FROM: FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Americans spend a lot of money on creams, lotions and other cosmetics that promise to improve their skin, hair, and even eyelashes.
But sometimes those promises go too far.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns cosmetics companies when they make claims about their products that classify them as drugs, not cosmetics. FDA has issued warning letters citing drug claims associated with topical skin care, hair care, and eyelash/eyebrow preparations, noted on both product labeling and Web sites. Some examples of the drug claims cited are acne treatment, dandruff treatment and hair restoration.
These letters state that the products are being marketed with drug claims—indicating that they are intended to treat or prevent disease, or change the body’s structure or functions. The agency tells companies that they need to remove any drug claims from their products’ labeling or seek FDA approval to market these products as drugs.
“Consumers need to know that these drug claims have not been proven to FDA when they are making a decision to purchase one of these products,” says Linda M. Katz, M.D., MPH, director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors. “These products must be evaluated by FDA as drugs before the companies can make claims about changing the skin or treating disease.”
Some of the drug claims have included promises to increase production of collagen and elastin, resulting in skin that is more elastic and firmer, with fewer wrinkles.
Some get even more specific, such as claims that products reduce inflammation, regenerate cells, prevent facial muscle contractions, boost activity of genes, or give you the same results as injections or surgery. Others promise to treat medical conditions, such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.