Honestly, February was a lean old month for beauty news of any interest. There’s a lot of behind the scenes employee shifting – CEOs on the move sort of this – but no big acquisitions or major news. But, let’s go with what we have and start with :

Olaplex. This is the problem that won’t go away for Olaplex and comes down to the use of lilial, a fragrance ingredient that was ruled unsafe because of potential links to infertility. What’s weird about this is why, almost a year after the brand removed lilial from their products, 30 women filed a lawsuit claiming it had caused damage. A range of complaints include bald spots, hair loss, blisters and ‘scalp injuries’ are cited with a demand of (collectively) $75K. Lilial is for fragrance only – it doesn’t do anything else at all so it’s hard to imagine how it caused bald spots. Olaplex, obviously, have defended their products’ safety vigorously. Only time will tell if anything comes of this particular USA law suit.

While we are on the topic of class actions, filed recently in a Californian court is a claim against Dior for falsely advertising its SPF foundations as able to give 24 hours of sun protection (although, find me the place that has sun for 24 hours!). It seems to come down to wording – as an example, Dior Forever Skin Glow Foundation SPF15 is described on their website as giving ‘24 hour wear and hydration’. To anyone with beauty literacy I don’t think this can be read as 24 hour SPF. Again, it’s a watch and wait for this one.

Remember that Lush sold a stake of its business to Silverwood Brands at the end of last year for £216 million? Andrew Gerrie, former CEO of Lush and also executive director of Silverwood Brands, claims that the stake of 19.8% has failed to be transferred to his private ownership. This implies that the acquisition has not been completed. Lush says that the transfer was not compliant with its articles of association (written rules about running the company agreed by the shareholders or guarantors, directors and the company secretary) and they had a lawful duty to ensure these were upheld. There’s so much not being said here!

Hair brand Paul Mitchell (AKA John Paul Mitchell Systems) are also facing a class action for allegedly allowing animal testing to gain entry into the Chinese markets, despite their animal cruelty free claims. The lawsuit claims that the brand maintains they have exemption from testing, but those bringing the suit cannot find records or evidence of this and nor can the brand, apparently, provide any.

Finally, Halle Berry has been named as equity holder, investor and Chief Communications Officer of biotech and health company, Pendulum. The brand focuses on micro-biome technology and supplements. What’s interesting here is a shift from celebrity beauty to celebrity health. Health is a flourishing industry with searches for supplements at an all time high so is this the sector where we will see major celebrities move towards, instead of the more traditional beauty route?

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