Less than three weeks ago, I blogged about a lawsuit filed against EOS. Their cute little round lip balms ended up causing some people a lot of pain. 40 people filed formal complaints. Blisters appeared on lips in addition to drying, cracking, feeling like sandpaper and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Everything seemed to point to contact dermatitis (aka one of the forms of eczema) and doctors were speculating that perhaps shea butter was the culprit. Shea nuts are on the FDA's list of allergens.
That's not what I was hedging my bet on, though. After my allergy diagnosis, I worked hard to eliminate my many allergens from my world. That's when I learned about hidden ingredients. They're so common in personal care products (and food) that they can be incredibly difficult to escape.
Here's what my line of thought was: If all of these people were reacting to the shea nuts... unless they recently developed the allergy... chances are they would know they had a shea nut allergy. Shea butter is a fairly common ingredient and common allergen.
None of the people complaining about their reaction to EOS Lip Balm seemed to be naming the exact culprit, though... so I was suspicious that something sneakier was going on and that perhaps these people have some undiagnosed allergies to chemicals. Patch testing for chemicals is less common than the amount of tests done for cats, dust, dairy, etc.
Well, I did a little searching through the news and found out that the lawsuit has been settled (that was fast!). I'm sure EOS was eager to get past all the negative press and hurried it up. Social media really gave people a big platform for voicing their concern over the products and it was catching fire fast. I took a look at the EOS facebook page while all of this was going on and there were quite a few people complaining on their wall about bad reactions on their lips.
An EOS (Evolution of Smooth) representative reportedly told Today.com that while the terms haven't been finalized, part of the agreement in this lawsuit is that the company will provide more details on the product's ingredients as well as how to use it.
I hope that more companies follow suit!
This is a statement released by EOS as the lawsuit was coming to a close:
I hate that word - "hypoallergenic". It's not specific enough. If shea nuts are on the FDA's allergen list, then how can this product be hypoallergenic? The word just doesn't hold as much meaning as it should, you know? But anyways...
I'm VERY happy that EOS will be editing their labels to provide more information their customers. That's definitely a victory. My heart goes out to all of the people who dealt with the pain, sadness and frustration that can come with having such bad reactions on their skin. The lips aren't an easy location to deal with!
Have you used EOS Lip Balm? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?