Is EOS Lip Balm a Health Hazard?

reaction to EOSPhotos of a bad reaction to EOS lip bam seems to be everwhere.  Los Angeles  resident  Rachel Cronin claims that EOS  lip balm caused   her to develop ” boils and blisters on and around her lips.  The photos are vivid and Cronin has hired  legendary attorney Mark Geragos and filed a class action suit against EOS. The number of people in the suit is not yet known, but there are  many reports  of  similar reactions o the EOS Facebook pages.

Causes of EOS Problems

There is no clear cause of the bad reaction.  Dr Marie Jhin, a  San Fransisco based  dermatologist, was quoed in the Huffington Post  pointing to the vitamin E ( tocopherol) in the lip balm.  While vitamin E is an effective antioxidant its also a well known skin sensitizer.  More than 10 years ago vitamin E enriched  was  the culprit in skin problems with  a deoderant. Other doctors point to the numerous  “natural” ingredients like coconut oil and beeswax. Natural ingredients  sound healthier than long chemical names,  but these organic  products can trigger reactions in sensitive skin.

What Happens Next?

As this  case ( like Wen) winds its way through the courts you  can take a few steps to protect your lips and your wallet. If you have had a reaction to EOS or any other product, you should report   the problem to both the  manufacturer and the FDA.  You can file a report online or by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088. You will need to provide your name and contact information, the name of the product and manufacturer, where and when it was published  and  describe the problem and the care you needed.  Don’t throw away the product because the label will help the FDA  research the problem. Posting on Faacebook may  make you feel better, but reporting   it to the FDA is the way way to  get action.   And be sure to go back to the store where it was purchased and get  a refund.

Preventing Bad Reactions

Spots and splotches from any  skin or hair care product  could be due to a problem with the basic formulation, contamination during maufacturing, or an adulterated usually  safe ingredient.  At this point  all we know  with EOS is that a problem exists. Stop using it and substitute   simpler formulations like vaseline   or Aquaphor.  These are primarily petroleum jelly- not very sexy, but can boast a long boring safety record.

Needed and Unneeded Regulations 

The reactions to products like Wen have spurred  Senator Diane Feinstein  to inroduce the Personal Product Safety Care Act to protect the consumer.  The best recommendation would require that cosmetic  companies report  bad reactions to the FDA. But the rest of the  bill contains pretty heavy handed requirements that include a facility registration fee based on  sales.???? The beauty industry is one of the of the few  sectors that stay strong in   bad economic times The last thing we all need are new burdensome regulations that would have a chilling effect  on the dynamic indie beauty scene.

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