Woman Accuses Cosmetics Store Sephora of Giving Her Oral Herpes

One woman accused cosmetics store Sephora of giving her oral herpes after she tried a lipstick sample at the Hollywood and Highland location, according to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit states the incident happened in October of 2015. In the complaint, the woman says she had never had a cold sore until after using a sample lipstick at the store.

Filed on Oct. 26, 2017 to the Los Angeles Superior Court, the lawsuit complaints that Sephora "failed to clearly warn customers about the risk of getting oral herpes from trying on lipstick." The woman is suing for emotional distress for an "incurable lifelong affliction."

Infectious disease experts said it is possible to transmit the herpes virus through lipstick. However, experts said the disease is short-lived on moist surfaces and that the virus may not survive long enough to be passed to another person, making the woman's lawsuit a difficult one to win.

"It has to happen pretty much consecutively," Dr. Suman Radhaskrishna, Chair of infectious disease control at Dignity Health, said. "So one person uses it and puts it down and another person picks it up and uses it - perhaps that's a way of transmitting."

Doctors advise beauty fans to refrain from directly applying sample lipsticks to your mouth and instead use a cotton swab.

"The most important thing is that you do not pick up something that is sitting outside because you don't know how long it's been outside," Radhaskrishna said. "Ask for a salesperson; have them help you out."

Sephora did not return NBC4's request for a comment.

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