What to do if you get a bad reaction to cosmetics

27 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Recent news articles have shown the serious consequences that can occur when cosmetics are not used correctly or have aggravating ingredients. The ACCC notes that cosmetics related injuries are responsible for a huge 30% of injury reports received by the agency. Here are some things to do if you suffer an adverse reaction to cosmetics. 

Take photos of your injury and the cosmetics

Before you get treatment, it's important to show how the cosmetics appeared and the reaction that you have had. Document any other issues including discharge and itchiness. Stop using the cosmetics and place them in a sealed bag so that they can be tested for any improper ingredients. In Australia, there are two major ways that the cosmetic ingredients could be at fault; the label could be incorrect and not indicate some ingredients which users may be allergic to, or there may be ingredients used in the cosmetics that are not safe for use in cosmetics (or in the indicated manner). 

Get medical treatment

It's important that you get medical treatment, as even relatively minor injuries can become infected on aggravated and lead to scarring or disfigurement. As the face is such a sensitive area, both physically and emotionally, these injuries can be very distressing for the patient. 

Contact the retailer or manufacturer

Once you have received treatment, you should contact the retailer or manufacturer. Under consumer law, the retailer is equally responsible for providing a refund and compensation, as they need to be providing goods that are safe for use as part of the Australian consumer guarantee.  

Contact an injury lawyer

If you are not satisfied with the response from the retailer or manufacturer, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can help to draft a letter to get the attention of the manufacturer, and if required, can help you either negotiate a settlement or take the matter to court. The lawyer can also advice on the best way to get the problematic cosmetics tested to ensure that they comply with labelling requirements (by only using the advertised ingredients) and do not contain problematic levels of unsafe ingredients or bacteria. 

Cosmetics are legally required to be clearly labelled and safe for use in the intended way. If you have an injury from using cosmetics, you have the right to get compensation for your injury from the retailer or manufacturer, and they may need to take steps to ensure others cannot be injured in a similar manner. 

For more information, speak with experienced lawyers in your area.