Photographs have been circulating around the Internet showing chemical burns due to the use of Old Spice deodorant. Old Spice is primarily used by men; however, these chemical burns are also occurring in women that have used the product. Old Spice is well known for its advertisements displaying a “manly” smelling deodorant. In recent years, Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturers of Old Spice, has been really pushing Old Spice’s strong fragrances for men. Many sources have said that it is these strong fragrances that are the possible culprit for causing the chemical burns.
Old Spice does have warnings that state the product may cause skin irritation, but it does not mention the possibility of chemical burns or the like. In fact, on Proctor & Gambles’ Safety Data Sheet for Old Spice Swagger Deodorant it states, under “skin contact,” “no known effects.” Proctor & Gamble denies any toxicity or irritant to the skin when applied “under normal use.” However, this is simply not the case. Consumeraffairs.com, a website that logs consumer complaints, has A LOT of complaints about burns and other similar injuries due to the use of Old Spice (click here for link to Consumeraffairs.com). As of this writing, Old Spice has 219 reviews on Consumeraffairs.com, and out of those reviews, 204 were one star reviews—most, if not all due to chemical burns with its use. A lot of the reviews express frustration with Proctor & Gamble for selling a product that causes this harm. I strongly suggest that you read some of the complaints on the Consumer Affairs website—they are very alarming.
Proctor & Gamble has come out and said that it stands behind its product and Old Spice is safe to use (See here). Proctor & Gamble further states that these issues are not chemical burns, but rather, skin irritation that could happen with any deodorant. Although, at the time of this blog, I am not aware of any other deodorant that causes chemical burns. Deodorants do have alcohol as an ingredient, which could cause skin irritation, but from the evidence I have seen, this is beyond irritation and involves chemical burns. In fact, people I have talked with that have been injured from the use of Old Spice, have been diagnosed by physicians with “chemical burns.” There is no doubt that this problem is beyond “skin irritation,” as what it is claimed to be. Proctor & Gamble needs to be held accountable for selling a product that causes serious injuries to those that use it. Proctor & Gamble must reevaluate its product and make the appropriate changes to make sure that Old Spice is safe for consumers.
There have been a couple of class action lawsuits that have been filed due to these burns, but class actions are problematic in many ways. With class actions, the injuries must be common between all plaintiffs. However, due to everyone’s different injury types (e.g. burns, pus, scabs, etc…), and different applications of the deodorant, this is a difficult hurdle to overcome. There are other ways to bring about justice against Proctor & Gamble—that is, individual and joined lawsuits.