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Filler Frauds: From Fraps to Face

Filler Frauds: From Fraps to Face

August 11, 2014


One lump or two

Did you know that coffee can have fillers like corn, potato flour, soybeans, or brown sugar, among other fillers?  

Ground coffee is typically tested by taste, smell, or a gander under a microscope—hardly the level of sophistication you’d expect for the world’s second-most-traded commodityBut researchers in Brazil, one of the world’s top coffee suppliers, havedeveloped a simpler, less error-prone test that can sniff out filler materials by their chemical fingerprintsThe test uses liquid chromatography, a process that separates individual components from a mixture and identifies each one according to its chemical contentComparing carbohydrate profiles, it’s simple to spot adulterants like grains from pure coffee.

One lump or two is ok for your coffee but not for your face. Look out for a filler of another kind-the kind the FDA says is causing lumps in the face.

Lumps, nodules, discoloration, swelling and bruising are just some of the side effects possible with a newly popular injectable filler, warns the FDA. Another important point: the filler, called Expression, was never approved for cosmetic facial use in the first place, the agency says.

Expression, made and sold by Enhancement Medical, LLC, was approved by the FDA in 2012 as an intra-nasal splint, to be used post-surgery inside the nasal cavity. According to Enhancement Medical, it’s a third-generation hyaluronic acid gelthat’s sulfite- and pathogen-free.

But unlike other hyaluronic acids like Juvederm, Restylane, and Perlane, which the FDA approved for cosmetic use, Expression is being used off label cosmetically but only indicated as an intra-nasal splint.  It’s not uncommon for companies to take liberties and cite the products are of substantial equivalence.

Lumps in coffe ok, fillers in coffe not.  Fillers in face-ok-lumps from filler not.  Just some Monday morning words of wisdom.

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