On April 13th, 2018, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Rodan + Fields, a multi-level marketing company that sells a variety of skincare creams and ointments. The document alleges that the company engaged in
“…deceptive and unlawful marketing of its Enhancements Lash Boost (“Lash Boost”) eye serum. Rodan + Fields failed to disclose the harmful effects linked to an ingredient in their Lash Boost product.”
The ingredient causing the trouble is isopropyl cloprostenate, a “synthetic analog” which is commonly used to treat glaucoma. While this chemical is important and effective in treating glaucoma, it also has side effects of:
- Iris cysts, cystoid macular edema (which may cause vision loss and distortion)
- Anterior uveitis (inflammation of the iris or ciliary body)
- Reactivation of herpes simplex keratitis
- Shrinking of fat cells around the eye resulting in eye drooping
- Increased prominence of blood vessels
- Darkening of eyelid skin and undereye skin
- Increased pigmentation of iris
- Excessive tearing, eye pain, or lid crusting
The FDA previously warned another company that this chemical was not safe for use except under the supervision of a practioner licensed by law to administer them. Isopropyl cloprostenate is also classified as Category C which means that women of childbearing age are considered at-risk for injury, something Rodan + Fields did not disclose to its customers.
While many other countries like Canada ban this chemical from cosmetic products, Rodan + Fields leveraged the United State’s more relaxed regulations and by classifying it as a cosmetic, were able to skirt the FDA and therefore were not forced to disclose all of the ingredients in their products.
Rodan + Fields generated over $1.5 billion in sales in 2017 with Lash Boost accounting for nearly $200 million of that revenue. The class action lawsuit is seeking $5,000,000 in damages.
We’ll keep you update as the lawsuit progresses in federal court.
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