More than a quarter of online shoppers have been duped into buying fake make-up and skincare products, according to the latest research by MarkMonitor.

The brand protection company’s global survey of 4000 consumers found that 32 percent had unwittingly purchased non-genuine makeup online while 25 percent had purchased non-genuine skincare products.

The consumers accessed the non-genuine products through a variety of channels including online marketplaces (39 percent), search engines (34 percent), mobile apps (22 percent) and social ads (20 percent).

MarkMonitor chief marketing officer Anil Gupta said the online counterfeit market is growing.

“The threat of counterfeiters is ever-present, affecting both brands and consumers.

“For brands it’s all about the loss of revenue, reputation and customer trust. However, when it comes to non-genuine consumer goods such as cosmetics, skincare, sun care and medicines, the consequences for shoppers are far greater, affecting their health and wellbeing.”

He said that consumers who bought non-genuine products online identified them as ‘fake’ due to “poor quality” (50 percent), “unofficial logo” (35 percent), packaging (32 percent) and “an unpleasant reaction when using the product” (34 percent).

Once they identified a product as fake, 39 percent of consumers contacted the retailer directly, one quarter left a review on social media/a website and 24 percent contacted an industry watchdog while 15 percent did “nothing”.

Anil said it is up to brands to ensure they have a solid online brand protection policy in place to deal with the counterfeit threat and keep their customers safe from harm.as the majority of consumers (83 percent) do not want to buy non-genuine make-up and skincare products.