Kanebo Cosmetics Inc., one of Japan’s more famous cosmetics manufacturers, has been under fire the past months because of skin-whitening products that have proven to be defective. A group of fourteen people have already filed a lawsuit over the use of Kanebo’s products which resulted in their skin breaking out with white blotches, seeking damages of around 5 million yen each.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday with the Shizuoka District Court, as the plaintiffs were also claiming psychological suffering – apart from the physical manifestations of the defect – caused by the company’s products. The group is made up of men and women aged 30 to 70, and their lawsuit comes after another one filed by a woman with the Tokyo District Court, claiming around 48 million yen in damages against Kanebo after developing discoloration in her skin. According to the group’s lawsuit, the plaintiffs developed marks on their faces, necks and hands after using products containing one specific substance, a skin-whitening element called dubbed “Rhododenol” by Kanebo.
The Japanese cosmetics company has already been in the spotlight after over 15,000 customer complaints caused a massive recall of its products not just in Japan but in other Asian markets and even in the UK. Kanebo’s reputation has been hit hard after these skin whitening products had caused uneven skin coloring on their consumers. Kanebo President Masumi Natsusaka had recently made a public apology over the incident, vowing to the public that the company will take responsibility over the unfortunate situation – including paying medical bills of those affected. The company’s top executives will even be taking a pay cut for a period of time. Natsusaka also promised that there will be an inquest into the company’s safety protocols, ensuring that this situation will never happen again.