Bay Area couple blames popular unicorn face mask for burns, 'Yes To' removes product from stores

Amanda del Castillo Image
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Bay Area couple blames popular unicorn face mask for burns
A Bay Area couple says "Yes To's" popular unicorn face mask left them with burns after four minutes of applying the beauty product.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Promises of bright, glowing, and more even-looking complexions turn complicated for the beauty brand "Yes To."

A Bay Area couple shared photos with ABC7 News, showing bad reactions to the Yes To "Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow-boosting Unicorn Paper Mask."

Anna Weitzman and Alyssa Mullenix purchased the products to exchange as Christmas gifts.

"We had never tried this one, but we've tried many other types from this company and have never had an issue," Weitzman said.

On Sunday, the two put the masks to use. Both felt pain only four minutes after application.

"It was hurting so bad that I was like, 'Whoa! Am I going to develop blisters or something,'" Weitzman told ABC7 News. "Because it's feeling that extreme."

She continued, "And when I saw the severe redness on my face where there was a perfect burn line where the mask had been sitting, that's when I knew something was wrong."

The same happened to a young girl in Iowa.

RELATED: Woman claims popular 'Yes To' face mask burned her stepdaughter's face

Chelsea Anders said her stepdaughter had the mask on for about two minutes before the young girl felt it burning her skin, so Anders told the girl to take it off.

"Her face was welted with red, swollen, itchy, raised abrasions. I had first thought chemical reaction. It's what a lot of people had assumed when using this product was that it was just an allergic reaction. Then, doing the research after I had seen what had happened, it looks like a chemical burn," Anders told WHO-TV.

Back in the Bay Area and more than 24-hours later, Weitzman said her skin was still quite tender.

"Thankfully, I don't think that there's going to be any permanent or severe damage," she told ABC7 News. "But it definitely looked that way at first."

Kaitlyn Hintergardt, an Esthiology Educator at Cinta Aveda Institute in Downtown San Jose points to the ingredients.

"This is formulated with grapefruit as well as lactic acid," she noticed. "Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that also is very stimulating to the skin. So, combined, this can definitely be brightening, it can help to promote more quicken cell turnover, it can give you that really radiant and glowing skin that a lot of us want. But with misuse or introducing it to a skin that might not be a good candidate for the product, definitely can lead to some issues like some consumers are reporting."

Issues that are impacting both children and adults, according to Yes To.

While the product is marketed for those 18 years and up, some say the packaging is a problem for the younger crowd.

"Obviously, this is really cute and fun, and I can see where this would appeal to families, kids, something like that," Hintergardt explained. "This little glittery unicorn mask should probably be made a little more explicitly clear that its intended use is for mature adult skin."

"I was drawn to it because it had a cute unicorn picture on it, honestly," Weitzman admitted. "It's colorful. It looks like a child could use it. So, I just thought it would be a silly, harmless thing to do together."

In a statement to ABC7 News, Yes To said:

"Yes To is committed to ensuring the safety and integrity of all of our products and has maintained a strong track record of delivering quality products to our customers since our founding in 2006.

We have recently seen reports on social media that children have used the Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Unicorn Paper Mask, unfortunately resulting in skin irritation. We have also received some similar reports from adults who have used the product. We apologize to anyone who was affected in this way, especially over the holiday season. While our products are all independently tested for safety, irritation, and allergy - and while we provide both warnings and instructions on our products about the potential for skin irritation - the safety and satisfaction of our customers are our main concerns. As such, we have decided to pull this particular product off of the shelves while we investigate the complaints that we have received and seen online. We hope to have all products completely removed by Friday and will continue to follow-up with each store to make sure that the product is pulled from shelves as quickly as possible."

"Anything that's out there on the market, that's sort of meant for the average consumer, I really strongly feel needs to come with better direction and a more clear expectation for the consumer," Hintergardt added. "Of what's normal, what's okay with this type of product, how to use it safely."

She suggests a simple Google search to read reviews of any particular product, reading packages, following directions and also speaking with professionals to help you with your personal home care.

"Just doing a little bit of legwork before you introduce something new into your regimen, I think is really key," she told ABC7 News.

Weitzman said, "I'm just really thankful that we didn't put it on our eyes. Because there are actually pieces that you can put onto your eyes that came with the mask, and just by chance we chose not to."

ABC7 News visited a Target location in San Jose and found the unicorn mask on store shelves.

During checkout, the system alerted workers, and we were told the product could not be purchased.

Yes To hopes to have all products completely removed by Friday.