The Ugly Truth About Fake Injectables: Medical Dangers from Counterfeit Products

dermal filler injections

Horror Stories That Will Make You Think Twice About Cheap Injectables that Might Be Fake

Brand copies (fakes) and cheap imitation products are known to involve huge underground markets across the world.  And counterfeit-brand, cheap dermal fillers and fake muscle relaxer anti-wrinkle injections are said to be a risk to clients attending clinics around Australia who aren’t buying their products from reputable distributors. Find out more about avoiding fake cosmetic injection solutions and counterfeit dermal fillers.

Fake or Counterfeit Fillers and Anti-Wrinkle Cosmetic Injections – a huge risk to cosmetic treatment patients.

  • From purses to perfumes to shoes to men’s colognes, fakes rarely have the quality or longevity of the original product or “the real thing.”
  • Fake imports also harm economies and the organisations who’ve invested in making an original, high quality product.
  • But when it comes to medicines, fakes can be disfiguring and even deadly.
  • Anti-Wrinkle solutions and dermal fillers are also being counterfeited and imported from overseas suppliers; and you’ll need to learn how to recognise a fake or counterfeit cosmetic products versus the real thing.

Cosmetic Procedure Shortcuts can be Disfiguring or even Deadly

Why imitations and fake products are on the rise and why more consumers are at risk.

Let’s face it, everyone wants a bargain. Most of us have budgets to consider looking our best is an investment.  With online shopping so readily available to consumers and so many options available, a “discount mentality” about ALL types of purchases, including medications and surgical procedures, has taken over the mindset of many consumers.

Discounts may have their place, but there are some things that cannot be replaced or fixed. Remember, you also ONLY have one face and one body, and you’ll be facing it in the mirror nearly every day for the rest of your life.

When it comes to plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures such as injectables, taking short cuts is usually never a bargain.

Not only can taking the cheaper option end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in revisional plastic surgery, but cosmetic procedure shortcuts can also be deadly.

You’ll have seen story after story in the media, with the dangers of cheap overseas medical tourism again highlighted in the 4th September 2016 (Episode 24) Sunday evening program on Channel 7.


When it comes to dermal fillers, lip fillers and anti-wrinkle injectables, there are also increasing dangers of being lured by heavily discounted ‘offers’ that may involve substances that are not actually approved for use in Australia. At best they may not work or may not last as long as the quality brands, and at worst they could seriously harm you.

Horror stories also abound surrounding fake injectables.

Two key factors are leaving facial injecting clients at increased risks of being duped or even harmed.

  • ONE: As the popularity of injectables rises due to its value in anti-ageing and facial feature balancing, more injectors are opening up cheap injecting clinics.
    • Not all injectors are savvy to the risks of imported fake injectables.
    • Some injectors might also be tempted to choose less expensive brands or fakes to be able to offer ‘cheap discounted’ fillers and wrinkle treatments.
  •  TWO:  the number of imported fake injectables and dermal filler imports is rising.
    • Even consumers are buying them directly, online, to take to their injectors to try to save on treatment fees.
    • Most don’t realise they are not actually getting the quality brands – or even substances –  they might be claiming to be.
    • Many people also don’t understand that certain types of medical products are illegal to import and that fake products do not have patient-safety monitoring data/research findings or Australian import approval.

Here are two examples of the medical dangers of cheap, unknown fillers and anti-wrinkle injectables to help you stay better informed and – hopefully – protected from the lure of heavily discounted offers.

fall-for-cheap-wrinkle-injections-fillers counterfeit cosmetic injections and cheap dermal fillers can be deadly or cause disfigurement

Story #1 About Fake Anti-Wrinkle Injectables and Cosmetic Surgery in Surfers Paradise – (the “Injectables Party” plan)

A few years ago in Surfer’s Paradise, a person who called himself Doctor Ocean and claimed he was a doctor from Los Angeles, convinced a strippers company to put on a party for him for an approved muscle relaxant solution injections. They agreed and for $500 per person, he gave fake injectables to four of the girls.

He claimed the injectables consisted of the high-quality approved brand, hormones, a fat dissolver, and collagen. He said it would help them improve their look after he injected the substances into their face, breasts, buttocks, legs, love handles and stomach.  Then he proceeded to do the injections.

Doctor Ocean then promised the women they would have a tighter vagina and better orgasms with his designer vagina protocols. Two women agreed and had injectables then pumped into their vagina after an examination of the area (which landed him two criminal charges of digital rape).   The party attendees somehow tasted the injectable and became suspicious when it tasted salty.

