Fake Injectors and Fake Injectables: Medical Dangers from Counterfeit Products

dermal filler injections

How to Avoid Dodgy injectors and Fake Injectables to ensure you get Genuine Filler and Anti Wrinkle Injections

Injectable 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.

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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 fake or counterfeit cosmetic products versus the real thing.

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

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 a 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 haemorrhaging, 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-ageing 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 solely via social media sites or “word of mouth” only and don’t even have a valid website.

One dodgy Contracted Doctor was injecting Saline solution instead of the real product into patients at a clinic and taking the actual product to sell elsewhere!

How to tell a Top Quality Injectables Brand from a Cheap or Fake Brand

Does it really matter when you’re choosing an Injector or Anti-Wrinkle Injection treatment? Not all injectables are alike.

If you’re thinking about temporarily removing lines or plumping up your lips, getting wrinkles reduced or enhancing your cheeks, your chin or jawbone – or bringing these features back to the contours they had BEFORE gravity, atrophy and sun damage took their toll – what will be GOOD for you to KNOW before you step into your Injector’s Clinic or sit in the injecting chair? The key thing is to recognise that there are TOP QUALITY BRANDS, of which you’ll heard of through the media – and there are substitute, cheaper or even fake injectables in the market, often sold through great discounts to unknowing injectors or patients who opt for discount injection treatments.

What makes for a top injecting experience with Dermal Fillers or Wrinkle Relaxing Injectables?

Being informed before you enter the office is a way to help you get good service and quality results; otherwise you might be injected with lower-quality brands or less volume than you’re actually paying for.

Read this quick BLOG to help you separate the myths from the facts about dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections to the face.

What Cosmetic Injections and Muscle Relaxing Needles do to rejuvenate your face.

It’s important to keep your expectations realistic about injectables treatments or any plastic surgery procedure. Cosmetic injections cannot stop time. But anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers CAN give the visual impression of less ageing and fewer wrinkles.  Injections can take a few years off your face because they CAN restore lost facial volume, plump up lips, cheekbones and other features, and reduce deep lines and creases on the face.  They CAN’T stop ageing from continuing, however, and your face WILL continue to age even with injections.  So cosmetic injections are an anti-ageing TOOL rather than a total clock-stopper.

What injections to your face CANNOT do is tighten the skin, when there is noticeable or significant skin sagging, such as loose jowl skin or a crepey neck.  They may help these concerns, of course – but only to a point, at which time you’ll likely want to consider a SURGICAL intervention and/or deep chemical peel treatment for increased rejuvenation of your face and skin.  The key is to know WHEN you should get injections versus SURGERY, and HOW the two combined may get you the best effects in terms of your facial rejuvenation objectives.

What are the risks associated with facial injections or anti-wrinkle solutions that relax the muscles?

The most common side effects or complications of quality temporary facial fillers or anti-wrinkle injections are:

  • Transient bruising or redness
  • Swelling that may last a few days
  • Infections or allergic reactions (rare).
  • Danger Zones of Injecting ( a good reason to find a great injector who knows their facial anatomy and has been injecting for over 15 years or more)!

There can be significant complications if your Injector accidentally injects filler into your blood vessels or the other danger zones. Also, be careful to avoid permanent fillers at all costs; these are likely to result in significant and long-term side effects – permanent fillers “means permanent headaches,” as mentioned in the metaphor above.

Anti-wrinkle injections

The anti-ageing properties of an approved injectable solution, after which the most recognisable, top brand of anti-wrinkle injectables is named, relaxes muscles and helps your skin stop creasing or forming lines and wrinkles.

Top-quality injections can, over time, minimise deep lines or wrinkles but is best used early before the wrinkles become highly ingrained in the deepest layers of your skin.

Some people even try injections in a PREVENTIVE or PRO-VENTIVE (Proactive) manner, before wrinkles even start to become very noticeable.

