The Food and Drug Administration recently sent a warning letter to Avon stating that wrinkle cream products advertised on its Web site are being marketed as drugs, not cosmetics.

The agency said the company advertised the Anew Clinical Advanced Wrinkle Corrector as “The at-home answer to wrinkle-filling injections. Start rebuilding collagen in just 48 hours” and claimed that it was “designed to rebuild collagen to help plump out lines and wrinkles.”

In another example, the Anew Clinical Thermafirm Face Lifting Cream was touted as “help[ing] tighten the connections between skin’s layers” and “Our effective lifting treatment is formulated to fortify damaged tissue with new collagen. In just 3 days, see tighter, firmer, more lifted skin.”

Similar claims were made for other products as well, the agency said. “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 [Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act]. The marketing of these products with claims evidencing these intended uses violates the Act,” the FDA said.

The FDA noted that the letter was not all-inclusive and did not preclude a finding of other potential violations by Avon and that the company should ensure that its Web site, product labels, and other labeling comply with the Act. The agency requested that Avon take corrective action or prepare a plan for corrective action within 15 days. Failure to do so, the letter cautioned, could prompt the agency to undertake an enforcement action, to seek an injunction against further distribution and to seize the products.

To read the FDA’s warning letter to Avon, click here.

Why it matters: Marketers of cosmetic products should take note – this is the second letter in as many months that the FDA has issued about Web site claims for beauty products. Last month the agency sent a similar letter to Lancôme, warning the company about advertising claims for its antiaging skincare products like Genifique and Absolue.