Answer: Don’t worry! The FDA did not say Strivectin was harmful. Their official letter to the company challenged their claims and promises made about several products:
1. “Clinically proven to change anatomy of wrinkle”
2. “This superb age-fighting serum is super charged with potent elastin stimulating peptides
3. “Potent elastin-stimulating peptides help enhance skin structure”
Elastin and its big brother, collagen are the fibers in the skin which keep it firm and smooth. As age and sunlight weaken these fibers, lines and wrinkles will develop. But anything that can actually increase growth of elastin or collagen is making significant biological changes in the skin– and anything that can do that is classified as a drug. In order to make these drug- like claims, a product needs to file a new drug application (NDA) with the FDA. This consumer watchdog wants and needs the proof that such a product is both safe and effective.
Strivectin Not the Only Target
This spring the FDA also sent warning letters to L’Oreal for their claims for products that promised to help rosacea and brighten dark patches. Another letter recipient Cell Vitals actually took down their website after the FDA had a problem with its claims that their stem cell based products acted like Botox. A few years ago another wave of letters from the FDA went out to a number of companies including L’Oreal and Perricone that actually produced a flurry of class action lawsuits.
Ant-Aging Products That Can Back up Their Claims
The bad press about Strivectin can make women doubt that anything can help their skin. And that’s the real damage from inflated claims. In fact there are many affordable, well formulated, properly tested , effective products on drug and department shelves. For example both Oil of Olay Regenerist and Boots #7 actually did the necessary clinical trials and published them in a peer reviewed academic journal. The results showed a genuine change in collagen formation equal to that of a .025% retinoid– at 70% lower price. Other well researched products include properly formulated Vitamin C serums from Cellex-C and SkinCeuticals.
Its Not Just About Over Promotion
For me the worst part of an exaggerated or unsupportable claims is the loss of faith in all skin care products. Regular exfoliation, a ceramide and hyaluronic acid -rich moisturizer and a 30-50SPF mineral sunscreen forms the foundation of great and affordable skin care. The challenge is always going to be how to separate fact from fiction.
And as for getting your money back, I always recommend buying beauty products from stores like Sephora and CVS which have consumer friendly return policies.