L’Oreal Gets FDA Warning
L’Oreal gets FDA warning regarding their advertisements for an anti-aging cream particularly Génifique from Lancôme. L’Oreal is currently one of the world’s largest cosmetics groups with loyal customers from all over the globe. The United States Food and Drug Administration warning is regarding the company’s advertising method using language that makes the L’Oreal skincare product sound like a drug. Advertisements for the Génifique claim that it can “stimulate cell regeneration to reconstruct the skin to a denser quality” and “boost the activity of genes” and therefore reduce the signs of skin aging.
According to the FDA, any product which claims to affect either the structure or function of a person’s body is classified as a drug. In the United States, drugs cannot be sold without demonstrating to the FDA that these are not just effective but also safe. Since Lancôme has not submitted the necessary data for marketing its product as a drug, the FDA gave the company 15 business days to come up with a plan to tone down its advertisement language. Otherwise, Génifique will not be allowed to be sold in the United States.
According to a representative of L’Oreal, they have already received the warning and will respond to the regulatory concerns in a timely manner. The representative from L’Oreal’s corporate communications department stated that Lancôme is fully committed to complying with the laws and regulatory standards and they are doing everything they can to address the issue. According to inside sources, the incident wherein L’Oreal gets FDA warning is not being taken lightly so the company is now a lot more careful when it comes to their claims and advertisements.
More and more cosmetic companies are pushing the envelope when it comes to bold promises especially regarding anti-aging. However, this one from L’Oreal obviously went too far. According to Dr. Barney Kenet, a dermatologist based in Manhattan, if the product really modified the activity of genes in any way, it would not be sold over the counter.
However, he also states that the incident where L’Oreal gets FDA warning is unusual since cosmetic companies don’t usually get called out for such claims. In fact, there are many other similar products on the market making similar claims. This problem is common because most people wouldn’t even consider filing a formal complaint or class action lawsuit in case such claims are not delivered by the products.
This incident should be a lesson to all cosmetic companies to avoid making bold claims just to increase revenue. Hopefully, the FDA will keep close watch on all cosmetic companies and not just single out the big ones. After all, there are many other skin care products that make similar bold or even bolder claims which usually deceive consumers.