A proposed class action claims that the makers of Almay cosmetics have falsely advertised the makeup as clean, healthy and non-toxic while failing to disclose that the products contain harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
According to the 55-page lawsuit, Almay and parent company Revlon have intentionally concealed the presence of PFAS in their products in an effort to drive sales revenue.
The case contends that no reasonable consumer would have thought the makeup was “clean” had they known it contained PFAS, which the lawsuit says are linked to various health problems and described as “forever chemicals” given their propensity to resist degradation.
The lawsuit says that the presence of PFAS in the Almay cosmetic products renders the makeup “worthless or less valuable.” According to the suit, consumers would not have bought the products, or would have paid less for them, had Almay and Revlon disclosed that the items contained PFAS.
According to the complaint, the plaintiffs’ independent testing of Almay cosmetic products revealed that the makeup contained organic fluorine, an industry-standard marker for the presence of PFAS. The case states that carbon-fluoride bonds, one of the strongest in nature, are a characteristic of all varieties of PFAS and make the chemicals “highly persistent” in the environment and human bodies.
The complaint references a June 2021 study entitled “Fluorinated Compounds in North American Cosmetics,” during which more than 231 cosmetic products were tested to determine the presence of PFAS. According to the suit, the study found that more than three quarters of waterproof mascara, two thirds of foundations and liquid lipsticks and more than half of eye and lip products had high fluoride concentrations, indicating that PFAS were “likely present.”
Nevertheless, the labels of roughly 88 percent of the tested products failed to disclose ingredients that would explain the fluoride markers, the case relays.
The lawsuit stresses that the presence of PFAS in makeup is “very concerning” given the products are intended to be applied directly to the skin and worn for long periods of time. According to the suit, exposure to high levels of PFAS can cause various health problems, including immune system damage, reduced response to vaccines, cancer, pregnancy-related problems and abnormal growth in unborn babies.
The case argues that given Almay’s emphasis in its marketing materials on its commitment to producing “clean” beauty products, no reasonable consumer would expect Almay makeup to contain toxic PFAS.
The suit alleges the defendants’ conduct was especially egregious given the companies knew or should have known about the presence of PFAS in their products yet failed to disclose this information to consumers.
“Instead, Defendants wantonly represented the Products as clean, over and over, year after year,” the complaint states.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the U.S. who, during “the fullest period allowed by law,” purchased any Almay products that contained PFAS, including, but not limited to, Almay Skin Perfecting Healthy Biome Makeup, Almay Multi-Benefit Mascara, Almay Clear Complexion Concealer, Almay Clear Complexion Makeup, Almay Goddess Gloss and Almay Truly Lasting Color Liquid Makeup.
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Camp Lejeune residents now have the opportunity to claim compensation for harm suffered from contaminated water.