and the baby milk. Factories cutting corners to make more money.

eleni Avatar

I’m not worried about the ingredients. However, I’m very worried (actually shocked and disgusted) about how they’re made…. I don’t think it makes sense trying a hair spray or a mascara on a dog/ cat/ bunny to test if it is safe for us to use. So many companies manage to make excellent cosmetics without torturing those little creatures (Estee lauder, Mac, Bobbi brown, Urban decay to name a few). Why can’t all of them???
It’s bad enough torturing animals in the “name of science” (medicine and such). We don’t have to make them suffer for a lip gloss too…
I wish more people would stop buying these products. Make up is supposed to make you look beautiful! And yet they are made in the ugliest way. If more people demanded that companies adopt a cruelty free way of manufacturing there products, then so many lives would be saved.
So any of us have pets. Could you ever imagine have your pet suffer like that? Why should the others ones suffer? Because they don’t have an owner?

Safety Conscious Avatar

I don’t buy products from China that go on my skin or in my body. There was just talk about this on another board. The Chinese government executed the man responsible for the poison baby food, and ordered his successor to get rid of the poison. He did — by selling it to another baby food company. And there was the deadly dog food. And the contact lens solution that caused blindness. It would be silly to assume that cosmetics would be kept safer than baby food. China did try, they executed the baby killer, but even that wasn’t enough. If you want to support China, or buy things without researching where they came from (because it can be a pain figuring that stuff out), its safer to do it with products that don’t go into your body.

Stephanie Avatar

I don’t trust a company just because they have made lots of money charging for high-end products. I have found by working in the chemical industry, following the news on companies like Johnson & Johnson (metal shavings and contamination in children’s medicaton – the ones who are at much higher cost for medications than drugstore brands – I know that this is not cosmetics, but still a large company with means to do R & D), and researching small companies that make drugstore brands. I found that the small companies, even the ones charging cheaper prices because they are not selling a name, are much more stringent on quality control, due to their small amount of business that they very much need to keep. Large companies do not often get questioned, because people trust them and adore the name brand – this can and has lead to abusing the consumer. This is just my experience. I love makeup and realize that most of my purchases are based on my trust of the company. BUT, that trust does not come from how much money they make. Thanks for the post.

JayJay Avatar

I totally agree with you, Christine. All of these “88” palettes and such that are out there, claiming to be cruelty free and all that… Well, I bought some a couple of years ago, and every time I would try to wear them, I would get really worried that they would cause some sort of reaction on my skin. I would always think “what do I really know about this product?” And so on.. I did have one of the colours stain my lids pretty bad, and the combination of the the dye in the product, and me working to get it off.. I had little red dots on my lids for a couple of days. HMMMMMM.

I gave away those palettes.

No offense to anyone on here, but I’ve done a lot of research in the past couple of years, about products (not just cosmetics)coming out of certain countries. Sometimes the conditions are deplorable. I’d really be wary of buying brush sets and whatnot. Anything with hair for that matter, even if it’s said to be synthetic, it might not be. I won’t start anything, by posting any sort of links, or debating..

Also, look at the recalls of so many childrens toys from overseas, because of lead. Yikes.

I also tend to stay away from mineral makeup companies now. I bought from a couple different people in the past, but I never felt comfortable wearing them. I would wonder if they were just mixed up in someone’s kitchen. Did the person wear gloves and a mask? Were the containers sanitized? It just creeps me out a little bit. I have purchased from BFTE, and Fyrinnae, but they have built a pretty good reputation for themselves.

Christine Avatar


Thank you for the MMU comment – this is why I have always been a little wary. It’s not that I suspect anybody’s intentionally being unsanitary, but it’s just not… you know, something I feel 100% comfortable with. For me, I have to wait for them to build up a reputation – but I won’t be an early adopter, lol!

BethM Avatar

In the end, if a product is good quality and has the backing of a major brand, I will use it.
When trying new products, though, I do prefer items made in countries such as the USA, Canada, Italy, France, or Germany. I did not used to be as cautious, but there were just too many news stories of recalled items due to the inclusion of dangerous ingredients for me to ignore it. If I am putting a product on my skin, on my lips, around my eyes, I need to at least be able to trust that the stated on the ingredients list are actually what is in the product. If an item is mass-produced in a country that is notorious for shoddy oversight, I do not trust it. I prefer items made in countries with tighter regulations. I am also hesitant to try smaller brands that do not have an established reputation.
Controversial ingredients such as parabens are a separate issue for me. If I trust a brand to list their ingredients appropriately, choosing to use a product or not based on the ingredients becomes much easier.

Andie Avatar

I don’t buy any face or body products made in China. The pet food recalls, and then the lead reacalls, a few years ago pointed out that quality control there is not good at all. I prefer US made products, because I generally try to buy American, but also buy make up made in Europe and Canada.

