Woman Sues Sephora, Claims Lipstick Sample Gave Her Oral Herpes

Henrietta Brewer
November 1, 2017

According to a report from TMZ, a woman from California is suing Sephora after she says she contracted oral herpes from a "common use" tube of lipstick on display at the store.

The woman, who hasn't been identified, says doctors diagnosed her with the STD. The woman who filed the lawsuit claims that she had never had cold sores associated with the herpes virus before she visited a Sephora location in Hollywood in 2015, Bustle reports. There, she tried on a lipstick from the samples displayed on the shelves.

She is suing Sephora for emotional distress for an "incurable lifelong affliction", according to the lawsuit. Davoyan also states that other stores are more cautious in this regard, as they use lipstick wands, swabs or individual testers to ensure proper hygiene.

After swatching a dozen lipsticks and narrowing it down to a few top contenders, it's easy not to think twice about trying a tester shade or two directly on your lips.

In a statement, Sephora said they are not able to comment on Litigation, but that "the health and safety of our clients is our foremost priority", Elle reported.

Herpes is less commonly transmitted via objects because the virus only survives for a couple hours at best, depending on how humid the environment, Dr. Amesh Adalja of Johns Hopkins Center recently told Live Science.

So if someone with the virus used the lipstick without a disposable applicator and soon after, another person used the same lipstick, the second person could easily become infected. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 67 percent of people under age 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1 (the virus that causes oral herpes).

In addition, stores like Sephora have excellent return policies so that customers don't have to use the test samples at all.

Though the lawsuit probably won't stop us from shopping at Sephora, we are definitely going to be more wary about the testers we sample with.

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