If you’ve ever cruised the lip balm aisle at the drug store, you’ve perhaps noticed brightly colored lip balm pods made by a company called EOS — which stands for “Evolution of Smooth.” But despite its name, a new class-action lawsuit claims the popular product is providing anything but a smooth experience, and instead is turning customers’ mouths and lips into a dry, blistering, cracking, hellish landscape.
Attorney Mark Geragos is representing a client who claims that the product gave her severe rashes, bleeding, blistering, and cracking on her mouth. EOS is a popular product, the lawsuit points out, with photos of celebrities using the stuff included on its web page.
The court documents note that “advertisements and marketing by EOS emphasizes that the product is ‘organic’ and ‘gluten free,’ aligning the product with popular dietary trends, despite the fact that the lip balm has no consumable value.”
The lawsuit says that along with the plaintiff, a “substantial number of consumers,” perhaps numbering into the hundreds of thousands, who have have purchased and used the product “have experienced devastating adverse reactions to the product, consisting of mild to severe rashes, dryness, bleeding, blistering, cracking, and loss of pigmentation, lasting from a few days, to a few months, and some consumers with long lasting and perhaps permanent symptoms.”
The plaintiff in the lawsuit says she bought EOS lip balm after noticing it in the store one day, and began applying it right away.
“Within hours, her lips became substantially dry and coarse, what [the plaintiff] describes as feeling like ‘sandpaper,’ causing her to apply more of the balm on her lips to achieve the results of becoming ‘sensationally smooth,’ “ as the product’s packaging advertised.
Her lips did not become smooth, the documents state, “and began severely cracking on the edges causing flaking and bleeding from the cracks.”
By the next day, her lips and surrounding skin area had severe blistering and rashes, causing her to seek medical care. She says the condition persisted for about 10 days.
The court documents also contain other example of individuals who are claiming similar side effects of using EOS lip balm, including customers who have posted on Facebook and emailed the company.
“While boasting celebrity endorsements and magazine advertisements, and while making lofty representations regarding the health and curative effects of their lip balm products, EOS provides no warnings on its product, packaging, labeling, or anywhere on the website regarding health problems which are caused by the mix and use of ingredients used in its products, and the lack of instruction regarding the appropriate amount of use of the product,” the lawsuit claims.
The plaintiff is asking for damages and demanding corrective advertising in the lawsuit.
A representative for EOS issued a statement to Buzzfeed News on the lawsuit, saying the company “firmly” believes it’s 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 statement reads. “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.”
The company posted a similar statement on its Facebook page, sayings its products are safe to use.
“An independent laboratory puts each of our products through a battery of rigorous testing to ensure this is the case. For these reasons, we firmly believe this lawsuit is without merit, and we will continue to create new and exciting products that delight our customers.”