US regulators warned L'Oreal SA, the world's biggest cosmetics group, to stop advertising skin care products using language that makes them sound like drugs.
The US Food and Drug Administration said Lancome USA, a L'Oreal unit, claimed some of its skin creams could "boost the activity of genes" or "stimulate cell regeneration" to reduce signs of ageing.
Any product that is intended to affect the structure or function of the human body is classified as a drug, the FDA said, according to a warning letter posted on its website. L'Oreal, a French company, was not immediately available for comment.
The claims L'Oreal makes
Some of the products mentioned in the letter, include Genifique Repair Youth Activating Night Cream and Absolute Eye Precious Cells Advanced Regenerating and Reconstructing Eye Cream.
On its website, Lancome describes the Genifique Repair cream, which costs $98 (R803) for a 1.7-ounce container, as "our first night care that boosts the activity of genes." The company cites an in-vitro test on genes to back up the claim.
The FDA said failure to fix the advertising claims could lead to enforcement actions, such as seizure of the products and injunctions against their manufacturers and distributors.
(Reuters Health, September 2012)
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