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Many beauty enthusiasts don’t know the basics of recalled skincare items. While many brands recall their items voluntarily due to product quality inconsistencies, there are times when the FDA has to forcefully recall a product due to various factors, such as misbranding and not revealing accurate material and ingredient facts.
But seriously, do skincare products get recalled often?
Fortunately, no — but it’s essential you stay adamant about product safety and know the latest products that have been recalled. Especially since major brands get recalled in addition to smaller, budget brands. While some recalls are for simple product quality reasons, there are times when dangerous ingredients are found hidden in products. Here’s a comprehensive list from the past few years.
Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena Sunscreen
The latest brand that made big news was Johnson & Johnson aerosol sunscreen after being voluntarily recalled. The sunscreen was found to have traces of benzene, an ingredient that has major health concerns. Benzene has been linked to multiple short-term and long-term conditions, the most severe being aplastic anemia and cancer.
Keep in mind, benzene has mainly been found in the spray J&J sunscreens. But unfortunately, the baby sunscreen was also found to have traces of benzene. In addition, 25 Neutrogena sunscreens were found to have high traces of benzene. They have voluntarily recalled their spray sunscreens.
Yes to Inc. Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Unicorn Paper Mask
Another brand to recall a product is Yes to Inc. You probably know them by their various brand names (Yes to Carrots, etc.) and their fun yet natural skincare products. However, one of their recent products, the Glow-Boosting Unicorn Paper Mask, was recently recalled. The mask was recalled due to various complaints of skin redness and irritation.
The reason behind the irritation is still being investigated. Yes to Inc. urges customers to either return their unused products or contact the company headquarters if they have already used the product.
Essity Tork Foam Soap Extra Mild
Swedish-based personal hygiene company Essity recalled their Tork Foam Soap back in 2018. The soap had traces of Burkholderia cepacia, a bacteria commonly found in water and soil. While it rarely causes infections in healthy humans, this bacteria is resistant to most medications.
Keep in mind, you likely don’t have this soap at home. Essity usually sells its soaps to commercial vendors. It’s still proof that you should be vigilant of all products you use, which includes the soap you use in the bathrooms at various businesses.
Thornton Industries Family Wellness Cornstarch Baby Powder
Also, in 2018, Thornton Industries recalled its cornstarch baby powder due to an incorrect ingredient declaration. I can’t find any more information about this product recall, but it seems like Thornton Industries makes a variety of beauty and home products. Still, I’ve never heard of this brand, so it’s always best to research the products you’re using on your infants and only buy from reputable brands.
Avalon Organics Bath & Shower Gels
Back in 2018, Avalon Organics voluntarily recalled two of their shower gels (Refreshing Lemon and Nourishing Lavender) due to elevated microbiological counts.
While no one likes to hear this, it’s not uncommon to find germs in your soap. However, most won’t affect you because they’re usually alive in small numbers. But when microorganisms are present in large numbers, it could become a hazard. The FDA sets limits as to the number of bacteria allowed in a single product. Unfortunately, these shower gels exceeded that limit.
Now, I started freaking out because I’m currently using Avalon Organic’s Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner now. However, the EWG gave Avalon Organics Lavender Shower Gel a score of 4 (10 being the worst). The biggest concerns are using restricted ingredients and the risk of an allergic reaction. Even so, the most concerning ingredient is Citrus Lemon Peel Oil, which has a high chance of an allergic reaction.
Saje Natural Wellness Splish Splash Gentle Baby Wash
In 2018, the FDA recalled Saje Natural Wellness’ Splish Splash Gentle Baby Wash because it may have been contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is a particularly dangerous germ. It’s often found in hospitals and can lead to blood infections and pneumonia — something you don’t want in your baby wash!
Now I’ve never heard of this brand and usually use the same baby products, but it’s terrifying that these germs can be found in products you use on infants! I also have extremely sensitive skin, so I always use baby wash to wash my skin. It goes to show that you have to be diligent with the products you use on infants and on yourself.
Bath and Body Works Pure Simplicity Body Mist
This one is concerning because so many people I know use Bath and Body Works. Back in 2018, they recalled two products in their Pure Simplicity Body line: the fragrance-free one and the Acai Berry fragrance. The recall was due to possible contamination, specifically with the bacteria Enterobacter aerogenes and/or Enterobacter gergoviae. Enterobacter bacteria are dangerous; not only can they infect humans, but they’re also resistant to different antibiotics.
Enterobacter gergoviae is especially concerning because it’s often found in cosmetics. It’s also resistant to parabens. While parabens are dangerous, they’re added to cosmetics as a microbial agent.
