4 Beauty Products So Bad, People Sued

St. Ives is the latest beauty company to get served.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen December 29, 2016

467375 xlarge ikzimx

I'm not much of a gambler—in fact, the closest I get to rolling the dice with my money is taking a chance on a new beauty product. Even testers can't fully show how a product will work when applied normally, or when used over a long period of time. And because the FDA does not regulate beauty products, often our only recourse when a haircare, skincare or makeup product turns out to be a lemon is to review it as such and swear not to buy it again. Not so for these five products though, which allegedly caused problems severe enough to merit lawsuits.

St Ives Apricot Scrub

This is perhaps the most ubiquitous drugstore skincare product on the market (well, this and that green clay mask), but its controversial reputation should come as no surprise to those who frequent Reddit's skincare forum, where users are, shall we say, not fans. Now TMZ reports that two women have filed a $5 million lawsuit against St. Ives parent company Unilever, claiming that the scrub contains crushed walnut shells that can harm skin and "feels like sandpaper to the skin, with similar results." Your best bet is actually to toss out any physical scrubber in your arsenal and replace it with a chemical exfoliant—those with lactic or salicylic acid are usually just as effective without tearing up your skin.

EOS Lip Balm

Those trendy little spheres of lip balm are totes adorable, but there's nothing cute about cracked, bleeding and blistering lips that one woman said she suffered for 10 days after buying EOS at Target in 2015. A class action suit filed against the company alleged that other users had been suffering rashes after using the product for years. 

Honest Company Sunscreen

There's certainly something admirable about creating a lifestyle brand for moms and their kids based around healthy, organic ingredients. But certain skincare products—like sunscreen—require chemical compounds to be effective. Hence Jessica Alba's Honest Company getting served with a lawsuit alleging that the sunscreen is "ineffective," and that users suffered terrible sunburns after using the product as directed—perhaps because the company removed half the zinc oxide that was originally in the product, according to the class action suit filed in 2015.

Wen Hair Care

Hairstylist Chaz Dean came off as such a nice, free spirited guy on Bravo that you'd never expect his haircare line would, I don't know, cause thousands of people's hair to fall out in clumps. As of November, 200 people had joined a class action lawsuit that alleged the Wen products "led to hair loss, scalp irritation and balding," which is when a proposed $26.25 million settlement was approved by a California judge, meaning 6 million people could be eligible for settlements of up to $20,000. 

Show Comments