A woman has told how her dream holiday Mexico turned into a nightmare when her face and eyes swelled up in what she believes was a severe allergic reaction to her sun lotion.
Leeanne Garrett, 36, was just two days into her holiday at a luxury resort when she suffered the horrific reaction – which she blames on her #15.50 200ml Piz Buin spray.
In desperation she went to a doctor, who gave her an injection and a five-day course of tablets to ease the swelling, at a cost of #80.
Ms Garrett, from Rochester, Kent, who was on the two-week all-inclusive #3,600 break with her partner Gary Brown, 40, said she felt like a freak.
She was so self-conscious that she locked herself away in her hotel room, describing her appearance as like “the lion from Narnia”.
When her face and eyes began to puff up she thought she had overdone it in the sun so put on more of the factor 30 lotion.
She bought a hat and kept her face out of the heat.
Saleswoman Ms Garrett said: “First my forehead swelled up, then one eye closed and I looked like I’d been punched in the face.
“I continued using the cream and then the other eye became swollen. My nose bridge was huge and I looked like a lion from Narnia.
“Thank God, I managed to see a doctor who said it was a cream reaction. It ruined at least one week of my trip – for four days I couldn’t drink on my all-inclusive holiday.”
Ms Garrett, who returned from holiday at the weekend, contacted Johnson & Johnson, the company that manufactures the sun lotion brand, urging them take the product off the market.
A spokesman replied saying: “We are sorry to hear of the problems you have experienced. We would like to assure you that we will examine this occurrence in detail.
“Johnson & Johnson are dedicated to providing products of the highest standards of safety and quality.
“We follow strictly controlled procedures to ensure that this is achieved, ensuring each product has been thoroughly tested prior to its release onto the market.
“Piz Buin Ultra Light Spray contains only permitted ingredients at levels well within EU standards set by regulators. In principle, nearly every substance or product in our daily life may cause irritation in some people with a particular sensitivity.”
A recommendation was made to Ms Garrett, who is considering legal advice, to carry out a patch test to identify the problem ingredient.
According to Ms Garrett, Johnson and Johnson is looking into the possibility that the reaction was caused by other cosmetics she had used at the time.
It is not the first time Piz Buin products have caused bad reactions and the company has had to change the formula in the past after some horrific experiences.
Johnson & Johnson featured in the BBC consumer programme Watchdog in September 2013 after 150 people complained about the suncream.
Allergic reactions included bright red bumps on the skin, fluid-filled lumps, blisters, itchy eyes and a severely swollen face.
At the time the company agreed to change the formula for its Piz Buin 1 Day Long suncream.
A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman said they would ensure Leeanne’s concerns are “fully investigated.”
She said: “PIZ BUIN® Ultra Light Spray provides safe and effective sun protection. It contains only permitted ingredients at levels well within EU standards set by regulators.
“In principle nearly every substance or product in our daily life may cause irritation in some people with a particular sensitivity. This applies to the ingredients of all cosmetic and personal care products.
“The ingredient that was the subject of the Watchdog programme in 2013 (Methylisothiazolinone) is not found in PIZ BUIN Ultra Light Spray. Methylisothiazolione was removed from PIZ BUIN® products in 2014.
“We are sorry that Leanne had a reaction following the use of PIZ BUIN® Ultra Light Spray.
“We take consumer feedback very seriously, and we are working with Leeanne to follow our complaints procedure and ensure her concerns are fully investigated.”