Did you ever think a swipe of lipstick could land you in the hospital? Us neither—who thinks about medical emergencies when werking their look? No one. But one Florida woman found herself in the ER last week with severely swollen lips. And no, it wasn't from the ridiculous #KylieJennerLipChallenge of 2015. It was an allergic reaction to lipstick.
Lily Cleopatra Maurice of Florida was getting dolled up with one of the CoverGirl lipsticks and literally, well, woke up like this (as you can see from the photo). She rushed herself to the ER, but also shared her experience on social—which now has over 53,000 shares to date. We're not surprised Maurice was so alarmed—we were too when we saw the photos.
According to a statement from CoverGirl, "As soon as we learned of this woman’s experience, which would certainly not be expected from lipstick use, we reached out to her to learn more about what happened and see how we could help. We are awaiting her response. At COVERGIRL, the safety of people who use our brand is our top priority. We conduct extensive testing on all of our products to ensure they’re safe and effective."
So how scared should you be? Not very.
"The ingredients in the CoverGirl lipstick are commonly found in lipsticks and safe for most," says Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist, who took a close look at the full ingredient list. But there are potential allergens that could affect some people. "In this case, it could have been the acetylated lanolin or Red 7 Lake, which has been shown to cause lip swelling in the past."
The reaction Maurice had is known as "angioedema, a potentially life-threatening form of an allergic reaction that's quite rare," says Audrey Kunin, M.D., dermatologist and founder of DERMADoctor Skincare. Makeup formulas are usually a complex mix of ingredients, and it can be tricky to determine the cause of allergy, she says, "but I see no obvious reason to avoid the lipstick based upon an isolated incident."
If you're worried about having an allergic reaction or think you may be allergic to a beauty product, reach out to your physician and get a full allergen test done to know your risks and limitations. And if you ever have a reaction like Maurice's, follow in her shoes and head to the ER, too. (The good news? Maurice posted to her page that the swelling's since gone down.)