French cosmetics giant L'Oréal has agreed to stop claiming that some of its high-end skin care products prevent signs of aging, under a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to stave off legal proceedings on grounds of misleading advertising.
The FTC had targeted L'Oreal's skin care lines Lancôme Génifique and L'Oréal Paris Youth Code for stating they featured "scientifically proven" features against signs of aging.
Ads by those lines said the products stimulated people's genes to give them younger looking skin in the space of seven days.
"It would be nice if cosmetics could alter our genes and turn back time," Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC?s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "But L?Oréal couldn?t support these claims."
The FTC said L'Oreal had sold Génifique products for as much as $132 each, and Youth Code ones for up to $25.
L'Oréal responded saying the FTC was challenging only a limited number of assertions that the company no longer makes.
"The safety, quality and effectiveness of the company's products have never been called into question," it said in an email to AFP.