Makeup company Sephora has reached a settlement with a woman who claimed she got oral herpes from a lipstick sample. According to a CBS Los Angeles news report, Elena Davoyan of Glendale filed the lawsuit against Sephora in October 2017 saying she got a cold sore on her lip after trying a lipstick sample at Sephora’s store at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The lawsuit also stated that Davoyan did not have herpes or cold sores before visiting the store or trying on the lipstick sample. The terms of the settlement were not revealed.
Sephora’s business model is built around product samples and the lawsuit said the company should have known that it is exposing consumers to these types of risks. In a statement, Sephora said they have resolved the issue while continuing to deny all allegations spelled out in the lawsuit. The company also said they take “product hygiene very seriously” and are dedicated to “following best practices in our stores.”
Are Makeup Samples Dangerous?
If you thought store makeup samples are harmless, think again. This woman’s case brings attention to the fact that it’s not just about herpes. Makeup samples can make you sick in a number of ways. A recent NBC undercover investigation at the popular store showed that many of the samples from popular stores contained harmful bacteria including E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae, two types of bacteria normally found in the intestinal tract that is expelled with feces.
When you use samples used by others, you could be applying someone else’s fecal matter directly onto your lips or face. The same investigation also found that some store samples tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus, which could lead to serious infections especially if you have an open cut on your skin or lips.
How Can You Be Safe?
Here are a few things to remember if you plan to try on makeup at stores. The most dangerous products to try are lipsticks, lip gloss and mascara since they involve your eyes and your mouth and they can easily leave you with an infection. Don’t use makeup testers on your face. Always use your hand or wrist to swatch. Use alcohol to clean everything before and after you test it. When you’re having your makeup being done by someone else, brushes and applicators have been sanitized.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or illnesses as a result of unhygienic store practices, an experienced California personal injury lawyer may be able to help you pursue your legal rights.