Tokidoki Avatar

Yes! I always check where the product is made. I do not buy any makeup/beauty/food products made in China. I just don’t trust the quality and doubt the safety.

Marcela Avatar

All i care about is quality. I’m all MAC because I love the quality of their products. The higher price tag hurts my wallet sometimes but i’m a firm believer that [most of the time] quality is equal with higher prices. you buy cheap, you get cheap.

Aya Avatar

I do love high end products, but having contacted large and small cosmetic companies myself for health reasons (I have celiac disease and have to avoid gluten in lipsticks), it’s often the other way around – it’s the large companies who don’t know where their ingredients come from or may be contaminated.

Often smaller companies know exactly who their suppliers are and what go in their products, so they can definitively tell me yes or no, something contains something. Large companies give me “While we think this, since we have so many sub-suppliers and sub-contractors, we really can’t guarantee” sort of answer. Of course, the small companies I talk about here are usually reputable ones and not uber cheap ones.

Evelyn Avatar

Yes I do get concerned. I’m far less likely to purchase items made in China for example because they do not always adhere to US regulations (even though they claim to do so – i.e. elevated levels of lead in the paint on children’s toys). This is not to say however that everyone else gets a free pass, you have to read the labels carefully and even then some items might be made in a place with loose regulations (or none) but assembled in Italy and labeled as Italian made. You may still have potentially contaminated components.

dolce aria Avatar

I honestly don’t pay attention to it. It seems like EVERY brand or product has its dirty little secrets. Look at the MAC Rodarte collection threads, and see all the comments from people boycotting even high end brands for racist comments and such. And so much of that has little to do with the size of the company, price range of the product, location of manufacture…. Honestly, I trust that there’s enough regulation to ensure at least a MINIMUM standard for products sold here. I don’t try to circumvent that, to buy colors or products that are not certified to sell here(Illamasqua Disciple lipstick is the color I’ve been lusting after, that the pigment isn’t classified as lip safe for US sale), but that’s about as far as I go. If I see research that proves a certain ingredient or item is unhealthy, I will try to avoid that item. But I think moderation is the key to everything, and I don’t really care to put the thought into completely redesigning my skincare and makeup routines every time someone sensationalizes some aspect of a beauty product.

While i DO try to vote with my money, I view beauty as a fun hobby, and I prefer not to seek out information that will make me feel guilty for the hobby, or scared of future repercussions of that hobby.

Sara Avatar

Hey Christine. What do you think about NYX brand? There lipstick are very cheap price.

I have kind of scared to try it out because its so cheap I feel the ingredients can have a long term harmful effect on the lips.

Liz Avatar

Yes, I don’t mind having my computers and phones being made in developing countries but I draw the line when it comes to medicines, cosmetics, and the like. I’m fine with brushes but I don’t want to use any lipsticks, eyeliners, etc.

Eileen Avatar

Yes, especially after all the fiascos related to ingredients from China. Some countries just don’t have the same kind of care or concern about safety. Like Christine, I also feel more secure knowing that a major company is backing the product. They come under more scrutiny and have more to lose if there is a problem with a product.

Abril Avatar

To be honest, I only buy product from well-known brands, and most of the time those brands are expensive… I’m concern about the ingredients of creap cosmetics and skincare products because they use things that are really bad for the skin, I’m trying to memorize the ingredients that should’n be in products and I read the list ingredients in every product I’m interested, cheap or expensive!

Beautiful Canvas Avatar

I am half Chinese so I hate to say this but I stay away from makeup/skincare made in China. They have poor quality control and with all the recall, it’s just worth risking. Regardless of origin, when it come to skincare, a reputable brand is very important.

One point I want to also make is not just where it’s made but who is the seller. I love japanese skincare but they’re not readily available in the US. You can order them through ecommerce base in HK but I am skeptical as well because I am not sure if they’re selling me the real thing. Unfortunately, China is nortorious for imitating goods. Sucks!

AnGeLwInGz Avatar

I stay away from cosmetics that are made where there is poor quality control. I am especially concerned about products that contain lead. India has a lot of those.


Christine thanks for the post! Ive been meaning to ask: What do you think about ELF Cosmetics? Their makeup is super cheap and often have 50% off on their website on top of that, making it even more cheap lol. I have to admit ive been wanting to haul some of their stuff, but have been holding myself because i wanted to hear your opinions on them first. Thanks =)

Carrie Ann Avatar

I do worry about products made in China. I try to stay away from those and stick to brands made in the U.S., Canada, Italy, France or Belgium. I also hate that some companies test their products on animals.

TheMiaomi Avatar

I do up to some point. Japanese cosmetics holds the highest standard so far, especially skincare items. Therefore I feel somewhat safe even if its a newer and unknown brand. Other countries you have to pay certain prices to get quality stuff I feel.

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