This is every girl's nightmare - applying a facial product to look after your skin, but only to realise that your entire face starts breaking out into small pus-filled bumps.
According to citizen journalism website Stomp, student Carol (surname not provided) decided to try a facial mask from b.liv. To her horror, her entire face was covered with tiny pimple-like bumps.
b.liv is a paramedical salon brand from Cellnique Paramedical, a Malaysian beauty company that provides facial products and treatments.
When contacted by YourHealth, the 19-year-old student said that she purchased a sheet of the "Leach Me" facial mask for $2.95 from cosmetics shop Sasa after reading some good reviews online and in a fashion magazine.
She applied the mask on her face for 30 minutes, according to the instructions stated on the packaging. Upon removing it, Carol said that everything was fine and she could see the results - the pores on her skin tightened and her face felt hydrated.
Ten minutes later, small pus-filled bumps starting breaking out on her nose and chin area. In five hours, her entire face was covered with these bumps.
YourHealth contacted b.liv's office in Malaysia and was told that they are aware of this incident after a link to the Stomp article was posted in their Facebook fan page.
A spokesman explained to YourHealth that "if the skin is allergic to the product, the reaction will be swollen or redness or dry" and that the formation of pus does not occur overnight or within a few days.
"The formation of acne is a two-phase folliculities. It either develops into a non-inflammatory or a inflammatory path way. Starting from micro-comodones to the development of pus like case shown takes time. Serious one like cyst takes up to 90 days.
"It is definitely not over night or within few days," said the spokesman from b.liv.
The company also said that they have arranged to contact Carol to assist her in finding a solution.
Carol, who never had problems using masks from Korea and Taiwan, says that her skin is "perfectly fine" and she goes for regular facials, but decided to try this brand because her skin was a bit dehydrated and "the product is supposed to hydrate the skin".
A dermatologist whom Carol consulted after the breakout occurred told her that it could be an allergic reaction to a specific ingredient in the mask.
She was told to stop applying products onto her face and to wash with clean water. She was also given oral medication instead of a cream and was told to return for a check-up in five days.
After the incident, Carol visited the official website for b.liv to leave feedback and to inform potential victims, but was not able to.
"All these reviews in the website are good. I went straight to the website to leave a review, but they didn't approve my review.
"I emailed them and I tried contacting them. According to the website, they will reply in 48 hours, but I didn't receive any reply."
This might not be the first case of adverse reactions. Carol told YourHealth and Stomp that her friend's boss also had the same problem after using the b.liv Immerse Me mask.
Another reader commented in Stomp's fan page claiming that she started growing pimples on areas where she tried a drop of b.liv's serum for tightening pores.
"I tried a drop on my nose and a drop each on my cheeks, and the next day pimples started coming out on those areas," wrote the reader.
When asked how Carol felt, she said: "It's really disappointing. The website stated that there is a 14-day money-back guarantee. (As customers) we see this and we will feel more confident, but all this occurs."
b.liv has been mentioned in fashion magazines and online reviews. Local celebrity blogger Xiaxue has claimed that the b.liv products have worked for her, and their products have been listed in Cleo magazine's Beauty Hall of Fame 2010.
According to Singapore's Health Science Authority (HSA) regulations, cosmetics are generally considered to be lower risk than other health products and are currently not subjected to HSA's approval before they are placed on the market.
Companies who manufacture, import and sell cosmetic products in Singapore are directly responsible for the safety of their products.
This story is exclusive to YourHealth, AsiaOne.