(WHDH) – Ulta Beauty is facing two new lawsuits that accuse the retailer of re-selling returned cosmetics as new products.
One lawsuit filed last week in Illinois alleges the company has a limit on how many returned items can be thrown away.
“The managers will take the used products out of the damaged bin and if they look good enough to resell they’ll put them back on the shelves and resell them so that they don’t exceed their quota,” said attorney Tom Zimmerman, who represents the woman who filed the lawsuit.
Zimmerman provided examples of products purchased from a Chicago Ulta location, saying the products were either missing items inside or appeared to be previously opened. He says the danger comes in the form of pathogens, which can remain on the products for weeks.
“There was E. coli and Klebsiella bacteria, which is commonly found in your intestine and it’s expelled with your fecal matter,” Zimmerman said.
The Illinois lawsuit follows a previous one filed last month in California, accusing Ulta of similar claims.
“Every customer who has purchased cosmetics at Ulta since this practice began was put at risk of unwittingly purchasing used, unsanitary cosmetics and this risk reduces the desirability and value of all cosmetics sold by Ulta,” the lawsuit states.
All of the allegations come following the now-viral tweets of a woman who claimed she used to work for the company and detailed their practices of repackaging and reselling used products.
Twitter user @fatinamxo posted a series of tweets about what she says are unsanitary practices at some stores, where she said managers had employees “clean” and repackage used items that customers had returned in order to sell them again.
“They would resell EVERYTHING (makeup, hair care, skincare, fragrance, hair tools, etc.),” she said in another tweet.
The ex-employee then posted photos to illustrate her claim, showing new makeup next to used items that were repackaged and sold after being touched up to make them look new.
“For example this foundation ( even sticks) they would clean it with a q-tip to make it look new. I’ll attach a photo of a NEW foundation vs. the one they repackaged and put back on the shelf. ( NOT SANITIZED ),” she captioned the photo.