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Cosmetics recalled due to risk of microbiological infections

Online makeup tutorials are among the most watched videos on social media platforms. Women and men, irrespective of age, are intrigued with the prospect of finding new creative ways to nail that flawless red-carpet look - even during times of COVID lockdown.

Unbeknown to them, there have been a variety of cosmetic products which have been flagged as posing a serious risk to consumers and have since been recalled.

Last week [1 May 2020], the European Safety Commission’s rapid alert system Safety Gate produced a report which highlighted 53 consumer product recalls notified. The products were a combination of cosmetics, e-liquids and electricals.

The reason we are focusing on these cosmetic items is because of the type of risk they pose. With health services across Europe currently battling a pandemic, consumers and retailers need to be hyper aware of potentially harmful products that could result in requiring urgent medical treatment.

In total there were three alerts raised last week relating to a mascara by D’Donna which is manufactured in China. Spain flagged the alerts and is in the process of recalling the product from consumers and has ordered an instant withdrawal from the marketplace.

Consumers place a great deal of trust in cosmetic firms and assume that because of stringent Cosmetic Products Regulations, that any product they put on their faces is 100% safe. These consignments are reported to have a severe technical defect. In particular, these mascaras contain an excessive number of mesophilic micro-organisms (measured value of over 1000 cfu/ml). If used on damaged skin, or if it comes into contact with the eyes, the product may cause infection or irritation.

Errors like this one happen with big high street brands too. Indeed, we were reminded of a story that broke in June last year when the FDA announced that international cosmetics retailer to kids and teens, Claire’s Stores Inc, was selling products which contained asbestos. Eventually the company actioned a voluntarily recall order to withdraw the affected products from consumers and its stores.

Recalls happen all the time. No retailer, whether on the high street or online, is 100% immune to them. Fortunately for retailers and consumers we have a rapid alert system which is constantly being updated in order to provide an extra level of assurance that someone is always watching for issues in the manufacturing and production of consumer products.

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