Skin care brand Yes To has been ordered to pay out US$775,000 in damages for buyers of its Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow Boosting Unicorn Paper Mask, following complaints of ‘burning, blistering and swelling’.
One plaintiff is said to have experienced severe skin irritation and burning while using the mask, breaking out in a sunburn-like rash, according to the action filed against the firm in January 2020, reported Law360.
Other users said they had experienced pain, severe facial irritation and redness.
The product’s ingredient list includes Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, glycerin, Citrus grandis fruit extract, beta-glucan, galactoarabinan, sodium hydroxide and caprylhydroxamic acid.
The brand also stocks a mud mask (pictured) as part of its Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow Boosting range.
Prior to the complaint lodged, Yes To said it would remove the Unicorn Mask from all stores in early January.
This was followed by a voluntary recall from the FDA on 16 January that all Yes To’s Unicorn Masks be removed due to consumer complaints.
“While our products are all independently tested for safety, irritation and allergy, and while we provide both warnings and instructions on our products about the potential skin irritation, the safety and satisfaction of our customers are our main concerns,” said the brand.
“We apologise to anyone who was affected in this way, especially over the holiday season.”
However complainants said Yes To knew about the product’s issues “months” before the recall.
One Facebook user had been directed to speak to customer services after complaining about irritation from the mask in September 2019, according to the plaintiffs.
The consumers, therefore, argued that Yes To was aware of the defective masks but failed to remedy the issues and “misrepresented and/or omitted facts regarding the dangers”.
They added: “This delay allowed the Defendant to reap a significant financial windfall over the Christmas season, while putting its customers at risk.
“Due to the Defendant’s behaviour, consumers were forced to suffer the consequences while the Defendant reaped significant financial compensation from unsuspecting consumers.”
Data provided by the consumers showed the company sold around 250,000 masks, bringing in nearly $730,000 in revenue.
Yes To denied liability in June 2020, citing it no longer manufactured the product.
The damages are expected to cover the $3 cost of the mask or used for up to six masks for each purchaser, while three of the primary complainants are seeking $5,000 in awards.
A version of Yes To's Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow Boosting range is available to purchase via Beauty Bay and The Hut Group's Lookfantastic.
Cosmetics Business has reached out to Yes To for comment