(Warning: Graphic Photos)
A woman’s lips swelled up to frightening proportions after using a CoverGirl lipstick.
Lily Cleopatra Maurice, a Florida resident, decided to try out the Queen collection from CoverGirl to cop a fresh look for her husband’s birthday. Little did she know that such an innocuous decision could bring her so perilously close to the worst experience she has ever had in her life.
Instead of celebrating with her husband, the Florida woman landed in the ER with her bottom lip swollen to an astonishing degree. Although it took the doctors some time to figure out what went wrong, they were finally able to diagnose and treat her.
Later, Maurice shared her story on Facebook as a warning to all women who use lipsticks without knowing what side-effects some ingredients in those cosmetic products could have on their lips. Her post has since been shared almost 60,000 times.
Since CoverGirl’s products are extremely popular in America, the woman’s reaction to one of its products has caused immense distress and alarm among users of the cosmetic brand.
Refinery29 reached out to some expert chemists to understand what might have gone wrong with Maurice’s reaction to CoverGirl’s products, but most of them agreed that “there is nothing in the ingredient list that jumps out as an unusual ingredient for a lipstick.”
So what really caused Maurice’s lips to swell so frighteningly?
New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf had an answer to Maurice’s problems, adding that the lipstick’s ingredients could have led to the swelling.
“This is a condition called angioedema, which occurs soon after exposure to certain ingredients. It’s accompanied by severe lower-lip swelling and often, by difficulty breathing and swallowing. It is difficult to pin down without a work-up by a physician. However, if or when this type of reaction happens, it is essential to go to an emergency room to treat the immediate problem of swelling.”
“There are so many ingredients including multiple dyes, preservatives, fragrances, as well as other potential allergens [in beauty products], that one must be careful.”
According to Graf, cosmetic product users should go to an “allergist to [find out] which potential ingredients are red flags.” Even blood tests performed by immunologists can help identify products or ingredients to avoid.
Since the woman’s lips swelled up last week, she has been inundated with get-well-soon messages, something that has helped Maurice get through this torrid time. She went back to Facebook to update about her condition, adding that the swelling had gone down.
“The swelling has gotten [sic] down slightly and I have been resting from the steroids,” she wrote.
CoverGirl, the cosmetic brand which has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons after the Florida woman’s tale went viral on Facebook, released a statement saying that they would try and find out the possible reasons which could have caused such an alarming reaction.
“As soon as we learned of this women’s experience, which would certainly not be expected from lipstick use, we reached out to her to learn more about what happened and see how we could help,” said Laura Brinker of CoverGirl Communications. “We are glad to hear she is okay and are awaiting her response. At CoverGirl, the safety of people who use our brand is our top priority. We conduct extensive testing on all of our products to ensure they’re safe and effective.”
The Florida woman’s experience with the lipstick should serve as a reminder to all of us to double-check the ingredients of the cosmetic products we use in our daily lives.