In a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in California by Sarah Basile and Kaylee Browning, the plaintiffs claim that the St. Ives Apricot Scrub actually causes microscopic tears in the skin, making users more susceptible to infections. Multiple users have deemed the facial scrub unfit for commercial distribution, saying that the company used false advertisement to promote its product.
One reason as to why the women are seeking justice is that St. Ives claims that using crushed walnut shells in the product’s composition promotes healthy cell growth, when, in fact, the practice could make it considerably easier for irritants and bacteria to get into the skin and ultimately cause various infections. Another ground for the lawsuit is that the company uses “dermatologist tested” on the scrub’s label, considered false advertisement by some. The plaintiffs want the company to disclose the effects of the scrub on the skin and are suing the brand for $5 million.
On Friday, December 30th, a spokesperson for Unilever, the parent company stepped forward.
“As a general practice, we do not comment on pending litigation”, said Unilever spokesperson.
Upon finishing the statement, the spokesperson said that no similar action has been taken in over 30 years, claiming that the customers have always been satisfied with the result. The spokesperson ended the official statement saying that the company stands by its dermatologist-tested formula.
Opinions on scrubs are divided between dermatologists. Dr. Dennis Gross claims that it has a similar effect to using sandpaper on one’s face, while others strongly believe using the product leads to healthier skin cells and promotes fast regeneration of the damaged ones.
Assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Apple Bodemer believes that when applied correctly, scrubs can effectively remove keratin plugs linked to acne and consequently promote collagen production, giving off a smooth and healthy look. However, Dr. Bodemer does not necessarily recommend people to use scrubs. Instead, she believes that cleansing one’s face with gentle strokes and warm water can have the same effect an exfoliant has on the human skin.
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