Sunday 23 April 2017

'I went from a facial to permanent skin damage' - Woman awarded €37,500 after using product recommended by salon

Stock Image: Getty
Stock Image: Getty

Ray Managh

A woman, who developed permanent facial skin damage after using a “high-end” cosmetic product on the recommendation of a beauty therapist, has been awarded €37,500 damages against the salon in the Circuit Civil Court.

Margaret McLaughlin, a 45-year-old marketing manager, told the court that in March 2013 after receiving a bonus payment from work, decided to treat herself to a facial at Revive, Milltown Road, Dublin.

McLaughlin told her barrister, Bláithín Gallagher, that after the treatment the beauty therapist advised her she had sensitive skin and recommended that she twice weekly use Image Total Resurfacing Masque, a chemical peel on sale at Revive.

Mc Laughlin, of Hazelbrook, Kilmacud Road Upper, Stillorgan, Dublin, said she bought the product and used it once but washed it off after five minutes because she felt a burning sensation on her face.

She said it then settled and she thought it was a normal reaction.  

She had later used it a second time as she had been instructed but the burning sensation became worse.  She had also developed swelling of her nose and redness on her forehead and chin.

She had gone back to Revive which, the court heard, is now out of business, and had been advised by the manager to apply a hydrocortisone cream.

McLaughlin told Ms Gallagher, who appeared with Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors, that she had felt no improvement of her skin which was red, blotchy and itchy, and she had later gone to her GP.

The court heard she had developed acne rosacea, a skin disease which causes redness of the face.  She said she had ongoing issues with her skin although it has been more than three years since the incident.   

“I had a perfect skin before,” she said.  “I went from having a facial as a treat to having permanent skin damage,” McLaughlin told Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke.

She sued Revive Experience Limited with an address at Herbert Street, Dublin, and also product supplier Renaissance Products Limited, Renaissance House, Church Street, Howth, Co Dublin, for negligence.  Both defendants denied liability.

Renaissance Products Limited alleged the Image Total Resurfacing Masque was a high end product sold only by professionals who had been trained.  The court heard that an analysis of the product had not revealed any issue.

Mc Laughlin claimed the product had been too harsh for her skin.  She had been distressed and her confidence and her life had been affected.  The court heard she needs to be careful not to expose her skin to the sun.

Judge Groarke said Revive Experience Ltd had failed to carry out a skin analysis or a patch test on Ms McLaughlin’s skin before recommending the product and had therefore failed in its duty of care.

The judge told barrister Eamon Marray, who appeared with Donal M. Gahan, Ritchie & Co solicitors for Renaissance, that he was satisfied no case had been made against them.

Judge Groarke awarded McLaughlin €37,500 damages along with her legal costs.

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