EOS The Daily Varnish

My EOS Smooth Lip Balm Sphere Experience

EOS The Daily VarnishThis post has absolutely nothing to do with nail polish. But it’s a beauty (and health!) related matter and if it helps one person avoid what I’ve been through the last 2+ months then it’s worth it.

I’ve been an EOS lip balm fan for ages. I’ve gone through quite a few of the cute little spheres and generally keep one by my computer.

Last October after not having an EOS balm for ages I decided to pick one up to send to Katie as part of her Christmas gift and also picked one up for myself. I got the Summer Fruit (aka the red one) because it’s my favorite. I put the new balm beside my computer and didn’t think anything about it.

The next 2 and a half months were a series of odd events revolving around my lips I couldn’t figure out. And didn’t connect to a product until a week ago.

Currently there is a class action lawsuit against EOS (Evolution Of Smooth) claiming EOS lip balm can cause skin damage. Here’s an article from time.com about the suit.

A pretty detailed account of what I like to call the worst 2 months of my lip’s life can be found under the jump.

Trust me y’all, throw away those EOS lip balms!


November: My lips were unusually dry. I figured it was the cold weather. At this point the EOS balm wasn’t heavily in my rotation. I would grab it maybe once a week. I was using Smith’s Rosebud Salve at night and Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment in the morning.

ThanksgivingBeing that it was a holiday my normal routine was kind of off. I was using the EOS lip balm much more frequently as it somehow made its way to my nightstand. A few days after Thanksgiving in addition to my lips feeling chapped the sides of my mouth actually cracked. It was awful. In an attempt to combat this I started using Vaseline and Neosporin on my lips at night along with Avon Moisture Therapy Intensive Healing & Repair Moisturizing Lip Treatment Balm and Blistex Lip Medex during the day. After about 2 weeks my lips were mostly back to normal.

December: Once my lips had fully healed from the post Thanksgiving debacle things were mostly normal. It was the holiday season and I was super busy. That meant less time on the computer therefore I really wasn’t using the EOS balm.

January: The beginning of the month I rediscovered my EOS balm. I started using it again multiple times a day. Within a week my lips felt super dehydrated so I kept using the balm thinking it would help. The weather had gotten pretty cold here and I was running the heat at night so I figured normal winter dry lips.

That is until it all just seemed so abnormal. I couldn’t go more than 5 minutes without applying some kind of lip product. My lips were not only uncomfortable they actually hurt. The skin around my lips started to dry out and I got small bumps. I thought it was from slathering so many lip products on my lips. Despite constantly using lip products the sides of my mouth cracked. It was so bad that when I would talk the sides of my mouth would start to bleed.

Normally when my lips are chapped it’s the inside of my lips that get dry. In this case it was the outside of my lips. The area felt tight, not really dry. Finally I realized my lips were actually slightly swollen.

At this point I had my suspicions that the EOS balm may be at least contributing to my problem as when I would apply the EOS balm it actually hurt. My lips instantly felt worse.

Today is Friday. On Monday I quit using anything but Vaseline and Neosporin on my lips. I’ve been carrying a huge tub of Vaseline around in my purse and at this point have no shame. I slather Vaseline on my lips anytime I feel like I need it. The discomfort and pain had just become too much. At night I put a small amount of Neosporin on the cracks on the side of my mouth before slathering on Vaseline.

As of now my lips are MUCH better but not completely back to normal. They’re still a little swollen (I’ve been joking it looks like I got Lindsay Lohan lip injections) and the blisters that were around my mouth are healing. My lips are still a bit chapped but nothing compared to before.

For the foreseeable future the only thing going near my lips is Vaseline, Neosporin and Aquaphor Lip Repair.

Final Thoughts: First of all I just want to say I’ve never had an allergic reaction to a topical beauty product before. My skin isn’t sensitive. I can use just about anything.

Secondly, I just want to say that I used to love EOS lip balm. I don’t know if EOS changed their formula or if my lip balm came from a bad batch (the one I sent Katie is also in the trash just to be safe!). Because I’d used EOS products in the past it look me 2 months to connect the dots. And while I hate that others have had similar (or worse!) experiences with EOS products lately when I read the news about the law suit it was almost comforting. I wasn’t crazy. It was the lip balm causing my lip problems.

EOS did respond to my tweet and I will send them a link to this post in the email I send them. If they respond I will make sure to update this post.

I was at a CVS and Harris Teeter yesterday and EOS products are still on the shelves. To say the least I will no longer be purchasing their products.

20 thoughts on “My EOS Smooth Lip Balm Sphere Experience

  1. LostInPolish January 15, 2016 at 9:51 am

    I’m so glad you posted this. I’ve been having some of the same issues. Like you I’ve chalked it up to winter dryness, holiday stress and being another year older dealing with these things. My EOS is going in the trash! I can’t believe I haven’t thought about it being the culprit. I even bought the holiday multipack at Christmas. ☹ I look forward to hearing what they say.

