Recalled Acne Mask Linked to Vision Loss & Blindness
In July 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled the Neutrogena Visibly Clear® Light Therapy Acne Mask, an at-home treatment for acne. The problem was that it was linked to vision loss and blindness, especially for people with certain pre-existing eye problems, or people on medications that made them more sensitive to light.
What is the Risk?
Health officials in Australia warned about the risk of retinal damage, permanent vision impairment, or blindness. They also warned that some people may experience eye pain or discomfort, irritation, tearing, blinding, blurry vision, seeing spots/flashes, and other changes in vision (for example vision color).
Acne Mask Class Action in California
In November 2018, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a federal Class Action Lawsuit (PDF) in California for falsely advertising the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask.
The lawsuit claimed that the advertising was misleading because it claimed the mask had only “30 daily treatments,” but the battery was actually powerful enough to provide more treatments.
The mask is programmed to stop working after it provided 30 once-daily treatments for 10 minutes each. However, the lawsuit claims that it is capable of actually providing even more treatment sessions:
“By restricting the number of treatment sessions, Defendant is able to maximize its profits by inducing consumers to throw away their Activators, despite still having enough to charge to provide additional treatment sessions, in order for consumers to buy additional Activators.”
The lawsuit was filed on November 27, 2018 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California — In RE: Rebecca Correia v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. — 2:18-cv-09918.