It’s entirely up to you, but we do notice some great results on people who come in before their lines deepen significantly – it’s not unlike sanding out dents in cars – the more superficial the dent (e.g., the wrinkle or line), the less smoothing (e.g., the cosmetic injecting work) that needs to be done.

top quality injections to face, best TGA approved muscle relaxant solution solutions for wrinkles and lines, medical uses of TGA approved muscle relaxant solution


Who is authorised to use Anti-Wrinkle Injections in Australia including Victoria?

Anti-Wrinkle Injections are a prescription-only drug, and need to be overseen by qualified medical staff. This includes cosmetic injectors working across clinics in Victoria or Melbourne.

Excerpt from a recent news release from the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons:

“Muscle relaxant solution should be prescribed and used by doctors in appropriate settings,” says Geoff Lyons, president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. “If it’s being injected by someone else, it should be done under appropriate supervision with a doctor on the premises. There are a number of people undertaking injection treatments apparently without supervision – we don’t encourage that at all. Non-invasive procedures like fillers and approved muscle relaxant solution are considered low risk, but that doesn’t mean no risk. Most risks are minor, but they’re there.”

The effects of anti-wrinkle facial injections typically last three to four months, but can last longer with ongoing treatment or preventative approaches (this can vary and studies show different outcomes, which we think is mostly related to interactive factors and the amount used PLUS the skill of the injector PLUS the bio-physiology of the patient).

Possible side effects of anti-wrinkle injections are usually temporary.
  • They might include: temporary drooping of the eyelids until the injection wears off, bruising, headaches, redness, swelling or tenderness at the injection site, numbness, pins and needles sensations and for some patients, a bit of early nausea around the treatment time.
  • Most people, however, get injections with anti-wrinkle solutions and find they have little if any unwanted reactions and zero to low amounts of downtime.

Ask our Injectors what you should or shouldn’t do in the week(s) leading up to, and after, you get facial injections with anti-wrinkle ingredients or dermal fillers.

That doesn’t mean that you should take injections lightly; it means you should know the benefits AND risks and make an informed decision, including finding out how much experience your Injector has with facial injections and wrinkle relaxants.

  • In very rare situations, there can be complications that impact swallowing, speaking, or breathing such as where the ingredients are administered in high volumes, e.g., such as when treating spasticity or used around the neck area or for migraines.

Other Cosmetic or Medical uses of Anti-Wrinkle Injections

Other uses of injections include treatments for excessive sweating (called “hyperhidrosis”), which works by helping to temporarily deactivate the sweat glands.  Muscle-Relaxant solutions can also sometimes help people who are prone to bladder weakness or incontinence. In these situations, the muscle relaxing injection solution is injected into the bladder muscle, causing it to relax. This may help increase the bladder’s storage capacity whilst reducing mild urinary incontinence. This treatment lasts for 5 or 6 to 12 months on average, and has recently gained a lot of press attention for people who suffer bladder weakness and incontinence. MonaLisa Touch Laser treatments can also help.  Find out more about vaginal rejuvenation or anti-wrinkle injections by sending an Enquiry form, below.

Injections to Treat Chronic Migraines

The brand name of wrinkle relaxing injections is ALSO able to be used to help treat chronic migraines and headaches (a chronic migraine is a severe migraine headache that occurs more than 14 days in any given month).  In migraine treatments using injectables to the neck, the muscle relaxant solution is injected at approximately 4-month intervals, often around the neck or head, by a very skilled injector.

Find out more by browsing our BLOGS on injectables or phoning our team on (03) 8849 1400.  You can also send an enquiry form (below).

We look forward to assisting you with top quality injections and dermal fillers and other cosmetic treatments to help fight wrinkles and reduce the visible signs of facial ageing.

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

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:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fake-doctor-jailed-after-jabbing-strippers-at-TGA approved muscle relaxant solution-party/story-e6frg6n6-1226550873067




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