    • Alli January 15, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      It seemed so counter intuitive to think a product that is supposed to help with dry lips was actually CAUSING the problem!

  2. Ariadna January 15, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I got a holiday pack in my stocking on Christmas so I have been using one ever since and I haven’t noticed anything. I wonder if it’s only a bad batch and somehow passed inspection? I’m sorry that you had to go thru with this, it sounds really painful. Thanks for letting us know, I’m gonna forward this post to my sister-in-law, I also gave her some EOS on Christmas.

    • Alli January 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      I really tried to make clear in my post I am not an EOS hater. I’ve used EOS for years and had never had a problem until my most recent purchase. I don’t have an explanation.

  3. Angela Archer January 15, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I had the same symptoms (bumps, extreme dryness, redness aound my lips, cracking at the corners) and it turned out to be a staph-type infection. A round of Keflex totally cleared it up. I was using EVERTHING I could think of – Vaseline, Chapstick, A&D Ointment, Neosporin, Vitamin E oil – it was just temporary relief. One sign of staph is the little bumps that show up, go away but more come back. I didn’t get mine from EOS though – I think it was my dog who had the staph infection. You might check with your doctor.

    • Alli January 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      Mine was/is definitely a chemical burn/allergic reaction. The bumps were actually blisters. Such a mess!

      I’m lucky that my lips are healing quickly 🙂

  4. Randy January 15, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I haven’t used EOS since last winter, but I was in need of lipbalm last week and I found the EOS I bought last winter somewhere in a cupboard, so I decided to use it a few times. After a couple of days, the corners of my mouth started to hurt. Nowhere near as bad as your description, but still… I have no idea if it’s because the EOS was old (although less than a year old) or if it’s even because of the EOS at all (the temperature is taking a plunge around here too). But when I heard about the lawsuit, I decided to stop using my EOS. This was two days ago and the corners of my mouth are starting to feel better, but aren’t completely healed yet (though admittedly, I have continued using my matte lipstick throughout the week, since I don’t like how I look without it)

    • Alli January 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      So glad your lips are recovering!

      I am a lipstick junky. These past couple months not being able to wear lipstick have been horrible!

  5. Ash January 15, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    just a thought.. i wonder if the large surface area of the balm ball tends to collect more germs or bacteria than say a regular lip balm would.. i used to use EOS, but i didn’t care for the formula. i found it to be too waxy and a little drying. glad to hear the condition of your lips has improved. i bet you were really freaking out!! 0_o how awful!!

    • Alli January 18, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Totally possible. However, I’ve had many EOS balms over the years (5+) and none of them have ever caused this problem for me before. I’m not convinced it’s the shape/surface area that lead to my problems.

  6. Abby Park January 15, 2016 at 8:49 pm
    • Alli January 18, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      I’ve read/seen that but I’ve never had that problem.

  7. Lisa McHugh January 15, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I also had a reaction to the EOS balm 2 years ago. I did the same, kept applying more balm and chalking it up to the cold weather. However, the cold weather had never caused me to have chapped lips to that degree. I finally figured out it was the balm and just assumed I was allergic to it. I’ve steered clear for myself but have bought it as gifts for others. Maybe there is more to it than simple allergy…

    • Alli January 18, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      The blisters and the swelling indicate to me that at least my problem wasn’t an allergic reaction. Or at least not JUST an allergic reaction.

  8. Katie January 15, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    By now I should’ve learned my lesson, but I was reading comments on various news articles and I’m so SO tired of seeing things like

    “Should all peanut product producers be sued? Should I sue the trees because my daughter has allergies? Common sense people.”

    I started replying to some but it’s just not worth it. Honestly, I’m grateful for the buzz because without it I don’t think we’d have talked about it, and I probably would have kept using my EOS only to have a similar experience as you had.

    I’m sad, EOS has been one of my favorite brands. I’ll probably still use an old lip balm if I find it – and I’ll still use their shaving creme and hand lotion. But… blah.

    • Alli January 18, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      EOS needs to at least pull the products from stores. That’s what really bothers me.

      • Katie January 18, 2016 at 9:43 pm

        At least until they figure out what’s wrong. I mean… how many people get sick from Chipotle and it’s all over the news.

  9. Kara January 16, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I remember the first time I tried it a few years ago for only a week or so and it made my lips so dry and bumpy. I didn’t even really find it that moisturising. I only tried it because of the hype I had been hearing. I’ve definitely steered clear since.

    • Alli January 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      The main reason I liked EOS was that I could sit it on a desk or vanity and it didn’t LOOK like a lip product.

      For a time it worked well for me as a maintenance kind of lip balm but never for super dry lips. Also great for under lipstick!

What do you think?