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Formaldehyde in Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer Class Action

John Paul Mitchell Systems makes a Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer under the Paul Mitchell brand. The complaint for this class action quotes the company’s website as saying that it uses “the highest-quality ingredients and the latest technologies.” But the complaint alleges that the Tea Tree product at issue contains a chemical called DMDM hydantoin, which it calls “an ingredient known to cause significant hair loss and scalp irritation.”

The complaint quotes the Paul Mitchell website as saying that the company is “eco-conscious and environmentally friendly … continually searching for sustainable ingredients.” The complaint claims, “Many of Paul Mitchell’s products contain natural ingredients, such as essential oils, which purportedly provide different benefits for the hair and skin.”

However, the complaint also claims that “nearly all hair care products contain preservatives. This is because cosmetics and personal care items containing water in their formulations, such as shampoo, are subject to spoilage and microbial growth. Preservatives inhibit bacterial growth and extend shelf life.”

Formaldehyde donors or formaldehyde releasing preservatives, the complaint says, are one such kind of preservative. These donors “continuously release small amounts of formaldehyde,” the complaint says, to prevent microbial growth. “Formaldehyde donors can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions.” Formaldehyde itself is a human carcinogen.

According to the complaint, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “does not restrict the amount of formaldehyde that can be present in cosmetics in the U.S., and DMDM hydantoin may be used at concentrations up to 1%. By contrast, the European Union has banned more than 0.2 percent formaldehyde in personal care products due to concerns about the dangers associated with exposure.”

“The prevalence of dermatitis caused by DMDM is well documented[,]” the complaint claims. It says that the FDA considers DMDM hydantoin a top allergen in cosmetic products causing allergic reactions.

The Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer is supposed to be a “leave-in conditioner.” The company website claims that the product “soothes,” “rejuvenates,” and “hydrates” skin and conditions hair. It also claims that it can be used as a skin soother after shaving.

The complaint alleges, “For at least a decade, Paul Mitchell has had knowledge that DMDM hydantoin can cause or contribute to hair loss and scalp irritation when used as a preservative in hair products.” It quotes negative reviews at the Ulta and Amazon websites, which sell the product.

The counts include fraud and violations of state consumer protection laws, among other things.

Two classes and a subclass have been defined for this action:

  • The National Class is all persons in the US who bought the product.
  • The Consumer Fraud Multi-State Class is all persons in the states of California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Washington who bought the product.
  • The Illinois Subclass is all persons in Illinois who bought the product.
Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Formaldehyde in Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer Complaint

June 10, 2021

John Paul Mitchell Systems makes a Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer under the Paul Mitchell brand. The complaint for this class action quotes the company’s website as saying that it uses “the highest-quality ingredients and the latest technologies.” But the complaint alleges that the Tea Tree product at issue contains a chemical called DMDM hydantoin, which it calls “an ingredient known to cause significant hair loss and scalp irritation.”

Formaldehyde in Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer Complaint

Case Event History

Formaldehyde in Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer Complaint

June 10, 2021

John Paul Mitchell Systems makes a Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer under the Paul Mitchell brand. The complaint for this class action quotes the company’s website as saying that it uses “the highest-quality ingredients and the latest technologies.” But the complaint alleges that the Tea Tree product at issue contains a chemical called DMDM hydantoin, which it calls “an ingredient known to cause significant hair loss and scalp irritation.”

Formaldehyde in Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Body Moisturizer Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Made or Constructed with Harmful Chemicals