Clinique Laboratories, LLC faces a proposed class action that claims the company’s supposedly probiotic-containing Redness Solutions cosmetic products, unbeknownst to consumers, do not contain live probiotics.
In truth, the 18-page lawsuit says, Clinique’s Redness Solutions cosmetics—including the Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser, Daily Relief Cream, Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15, Instant Relief Mineral Pressed Powder with Probiotic Technology, and Redness Regimen—contain microbial-derived ingredients purchased “in a dead state.” Moreover, antimicrobial chemicals that act as preservatives in the cosmetic products otherwise render any probiotic cultures therein “inert and therefore useless,” the case alleges.
Per the lawsuit, consumers have paid more for Clinique’s “probiotics” products, which are essentially alleged to be unable to contain probiotics, than they otherwise would have absent the defendant’s representations.
“Nowhere on the Clinique Cosmetics’ packaging does Defendant inform consumers that the Clinique Cosmetics do not contain live probiotics,” the complaint asserts. “Defendant’s misrepresentations and/or omissions violate consumers’ reasonable expectations and, as alleged herein, New York’s consumer protection statutes.”
The lawsuit relays consumers desire cosmetic products that contain probiotics because the microorganisms purportedly “improve skin appearance by reducing acne, rosacea, eczema, redness, and other skin ailments.” Per the suit, the term “probiotics” is widely accepted to mean live microorganisms that confer a health benefit on the host when administered in adequate amounts.
According to the lawsuit, however, Clinique’s “probiotic” products contain preservatives intended to prevent or decrease microbial growth, including that of bacteria, yeast and mold. While they prolong the products’ shelf life, the preservatives also “render a cosmetic inhospitable” to live probiotics, the case argues.
Moreover, cosmetic products such as Clinque’s are often formulated with tyndallized, or heat-treated, probiotics. Tyndallization “intentionally kills” the microorganisms and prevents them from conferring the purported health benefits, the lawsuit says.
“As a result, cosmetics, like the Clinique Cosmetics, cannot provide any of the promised benefits of a live microbe because the active ingredient, one or more probiotic organisms, has been rendered inert and therefore cannot provide any purported health benefits,” the complaint concludes.
The case adds that if the microorganisms in the Clinique products were, in fact, alive, there exists no evidence “of imparting a health benefit to a consumer after application of a topical composition containing the live organism.”
The lawsuit alleges consumers have been misled by Clinique’s “probiotic” and “microbiome technology” claims and “lost money or property as result of Defendant’s wrongful conduct.”
Get class action lawsuit news sent to your inbox – sign up for ClassAction.org’s newsletter here.