The suspect, David Robin Douglas, who had a name change to O’Cean, ended up pleading guilty to 19 different charges including two counts of rape. He was sentenced to jail; and it wasn’t his first time.  His sentence was three years, but he’s out this year – in 2016.

Horror Story #2 about Brand Fakes for Cosmetic Injectables

The second horror story about fake injectables is one that’s equally as serious. A non-plastic Surgeon who said he was a Plastic Surgeon, located in Five Dock in NSW (near Sydney), was recruiting patients from WeChat, a social media platform online for those associated with the Chinese community. It is possible that he recruited new patients from this site more readily than others because of language barriers.

Since July 2016, NSW is trying to find out who might have received the fake injectables from Ms Pu Liu (AKA Mabel Liu) because they believe potential clients may have been tainted with hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV. Ms Liu is not a registered medical practitioner that abides by the rules of Australia medical and cosmetic procedures.

It is alleged that she administered the injectables out of an non-sterile apartment where sterilization of equipment was not possible and where a cat roamed freely. If you know of anyone who used Ms Liu’s services, you will want to warn them about the possibility of infectious diseases from the needles.

fake fillers, fake TGA approved muscle relaxant solution, fake injectables, discount injections, facial injections

Cross Contamination and Infection risks of un-sterilized injecting implements

Whenever the skin is pierced, whatever goes into the skin has the possibility of bringing with it infectious organisms.

  • If a needle is reused, then the risk is for the possibility of bringing viruses (such as hepatitis B or C or HIV) into the blood of the new person.
  • This is part of the reason why Schedule 4 drugs such as injectables have legal requirements and regulations on who can prescribe them or administer them.

The Problem of Fake Cheap Injectables and Fillers is Growing Rapidly in Australia

dangers of facial injections

Plastic surgeons in Sydney – that ARE registered – are now seeing patients that have had unknown materials injected into their face. The materials harden and form lumps. Bruising and scarring are also common. These fake injectables are not only causing a lot of pain, but also potentially disfiguring or maiming patients that agree to go through with the substandard procedures, usually because they are unaware that the solutions are not the quality brand or even an approved one.

The fake injectables are becoming more common in the Sydney area and more recently in Melbourne, with some legitimate plastic surgeons seeing five new patients a week who are having complications from these fake doctors. The risks include hemorrhaging, risk of infections that may cause blindness, and issues where the skin around the area of the injections is  actually dying.

How the story broke: One of Ms Liu’s patients contacted the regulatory agencies to place a complaint, and this is how the ‘secret’ was discovered that she was not a licensed medical practitioner. The patient was a young woman that paid $1500 for double suturing of the eyelids for an anti-aging effect.   The ‘doctor’ made stitches in her left eyelid three times and then pulled them out to redo them. The simple surgery that should have taken less than an hour ended up taking eight hours. The patient was then told to go home, allow the swelling to subside and come back next month for another surgery. But the surgery was botched and the swelling hadn’t subsided six months later.

4 Tips to Help you Be Sure You Aren’t Getting Fake Injectables or Fillers

harms of fake injectables


Follow these four guidelines when you’re planning on getting injectables:

  1. Research the Injector to make sure he/she is actually a registered Nurse or Medical Clinician or Surgeon in Australia.
  2. Make sure the location of where you are going for the appointment is a reputable Clinic that has been around for decades rather than months or a few years only.  Make sure it’s not an apartment or someone’s house. Hotels are also not sanitary enough, so stay away from them.
  3. Take a long hard look at the package the injectables are coming from in the office. You might even want to grab a picture of it with your cell phone prior to your actual appointment to make sure it’s the real product. Compare the real one online to the picture you take.  Even if the box looks similar, it may still be fake; your chances of quality products are increased when you choose an established Injecting Professional who isn’t discounting their services to where you will be tempted to seriously question just HOW they are actually cutting their costs to provide such a deeply discounted injecting service.
  4. Avoid making appointments with people who are advertising soley via social media sites or “word of mouth” only and don’t even have a valid website.


Convinced that quality injectables by seasoned Clinicians are the way to go?

Read one more horror story about a fatal injectables experience.



At Coco Ruby Skin & Anti-Ageing, we are quality driven and have only highly experienced injectors with 15 to 20 years experience in the cosmetic injecting or plastic and cosmetic procedures industry.

Ask for Tina and Sandra and you’ll know you’re getting a high quality reputable brand and highly skilled injecting strategies so that you can look your best for longer.


Recommended Reading – Sources & Further reading about fake or counterfeit cosmetic injectables: approved muscle relaxant solution-party/story-e6frg6n6-1226550873067

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