A woman is suing cosmetic store Sephora with claims that she contracted oral herpes after trying one of their sample lipsticks.
According to the lawsuit, the woman, Elena Davoyan, said she never had a cold sore before trying a sample lipstick at the Hollywood and Highland location in October 2015, NBC Los Angeles reports.
She filed the lawsuit on October 26, 2017, at the Los Angeles Superior Court, citing emotional distress due to an “incurable lifelong affliction.”
The suit claims the cosmetic store “failed to clearly warn customers about the risk of getting oral herpes from trying on lipstick.”
Davoyan’s lawyer, Robert Krasney, said Sephora needs to provide more sanitary options for sampling lipstick, according to the New York Post.
“The bottom line is that (there) are numerous simple solutions to prevent the spreading of diseases through lipstick testers, and that is Sephora’s responsibility.”
Infectious disease experts say that though it’s possible to contract oral herpes through lipstick, it isn’t likely. The virus is short-lived on moist surfaces and may not survive long enough to be transmitted.
Dr. Suman Radhaskrishna, Chair of infectious disease control at Dignity Health, said the lipstick would have to be used very often for the virus to stay alive.
“It has to happen pretty much consecutively. So one person uses it and puts it down and another person picks it up and uses it – perhaps that’s a way of transmitting.”
Doctors advise cosmetic store customers, as a good rule of thumb, not to use the lipstick directly onto your lips. Instead, use a cotton swab.
Radhaskrishna said it’s definitely never a good idea to pick something up that’s been sitting outside.
“The most important thing is that you do not pick up something that is sitting outside because you don’t know how long it’s been outside. Ask for a salesperson; have them help you out.”
[Feature Photo: Pixabay]