Right on the heels of allegations that Wen by Chaz Dean causes hair loss comes another startling beauty controversy. A woman is now suing EOS, claiming that the company’s lip balm is causing some pretty gross side effects. TMZ reports that a woman named Rachael Cronin filed a class action suit against EOS stating that within hours of applying the lip balm, her lips “felt like sandpaper so she applied it again.” After that, her lips began “cracking, flaking, and bleeding, creating blisters and rashes, which lasted ten days.” The lawsuit asks for damages and corrective advertising.
The controversy is surprising given that the EOS Lip Balm Smooth Sphere has been around for quite some time, and its popularity is pretty widespread. You can see Jennifer Lopez applying the egg-shaped balm in her “Booty” music video, and Kim Kardashian is one of the company’s spokeswomen. And this is the first time after it’s been on the market for years that someone is making complaints about the product’s ingredients.
We asked cosmetic chemist, Randy Schueller, to look over the ingredients found in EOS lip balms to see if there was anything that raised a red flag. He says that nothing seems to look out of the ordinary except for two possible ingredients. “The only ingredient that I’ve never seen used in a cosmetic before is the sweetener, Stevia, and I did find one site that claims that when ingested, Stevia can cause scaly and itchy rashes, but there’s not a lot of data to support this.” says Schueller. “Citrus oils, when exposed to sun, can cause skin reactions similar to the ones described above, so perhaps the ‘natural flavor’ listed in the ingredients contains a lot of lemon or lime.”
We also asked Leyda Bowes, a dermatologist in Miami, to take a look at the ingredients, and she says that there’s something in the formula that could have the tendency to cause an allergic reaction. “The beeswax in the balm could be a culprit,” she says. “It’s not so much the wax as it is the propolis ingredient that it contains. Propolis—which is found in beeswax, but also in some mascaras, lip balms, and other cosmetics—is known to be able to cause allergic skin reactions in many patients.” Jeannette Graf, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City doesn’t find any problematic ingredients. “The ingredient list looks fairly benign to me, with shea butter, coconut oil, and botanicals,” she says. “I’m unaware of major issues with this brand of products, and they have been around for a long time, but it’s always possible, although very rare, that someone is allergic to these ingredients.” And New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says that allergic reactions to personal-care products are not uncommon at all. “You should always get an allergy test to determine what ingredient or ingredients you may be sensitive to. Preservatives, fragrances, and artificial colors and dyes are common allergens,” says Zeichner.
Overall, it seems like a bunch of experts haven’t found anything really alarming in EOS’s ingredient list. When reached for a statement, EOS said, “We firmly believe this lawsuit is without merit. Our products are made with the highest quality ingredients and meet or exceed all safety and quality standards set out by our industry and validated by rigorous testing conducted by an independent lab. The health and well-being of our customers is our top priority and millions of satisfied customers use our products every day, many of whom take the time to share their experiences with us.” What do you think? Have you ever had a bad reaction to EOS lip balm?
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