Makeup maker’s employees knew the makeup contained oil but companies labeled their products as “oil-free” because “they did not believe their customers were well educated enough to know the difference.”
A proposed class action claims L’Oréal USA Products and its wholly owned subsidiary Maybelline LLC Inc. have misled consumers by labeling certain cosmetics products as “oil-free” when they contain oil.
According to the lawsuit, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, and L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte, though advertised as oil-free, contain one or more oils, including tocopherol, isododecane, hydrogenated polyisobutene, and tocopherol acetate.
Companies False Claims Designed To Intentionally Mislead Consumers
The lawsuit alleges the defendants have intentionally and fraudulently advertised the products as oil-free in order to mislead consumers into purchasing makeup they otherwise would not have bought.
Per the complaint, the term “oil” describes materials that are both hydrophobic and lipophilic, such as hydrocarbons, triglycerides, esters, fatty acids, oil-soluble silicones, and fatty alcohols. According to the case, Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation contains the oils tocopherol, commonly known as vitamin E, and isododecane. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer contains the oils tocopherol and hydrogenated polyisobutene, the lawsuit goes on to allege, while L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte contains tocopherol acetate.
Companies Deception Relied On Consumer Ignorance
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff and other consumers could not have been able to determine that the products contained oils without an advanced knowledge of chemistry and were deceived into paying for makeup they did not want due to the defendants’ false representations.
Moreover, the lawsuit claims Maybelline and L’Oréal were well aware that the makeup products at issue contained oil given they employ professional chemists tasked with developing the products’ chemical formulas. According to the suit, the defendants, through their employees, knew the makeup contained oil but labeled the products as “oil-free” because “they did not believe their customers were well educated enough to know the difference.”
“Defendants, and not Plaintiff, the Class, or Sub-Class, knew or should have known that the Products’ express labeling stating ‘Oil-Free’ was false, deceptive, and misleading, and that Plaintiff, the Class, and Sub-Class members would not be able to tell the Products’ contained oils unless Defendants expressly told them,” the complaint scathes, alleging the deception on the defendants’ part was intentional.
Consumers Choose Makeup To Match Their Skins Needs
Consumers might seek out oil-free makeup products to suit their skin’s needs. For consumers with dry skin, oil in products could help nourish their skin and help any makeup look healthy and skin-like. However, for people with oily or combination skin, avoiding oil in makeup products can be vital to ensuring their makeup stays in place throughout the day. Other consumers may choose to avoid makeup with oil to prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
Class Action Seeks To Protect Consumers Against False Advertising
The lawsuit claims the false labeling of the Maybelline and L’Oréal products deprives consumers of their “protected interest to choose the type and quality of products they use on their bodies.”
The lawsuit represents a proposed class comprising anyone in the U.S. who purchased the products within the past two years.