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Looking to save some money on cosmetics? Beware – some deals and dupes are just too good to be true!

Sweetmint, a Chinese beauty brand, has gained popularity on TikTok for its similarities to beloved K-beauty brand Rom&nd.

But this dupe has a dark side – the brand’s eyeshadows were recently found to contain toxic ingredients like arsenic and lead.

Keep reading for all the details on this shocking discovery, and keep an eye out for harmful ingredients in your products!

Sweetmint’s Palettes

Sweetmint’s palettes have long been considered a dupe of Rom&nd Better Than Palettes, boasting similar shades and packaging.

Their cheap price has been attracting users on platforms like Shopee, where a Sweetmint palette retails for less than S$5.

In comparison, the Rom&nd Better Than Palette currently retails for S$35.02 on the brand’s official Shopee store!

Still, prices this cheap should raise a few red flags, as these products are often unreliable and can even pose serious danger to your health.

Such was the case for Sweetmint’s palettes, which recently failed a random inspection by Jiangxi Provincial Food and Drug Administration, the Jiangxi branch of China’s National Medical Products Administration.

This administration is responsible for approving medical and cosmetic products in China, much like the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore.

Two batches of Sweetmint’s eyeshadow palettes were tested, both in shade 05 Mellow Mocha, a palette of nude matte shades.

They were found to contain arsenic and lead, toxic substances which can do serious harm to your skin and overall health!

The Harmful Ingredients

As a toxic heavy metal, excessive lead in cosmetics can lead to health issues such as sensitive skin, dryness, itching, and hyperpigmentation.

Meanwhile, arsenic can enter the body through various means, such as contact with the skin, through the respiratory tract, or oral ingestion.

Exposure to high levels of arsenic over time can cause skin issues like dermatitis and hyperpigmentation. Arsenic is also carcinogenic and can eventually cause skin and lung cancer.

Despite this, if you’ve been using Sweetmint’s palettes, there’s no need to panic yet—long-term use in large amounts is required for the product to absorb into your body and cause serious damage.

Plus, users on Weibo have contacted the manufacturer for these cosmetics and discovered that the main issue lies with the raw materials used for Sweetmint’s palettes in 2023.

So, if you have a palette manufactured before or after 2023, the product is theoretically still safe.

Even so, it’s better to err on the side of caution and get high-quality cosmetics from reputable names instead!

Related read: HSA Bans 3 Health Products Containing Potent Steroids – Here’s What To Avoid