Cosmetics company crosses the line(s)
Check out ads for some skincare products and you might have to flip back to the cover to see if you’re reading a beauty magazine or a science text. A company may use technical terms and say its claims are “clinically proven,” but the Federal Trade Commission is concerned that’s not always the case.
Ads for L’Oréal’s Lancôme Génifique line — which sold for as much as $132 — said the products would “boost genes’ activity,” resulting in “visibly younger skin in just 7 days.” Ads for L’Oréal Paris Youth Code made similar claims about the “new era of skincare: gene science” and that consumers could “crack the code to younger acting skin.”
Businesses must have competent and reliable scientific evidence for claims like this. According to the FTC, L’Oréal’s claims overstated the science. A proposed consent order settles charges that L’Oréal’s gene science claims for Génifique and Youth Code were false or unsubstantiated.
If you’re looking to regain some of your youthful glow, the FTC suggests applying a healthy measure of skepticism when evaluating scientific-sounding claims for cosmetics — or any other product.