Hidden Dangers of Counterfeit Skincare Products

Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics Is the Best Prescription Skincare Provider in San Francisco

Sometimes “buyer beware” is a real understatement. If you ever feel tempted to buy medical skincare products from anyone other than an authorized seller please consider the following…

The products sold on third-party websites like Amazon, eBay and Craigslist might have lower prices at first glance, but in fact have hidden costs, including the risk that these products are stolen, counterfeited, expired, or otherwise altered from what the labels claim.

These counterfeit products may just not be effective like the real products, or they may in fact hurt your skin in ways that could result in a bad situation where you’ll need to seek professional care to repair the damage.

Counterfeit beauty products often test positive for poisonous ingredients, according to the FBI, which warns:
• Phony skincare products often contain things such as arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium (all known carcinogens) along with high levels of aluminum and dangerous levels of bacteria. Some of these products have caused conditions like acne, psoriasis, rashes, and eye infections.
• Counterfeit fragrances have been found to contain something called DEHP, classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen.

Other perils might be less serious, but no less irksome. For instance, if the pump on a lotion breaks, you may not be able to return it to an online seller if the rest of the product is intact, but an authorized seller would be able exchange the product for you. Additionally, authorized sellers grant you loyalty points that work like frequent flyer miles, meaning you earn future discounts–a perk unavailable if you buy from unauthorized vendors.

At Risk

Using any medical-grade product without the supervision of a specialist who knows the product line puts you at risk of not getting the results you desire. An expert practitioner can tell whether you’re experiencing side effects, whether something is no longer working, and in both of cases, suggest which product to try next.

Some of the major prescription skincare brands actually maintain lists of where not to buy their products. Here’s SkinMedica’s list, and here’s the one Obagi keeps up to date.

We encourage you not to be shy about letting your esthetician know which skincare products you’re using and whether you are finding them to be effective. We can help you find the best products to reach your desired goals.

You can shop with us online and order directly from the vendors or use our order form and pick up your products curbside, or we can ship to you.





We prescribe SkinMedica at Hayes Valley Medical Esthetics


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Kirsten S.
Linda and staff are amazing. I am always very happy with my treatment results. It is apparent that she researches various technologies and techniques. The applications are always evolving with new and improved products. Highly recommended.
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Suzanne P.
Excellent service and an overall pleasant experience. Victoria was professional and knowledgeable. She proposed treatments addressing both my anesthetic and medical concerns.. I could not be happier with the results. Also, the Receptionist, Mattie, was pleasant and efficient. I look forward to future treatments.
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Lisa M.
Hayes Valley is the best! Kate did an incredible job with Dysport removing the wrinkles from my forehead, Sandra gave me great abs and glutes with Emsculpt, and Linda gave me my youthful facial structure back with Sculptra. These women are truly amazing. So glad that I found them!
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Gene V.
I love Hayes Valley Medical and Esthetics! I've been coming for a while now for Botox and filler treatments. Linda is AMAZING! She knows just the right amount of product needed in all the right places to bring out my best facial features. I feel more handsome every time!!

The front desk staff are super sweet and helpful. They always ask exactly what I want and I never feel like I'm being 'upsold' or encouraged to do anything other than what I came in for. I would highly recommend HVME to anybody that is on the unsure about trying some of the services they offer. You won't be disappointed. Thank you!!
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Julie S.
This was my first experience with any filler/injection treatment and it was very pleasant, professional and everyone there made me feel safe, welcome and I felt very knowledgeable coming out of my treatment about what to expect. I will absolutely be back!
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Tina B.
Diana at the front desk is so sweet, the medical assistant was amazing & personable and Kate who did my procedure is my favorite! As I walked out and met my husband, I told him how much I enjoy being there & what a good vibe Hayes has.
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Cher B.
Sheila and Linda took great care of me and I look younger and vibrant.  I do not trust anyone else for injectables.  Linda is careful, thoughtful, and respectful of one’s budget. I have followed her from Marin into SF and I will continue to follow her where ever she practices.
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Emily N.
I highly recommend Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics!! All the front desk staff are warm, friendly and professional and Denise is the best for laser, she goes above to make you feel comfortable and at ease. Andrea is exceptional at explaining the services they offer. They are the best in SF in my opinion and I do my research!
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Kathleen F.
Excellent customer service, advice, and care. Botox and Microneedling. Melonie is a gem. She is extremely knowledgable, sincere and honest. Everyone here is helpful, They carry a fabulous array of skin products too. I am so pleased with my results!
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