The wildly popular skincare company and multi-level marketing brand Rodan + Fields has found itself on the wrong end of a class action lawsuit for failing to disclose the side effects of its Lash Boost ingredients to consumers.
The product, which costs a whopping $150 a pop, contains an ingredient called isopropyl cloprostenate that carries with it potential for serious side effects, including “change(s) in iris color, eyelid drooping, itchy eyes, eye/lid discoloration, thinning and loss of eyelashes/loss of eyelash hair, eye sensitivity, eye infections, and vision impairment,” reports CBS News.
Isopropyl cloprostenate is a prostaglandin analog, a type of medication often used by eye doctors to treat conditions such as glaucoma. Lash Boost is not the only eyelash enhancer to include the ingredient, but it’s the way the product is marketed that has landed Rodan + Fields in hot water.
Latisse, which is the only FDA-approved product for eyelash enhancement, also includes the ingredient, but it is marketed as a medication, and the brand specifically lists the potential side effects for consumers. Because Rodan + Fields markets Lash Boost as a cosmetic rather than a medication, it is not at the mercy of such rigid regulation as a company such as Latisse, meaning the company does not need to seek FDA approval before making it available to the public.
Though U.S. law does not prohibit cosmetic companies from using isopropyl cloprostenate in their products (while Canadian law does), consumers affected by the side effects of Lash Boost feel as though the company should have been forthcoming with potential side effects up front.
For its part, Rodan + Fields denies any wrongdoing, stating that it provides clear instructions for use to its consumers, including notice that it may cause irritation or sensitivity to some, and plans to leave further commentary to the defense proceedings.
As someone who has had great success with the Rodan + Fields products I have tried and who almost purchased this product in a last-ditch effort to puff any sort of life into my nearly non-existent Irish eyelashes, boy am I glad I didn’t. I feel like I am the kind of person who experiences every side effect listed on a medication, and there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have wound up with an infection or worse.
Beauty is pain, as they say, but I’m not willing to suffer my eyesight. So I guess it’s transparent eyelashes for the long haul over here.
In the meantime, consumers who do wish to try cosmetic products that claim to enhance eyelashes might want to keep an eye (pun totally intended) on the ingredients and their side effects, as Lash Boost is not the only product of its kind to contain isopropyl cloprostenate and to be available over-the-counter.
The class action lawsuit against Rodan + Fields was filed on April 13 in Oakland, CA.