The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a warning letter to the chair and CEO of Avon Products, Inc., advising the company that marketing claims for several of its Anew® beauty products, including a wrinkle corrector, night cream, serum, and face-lifting cream, violate the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. According to FDA, “The claims on your web site indicate that these products are intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body, rendering them drugs under the Act.”

Avon apparently claims that the products “boost shock-absorbing proteins” in the skin, “activate a key repair molecule,” “fortify damaged tissue with new collagen,” “help tighten the connections between skin’s layers,” and “help boost production of collagen and elastin.” FDA contends, “[y]our products are not generally recognized among qualified experts as safe and effective for the above referenced uses and, therefore, the products are new drugs as defined in section 201(p) of the Act,” and may not be marketed without FDA approval. FDA requests action to correct these alleged violations and notification within 15 days of steps taken to correct them. “Failure to do so may result in enforcement action without further notice. The Act authorizes injunctions against manufacturers and distributors of illegal products and seizure of such products.”