Julep Subscribers Mad After Receiving Almost-Expired Sunscreen Lipstick; Will Get Refunds

Image courtesy of Julep

Sun-loving subscribers to the Julep beauty products service were psyched to see they could get lipstick with SPF 30 sunscreen protection. That is, until they opened their orders and found that the sunscreen would only be effective for a few more weeks.

Consumerist reader Kelly is just one of the many Julep members ticked off about getting the almost-expired lipstick. She tipped us off to the unrest stirring over on Julep’s Facebook page, where customers have been writing that they’d received their July box of products, only to notice that the expiration date on the sheer lip butters read 08/16, as in, next month. Why would the company sell a product that expires weeks after it arrives?

Indeed, Julep’s own blog touted the lip butter’s SPF protection: “Rest assured we’ll be reaching for these lip butters all summer long (and beyond)!” More like, “all summer long… and that’s it.”

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Julep replied to customers on Facebook, writing that the product itself wouldn’t expire in August, and would be safe to use, but that the SPF in it was only effective for two months.

That would be like buying glitter lip gloss only to open the container one morning and find that all the remaining glitter had vanished.

“I was assured on the phone today that the expiration is August 31st, not 1st (and I hope that is true) but that is still less than 60 days,” one customer wrote. “I would never have ordered three. Once my jules [rewards points] and credits are used, I will be cancelling my subscription unless Julep can make this right.”

“I only purchased my box this month because they had SPF in the lip sheers, I didn’t need just another lip product. I am really upset about this,” another said.

“I haven’t taken a box in over 6 months even though I have had enough jules available,” chimed in a fellow customer. “I was actually excited about an SPF lip product. Unfortunately now, not only is my box delayed but I will be getting a product that will only be effective for about 2 or 3 weeks AND I wasted a ton of jules. Completely disapointed in Julep right now.”

“Why would you sell a product that has SPF that will expire in a month?” asked a subscriber. “I decided to get the whole shebang and I’m extremely disappointed that the SPF will only be good for a month. If you advertise a product you with a certain feature consumers will expect that the feature will work. This has seriously made me rethink purchasing products from a company that is willing to lie to its customers just to make sales.”

When we reached out to Julep, the company reiterated again that although there’s an expiration date on the lip sheers, they’ll still be safe to use after that date, but they can’t 100% guarantee it’ll be effective against the sun.

It’s still unclear how the decision was made to ship an SPF product that would cease to be effective soon after its arrival.

“Julep Lip Shade is completely safe to use as a sheer lip butter,” a company spokesperson told Consumerist in an emailed statement. “In one of the many tests we conducted while developing the product, one component of the SPF effectiveness did not meet our high standards for a short period of time. Out of an abundance of caution, we made the conservative decision to label the product with the earliest possible expiration date while we continue to test it.”

As for unhappy customers, the company is offering two options.

“We want customers to be 100% happy with all Julep products, so we are offering Mavens a full refund or a replacement,” the company said.

Customers can email customer support via maven@julep.com or by calling customer service at 877-651-3292 Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. (PST), or Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (PST).

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