Counterfeit dermal fillers have popped up in the market not long after the genuine ones were generalised. From the unlawful beauticians using illegitimate fillers, to the consumers buying fakes online and injecting themselves, the harm that can be inflicted to consumers are tremendous.
In both 2015 and 2017, the FDA issued a warning about fake Botox and injectable dermal fillers on the market. The counterfeits are entirely unregulated and potentially fatal. Sadly, this trend keeps surging: doctors in Scotland recently warned against fake botox being sold on social media.
In this article, we will take a look at the scope of the problem and what beauty professionals can do about it.
Counterfeit Fillers, a Fatal Problem
While all counterfeit cosmetics have the potential to be harmful, some can actually be fatal. Fake botox and fillers have caused hospitalisation, paralysis and even death for hundreds in recent years.
This has led the FDA to issue official warnings indicating that they had not safety-approved liquid silicone or silicone gel for injection, and urging people to only accept treatment from trained professionals and carefully scrutinise institutions based on certifications. However, the problem doesn’t appear to have disappeared. Last year, the US Customs seized $35,000 worth of counterfeit Botox in Cincinnati.
Although fake botox seems like a counterfeit product people would never buy, fakes are becoming harder and harder to spot. Consumers are almost always duped into purchasing counterfeit cosmetic treatments, and many speak out following bad experiences and unprecedented side effects.
These types of cases are detrimental to both consumers and filler brands like Botox, but more damaging are cases that go unreported and undiscovered, serving to further support the harmful underground industry.
Cosmetics Industry is Booming, So Do Counterfeits
Counterfeit cosmetics copy genuine branded products, using the same packaging and trademarks in order to dupe consumers into purchases, usually with an incentive of a discounted price. However, because they are created unlawfully they are entirely unregulated; counterfeit cosmetics can and often do contain many harmful ingredients including lead, mercury and even cyanide.