Counterfeit Fillers

Fillers and Botox are getting more and more popular. There are plenty of brands like Juvederm, Kybella, Dysport and more that are extremely well known and widely used. However, like anything else in the beauty industry, there are counterfeit fillers than can cause serious issues if used. We recommend reading this article about warning signs and doing your own research before going under the needle.

To put it bluntly, deciding on getting fillers or Botox is a BFD. Between the endless research and choosing a trusted physician, there’s a lot to consider. Throw in the fact that there’s a possibility your injectables could very well be counterfeit (it’s a very rare but real scenario), could make the process a little more complicated (and dangerous). “There’s, allegedly, illegally imported Botox that you can get from other countries here in the U.S. market,” says Joseph O’Connell, a plastic surgeon based in Westport, Connecticut. Here, five ways to tell if your filler is fake ? and what to do when it is.

1. Make an appointment with a board-certified professional.

The simplest way to avoid treatment with a fake filler is to have the treatment done by a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, plastic surgeon, or dermatologist, says Min Ahn, a facial plastic surgeon in Boston. “Ideally, this person has either been recommended by someone you trust or has a stellar online reputation,” he says. A quick Google search can pull up whether or not your doctor of choice is certified with the state board of registration in medicine.

2. Ask to see the box the filler came in.

“If you’re getting Botox, ask to see the box it comes in,” says O’Connell. “There’s a hologram on the box.” But, says Ahn, the typical consumer may not be able to tell the authenticity of the box, so it’s important to have an open dialogue with your doctor.

3. Pricing is important.

Typically, if filler or Botox is super marked down in price, there’s a good chance it’s a phony, says Ahn. “If the treatment is unusually inexpensive, you should wonder ? it’s almost too good to be true,” he says. Adds O’Connell: “[Doctors] all pay close to the same price for Botox ? we all have to buy it from the company.”

4. Check your symptoms.

If, during your treatment, there’s unusual pain, you should be wary of the filler’s authenticity, says Ahn. Other side effects to be on the lookout for are: “persistent redness with swelling, deeply colored bruising of the skin (which may indicate blockage of a blood vessel or soft tissue), and hard, irregular contours,” explains Ahn. “Any medical emergency, such as an infection or reaction that may affect sensation, vision or function should be treated immediately.”

5. Get help.

If you feel as if you’re experiencing the above side effects, return to the medical professional who injected you for a post-treatment examination. “If you are not satisfied with the answers, you can obtain a copy of the records and seek help from another doctor,” says Ahn. “Ultimately, the only recourse, after the incident has resolved, may be with the medical board.”

For more on injections:

Now, watch as a dermatologist explains lip injections:

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Dermaplaning 101

For some women, facial hair is embarrassing and a contributor to low self esteem. There have always been plenty of methods out there to remove unwanted hair, but some are not as effective as others. The latest method is called dermaplaning. Many medical spas offer this service, and besides hair-free, it leaves skin looking better overall. Learn how it works in the article below.

I’ve always wanted to remove all the hair from my face. I contemplated lasers, but because my skin has too much melanin, it could cause hyperpigmentation. Instead I’ve been waxing, tweezing, and Nair-ing for years. That was, until I discovered dermaplaning.

Dermaplaning is a skin care treatment that removes dead skin cells and vellus hair, aka peach fuzz. An aesthetician uses a small, sterile blade while holding the skin taut, swiping the blade in gentle upward motions.

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A few weeks ago, I visited

Stacked Skincare

to try dermaplaning for myself. The treatment got rid of my gnarly sideburns with just a few passes?and best of all, it’s painless. It felt quite relaxing, actually, like little baby hands running across my face.


“Dermaplaning leaves your skin brighter, smoother, glowing, and more youthful,” says Stacked Skincare founder Kerry Benjamin. “The only people who can’t dermaplane are those with active pustular acne.”

Here, Benjamin breaks down everything there is to know about dermaplaning, the Stacked Skincare method, and getting your smoothest skin ever at home.

Dermaplaning goes beyond a basic shave

The procedure involves the use of a 10-inch scalpel, which curves into a sharp point. The blade is used on clean, dry skin on the forehead, cheeks, chin, nose and neck. “You can expect to see an instant improvement in skin texture and tone, while the long-term effects are increased cell turnover, fewer wrinkles and dark spots, reduction of acne scarring, and the removal of fine facial hair,” Benjamin says.

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Hairless skin is the cleanest

Removing the peach fuzz is beneficial since the fine hairs trap debris and oils and give skin a dull look. “After dermaplaning, skin care products and treatments perform much more efficiently since they can penetrate the skin more easily. Your makeup goes on smoother as well,” explains Benjamin. “It’s the perfect procedure to begin stacking other treatments, like our TCA Multi Acid Face Peel, Serums, and MicroRoller.”

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Stacking is exfoliation on steroids

Step one: Slough off dead, dry skin with a combination of chemical exfoliation (aka a chemical peel). “Combined exfoliation treatments promote healthy skin cell turnover, prevent acne, reduce dark spots and blemishes, and boost collagen production for plumper skin.”

Step two: Cocktail two or more serums. “When stacked together, the active ingredients in our serums work synergistically to address multiple problematic skin symptoms at once.”

Step three: Dermaplaning, microneedling, and microdermabrasion.


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Maintenance is a major key

“I always tell my clients that they can’t just treat their skin when they see me?they have to do it at home too,” Benjamin says. At-home peels between professional treatments can really boost and maintain your results. “If you are battling acne, a peel will gently exfoliate, kill acne-causing bacteria, and calm inflammation,” says Benjamin, who sends clients home with her TCA Multi Acid Face and Body Peel. “In addition to being a deeper, non-abrasive exfoliation, peels can hydrate, lift hyperpigmentation, and speed up cell turnover, all revealing brighter, healthier, more glowing skin.”

Photographer: Kevin Gonzaez (@shotbykvng)