Mom says chemical peel at ULTA Beauty left her with second-degree burns

MENIFEE, Calif. -- Soraya Moghis has been afraid to show her face in public for two months now - ever since a day of beauty at the ULTA Beauty store turned downright ugly.

"The aesthetician walked over at least four times to try and get me to schedule a facial and, quite frankly, I felt a little pressured into it," Moghis said. "In the spirit of a 'me' day, I said OK."

Moghis got a chemical peel and says she was horrified with the results.

"I've had a chemical peel before, absolutely, and it is a little bit of a burning sensation," Moghis said. "But I didn't think I'd end up with second-degree burns."

Moghis returned to the ULTA Beauty store the day after her treatment in early June. While waiting to speak with a store manager, she took a video of the drawer that she says held the tool used on her face during the treatment.

"This is absolutely gross," Moghis said in her cellphone video, which shows a dirty drawer and small fan covered in dust that she also says was used on her face.

"I'm there at that store a good 20 to 30 minutes, and the salon manager never came out to speak with me," Moghis said.

Moghis, a mother of two young girls, went to urgent care, and a dermatologist later told her the chemical peel had left her with second-degree burns.

"They gave me medication to prevent any type of infection, seeing as how we're dealing with open pores dealing with all the unsanitary, the fan and the tool," Moghis said.

Dermatologist Dr. Shirley Chi, who did not treat Moghis, said some chemical peels can be risky.

"Before you do any type of procedure like this, you should get approval from your dermatologist," Chi told Eyewitness News.

Moghis said she went to her daughter's preschool graduation despite the pain and burns, but missed celebrating Eid with her family in August.

She called customer service with ULTA Beauty.

"During that call, they offered me another facial. So, you can imagine how upset I was to literally get second-degree burns and you want to offer me another facial," she said. "No, thank you."

A spokesperson with ULTA Beauty sent the following statement:

"The health and safety of our guests, as well as their satisfaction with our products and services is a top priority. We are aware that Ms. Moghis had an unsatisfactory experience with a service she received at our Menifee, CA location. We reviewed her allegations and determined a personal fan was used during the service. This has been addressed with the local store team. We remain confident that all other protocols were followed."

"I saw the pictures of the fan, and that was pretty gross," Chi said. "But I don't know that it is to blame at all for what she experienced. The pictures that I saw of her face look like she had a very severe reaction and a burn."

Moghis said the beauty retailer offered to reimburse her for the facial treatment and her medical bills, plus an extra $500. But she said she's still waiting for the check and turned down the additional money ULTA offered.

"I don't think $500 correlated to what they put me through," said Moghis.

ULTA Beauty said it sent Moghis a refund for the cost of the peel and her medical treatment, but Moghis said the check never arrived.

ULTA Beauty said they are reissuing the check and hope to resolve the issue to her satisfaction.
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