United Exchange Acne Shave Products
Back in 2018, Shadow Holdings, LLC recalled a variety of acne shave products by their brand United Exchange. The recall was due to possible bacteria contamination. While I can’t find any specific information on the strain, the bacteria could pose a serious threat to immunocompromised people, even when applied topically.
I’ve never heard of this brand and can’t find a website, product pages, or anything. But if you suspect you’re using these products and experienced a reaction, you can complete a report and submit it to the FDA.
Medline Remedy Skincare
In 2018, a variety of Medline Remedy skincare products were recalled due to contamination with the Burkholderia cepacia complex. The products that were recalled include:
- Phytoplex Nourishing Skin Cream
- Remedy Moisturizing Body Lotion
- Phytoplex Hydrating Cleanser No Rinse Foam
- Remedy Essential Cleanser No Rinse Foam
- And more
Burkholderia cepacia complex is the name for a group of bacteria that can be quite dangerous. While most people won’t even show any symptoms, those with compromised immune systems will show life-threatening symptoms that may require hospitalization. There have been patients hospitalized from using these Medline Remedy products.
I’ve never used these products, but I’ve seen them around at stores. Again, this is further proof that you should be picky about the products you use — especially if you have a compromised immune system.
Pasta de Lassar Andromaco Skin Protectant
in 2018, Pasta de Lassar Andromaco recalled their skin protectant cream for mold, yeast, and bacteria contamination. While this particular batch was never sold in the United States, the brand recalled the product out of caution. This skin protectant is commonly used to treat mild skin irritation, including diaper rash.
Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes Mega Box
While I can’t find a specific source for this story, Pampers recalled their baby wipes back in 2017. However, they only recalled the Mega Box. Contamination with warehouse floor debris was the culprit.
Warehouse floor debris is common, such as dry sand, but warehouses need to abide by cleanliness standards to ensure the debris doesn’t contaminate products. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like this is dangerous, but it is gross and something you don’t want spreading on your baby’s skin.
Piyanping Anti-Itch Lotion
Back in 2017, Lucky Mart voluntarily recalled its product Piyanping Anti-Itch Lotion for incorrectly labeling its active ingredient. Don’t forget, contaminations aren’t the only reason for product recalls. Many brands may recall a product due to inaccurate labeling of ingredients and more. It is important that brands recall their products for this reason in order to exercise transparency.
Dude Products Facial Wipe
In 2017, there was a voluntary recall of Dude Products Facial Wipe due to complaints of mold on the wipes. Eww! While I can’t find a specific story on this recall, thinking about using a facial wipe with mold on it freaks me out. Dude Products is a company that specializes in creating flushable and biodegradable wipes. This brand was seen on Shark Tank, and they even got a deal with one of the investors.
It’s a shame that their products have mold on them. This seemed like a promising and interesting company.
Beautycounter Nourishing Day Cream
Back in 2017, MLM company Beautycounter recalled their Nourishing Day Cream. It seems like the cream they recalled was the one that was sold in specific skincare sets.
The gift sets identified were the holiday gift sets released that year and the “Our Favorites for Your Favorite” set. The recall was due to the presence of bacteria Pluralibacter gergoviae. This bacteria is dangerous because it can infect humans. Plus, it’s resistant to parabens and other microbial agents.
The Honest Company Baby Wipes
I hate how many of these product recalls have to do with products you use on babies. In 2017, The Honest Company recalled their baby wipes due to the presence of mold. Eww! While they didn’t suspect the mold is dangerous, they still recalled the product and urged their customers to make sure their wipes didn’t contain mold. You can see the mold because it causes discoloration.
Even though they said the mold isn’t dangerous, you’re likely using these wipes on infants. Their immune systems aren’t built up to defend their bodies against mold, which makes this story even more alarming.
Anyone who purchased these wipes can return them for a full refund. You may have purchased them on its own or in a kit, such as the Baby Basics, Honest Diaper Cakes, and Baby Arrival Gift Sets.
Question: How Do I Check If a Product I’m Using Has Been Recalled?
Question: Can the FDA Forcibly Recall Beauty Products?
How Do I Know If a Product Is Dangerous?
What Do I Do If I Purchased an Item That Was Later Recalled?
How Long Do Recalls Last For?
Do Skincare Products Require an FDA Approval?
Skincare Products Recall List: Bottomline
If you regularly use beauty products, it’s essential that you stay informed of the latest product recalls. Even major brands such as Johnson & Johnson and The Honest Company can suffer product contaminations. No matter what products you use, always research the brand to ensure they are safe and transparent.
If you suspect anything off with the product you’re using, immediately stop using it and contact the company to see if you can get a refund.