A woman has been awarded €37,500 damages after she developed permanent facial skin damage following her use of a "high-end" cosmetic product that was recommended to her by a beauty therapist.
Margaret McLaughlin (45) told the Circuit Civil Court that, in March 2013, after receiving a bonus payment from work, she decided to treat herself to a facial at Revive, Milltown Road, Dublin.
Ms McLaughlin told her barrister that, after the treatment, the beauty therapist advised her she had sensitive skin and recommended that she use Image Total Resurfacing Masque - a chemical peel on sale at Revive - twice weekly.
Ms McLaughlin, of Hazelbrook, Kilmacud Road Upper, Stillorgan, said she bought the product and used it once but washed it off quickly after feeling a burning sensation on her face.
She said the feeling then settled and, after thinking it was a normal reaction, she decided to use it once more. However, the burning sensation became worse second time around and Ms McLaughlin 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.
Ms McLaughlin said she had felt no improvement to her skin, which was red, blotchy and itchy, and later went to her GP.
The court heard she had developed acne rosacea, a skin disease that causes redness of the face and she said she had ongoing issues with her skin, even though three years have passed since the incident.
"I had perfect skin before," she said. "I went from having a facial as a treat to having permanent skin damage," McLaughlin said.
She sued Revive Experience Limited, with an address at Herbert Street, Dublin, and also product supplier Renaissance Products Limited, Church Street, Howth, for negligence. Both 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.
McLaughlin 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 Raymond Groarke said Revive Experience Ltd failed to carry out a skin analysis or a patch test on Ms McLaughlin's skin before recommending the product and 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.