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FDA Yells At Lancôme For Making Anti-Aging Cream Sound Like Magic Drug

Illustration for article titled FDA Yells At Lancôme For Making Anti-Aging Cream Sound Like Magic Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug administration has sent an official warning to Lancôme's parent company, L'Oreal—previously guilty of Photoshopping the crap out of Julia Roberts, among other offenses—for making extreme, probably hyperbolic promises in their advertisements for certain anti-aging skin products.

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As-is, the copy on Lancôme's anti-wrinkle cream Génifique claims to "boost the activity of genes" and "stimulate cell regeneration to reconstruct skin to a denser quality." Anything intended to affect the structure or function of the human body is classified as a drug by the FDA and isn't allowed to be distributed in the US until it's been proven that the products are both safe and effective. But by all accounts, unless we've actually been living in Gattaca this whole time, saying shit like that is probably just a really effective way to convince people to drop $98 on a 1.7 ounce bottle of skin cream. (And the accent marks in the company's name. That helps.)

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The agency has requested that L'Oreal submit a plan to tone down their language within 15 business days or else run the risk of having their products pulled from American shelves. A spokesperson for the French company says that it won't be a problem: "Lancôme is committed to complying fully with all laws and regulatory standards."

Obviously beauty products not delivering what they promised is relatively common, and usually the FDA doesn't get involved. When they do, the company generally throws in a few well-placed qualifiers (e.g. "gives skin instant lift and radiance" becomes "gives skin the look of instant lift and radiance") and calls it a day.

'FDA Creams L'Oreal Over Anti-Aging Advertising Claims' [ABC News]

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DISCUSSION

I work for a skin care brand and am constantly in talks with people from other brands and I swear, they talk about this stuff like it's got fairy dust in it. I have to be honest though. I don't work for them but one of the best department store brands in my opinion is Estee Lauder. Those products really are effective. Most all brands are effective though if you are consistent and consistency is tough.