Can I sue a cosmetics company for not properly listing the ingredients of a product?

I used an Avon product and hours later received a horrible rash on my lips. I know I am allergic to cosmetic products containing sunscreen, however, the lip balm didn’t list that sunscreen was in the product. After researching the ingredients, I found Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate= Octinoxate (a common ingredient found in sunscreens, additionally Titanium dioxide-which is a natural sun protection). Can I sue Avon for not labeling their product as having sunscreen? I think products need to be properly labeled for individuals with allergies.

Asked on March 23, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Here is the problem that I see.  First, although the ingredients you mention may be a part of the group of ingredients that makes up a product with sunscreen, these chemicals may be used for purposes other than sunscreen.  And also a product may have to have a certain percentage of an ingredient or ingredients to be able to be labeled a sunscreen by standards in the industry and quite possibly by the FDA. So there may be no requirement for them to list these ingredients as "sunscreen" and in fact it could be seen as misleading to do so under the circumstances.  Additionally, you need to have some form of damages in order to sue.  Did the rash cause disfigurement?  Was it permanent?  Speak with an attorney in your area on the matter.  Good luck.


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