Plastic surgeons and other doctors are often amazed at the exaggerated advertising claims made by certain cosmetic companies. The outer layer of the skin (known as the stratum corneum) acts as a very effective barrier and is designed to protect the body from almost everything into which it may come into contact! It is therefore very difficult to medicate through the skin. If the intention is to provide a certain blood level of a medication, then some absorption enhancement mechanism (such as a patch) has to be used. The medication must also be in a form which enables it to be transported through the skin.
Little wonder then that the FDA in the United States has cracked down on exaggerated advertising claims made by cosmetic companies.
On the FDA’s hit list are such well known brands as Avon, Andy’s Natural, Janson-Beckett, Bioque and Lancôme.
These companies were sent warning letters by the FDA threatening to halt sales or seize products if the companies don’t tone down the claims in their advertisements.
Cosmetic sales are a multibillion dollar industry worldwide. The market is highly competitive and the companies are not bound by medical ethics. One would hope, however, that Business ethics would apply so that false claims about the benefits of products are not made.