The Irish Medicines Board has issued a warning to consumers to beware of counterfeit make-up at Christmas.
Fake beauty goods seized by Revenue officials in the past month have been found to contain dangerous compounds such as lead and cadmium.
European directives have banned these substances because they are not deemed to be safe, and they can have damaging effects on the body.
An IMB spokesperson said: "Exposure to lead and cadmium can cause a range of health effects depending on the level, route and duration of exposure and the age of the individual.
"Chronic long-term exposure to cadmium can result in impaired kidney function. Lead can accumulate in the body over time and chronic long-term exposure can impact on the central nervous system."
Customs officers have said dodgy imported cosmetic products are up 60pc on last year. Since October, 4,483 false make-up products were intercepted.
And they have issued advice to steer clear of cheap deals for well-known make-up brands.
A majority of the counterfeit cosmetics were fakes of the well-known brand name, MAC, ranging from eye shadows to foundations and lipsticks.
HSE tests found additives such as lead in some of the fake MAC lip glosses and cadmium in some other cosmetics, according to customs officials.