I learned something quite disturbing last night, fellow beauty chicks. At an event sponsored by L’Oreal Professionnel, the President of L’Oreal USA, David Craggs, told us all about diversion.
What is diversion, you may ask? Well, you’re not alone. I had never heard of it. But basically, diversion is the selling of counterfeit beauty products at unauthorized retailers. In the case of L’Oreal Professionnel, all products must be sold at salons -- which is why all of the company’s advertising states, “Genuine Products Guaranteed Only in Salons.”
L’Oreal Professionnel’s product line spans some of the top brands out there, from Kerastase and Matrix to Pureology and Redken. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’ve seen these products at Ricky’s, Duane Reade, CVS and the local supermarket. You might have even bought them there. (I know I have.) Well, here are the problems that arise from this:
1) The markup on these products is extreme -- usually anywhere from 10 to 20 percent.
2) These products are counterfeit, with barcodes scratched off so they can’t be traced back to the supplier.
3) Most disturbingly, they could be contaminated. Some products have been found to contain dishwashing detergent or harmful bacteria. And do you really want these products running down your face and body every day?
So how can you refrain from falling prey to diverted products? It’s simple. From now on, make sure you buy from an authorized retailer. The L’Oreal Professionnel website has a list of authorized retailers like Trade Secret, Ulta and Regis, which can be found across the country, and smaller salons in your area with access to the products as well. Kerastase even has an e-commerce website, so you can purchase right from your own home.
To do my part, I will continue to urge you to only buy these products from authorized retailers. Going forward, you will see me directing you to L’Oreal Professionnel’s brand websites for store info. Let’s put a stop to diversion.