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Inside the World of Counterfeit Cosmetics

ABC News' David Muir has details on fake beauty products that contain harmful ingredients.
3:14 | 06/13/14

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Transcript for Inside the World of Counterfeit Cosmetics
And David Muir is with us, with an inside look as federal investigators hunt down fake everyday products that you might have that are not the real thing. They could be putting your family at risk. Shampoos, creams, cosmetics. David Muir, with alarming test results. Great to be with you on a Friday. This is not what you want to think about. But counterfeits. We think of the watches, the fake handbags. This is something else. You're about to see in our "20/20" investigation, it's more than that. Every corner of your home, the shampoo, the medicine, the makeup. And we ask, what are you really putting on your face? You're about to see what happens when that real deal isn't the real thing. We're with the elite teams, out to bust the fakes. Are we rolling? Reporter: Do you think Americans would be shocked to know how much of what they're buying is actually fake? I think most Americans have no idea. Reporter: It's a dirty, little business. A very lucrative business. Reporter: The feds show us the fake shampoo, the fake soap. What are you putting in your hair? Heavy contaminants. Reporter: We test the products ours. And we start at this discount store in New York City. Our team buying Mac cosmetics. We want to know what's in the rain Poe of colors. We also test the real thing. No metals detected. But three weeks later, a dermatologist, inside, waiting for me. About to pore through the results on that great deal we found. And we start with the lead they discovered. The lead was five-times higher than allowed? It was an order magnitude higher than we should be. Reporter: And the copper. And keep in mind this number. The fda's limit, 100 parts per million. In the parts we tested, 2,000 parts per million. There's copper flowing through the bloodstream if you're use this product. There's copper flowing through the bloodstream, hurting kidneys and hurting the liver. Reporter: People have no idea, they're putting real copper on their face. It's not just a copper color. Reporter: And the most frightening discovery, the lab found Ba barillium. Reporter: Is this a wake-up call? And back to where our shopping began. Back with the results of the lab tests, we want answers. Is this supposed to be real? I don't know. Reporter: Are you selling fake makeup? I have no idea. Reporter: Look at the test results. Lead, copper, barillium. These are cancer-causing agents. Oh. Estee lauder, the company that owns Mac, confirmed that the product we bought was counterfeit. That's the beginning tonight. A lot of the products, you think you're getting a deal. But everything from the extension cord you'll see ignite tonight, to the counterfeit viagra pills on the market. What's really in the little, blue pill. All right. Really scary. You can catch more of David's special report, "To catch a fake," on "20/20," 10:00, 9:00 central, right here on ABC. Coming up, shapewear under fire.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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