April 7, 2017
Authored by: Bryan Cave, David Zetoony and Mary Longenbaker
Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers often tout the anti-aging effects of certain cosmetics and nutritional supplements. Of course, the term “anti-aging” is not intended to literally mean that a product prevents aging. To the contrary, it is understood by both the industry and consumers as describing a product that is designed to mitigate, mask, or soften certain cosmetic indicators that come with age. These typically include wrinkles, discoloration, greying of the hair, or a loss of skin firmness.
Anti-aging litigation has proven popular with the plaintiffs’ bar. In the past five years, there have been at least 31 class action complaints filed alleging deceptive advertising of anti-aging products, and at least 10 enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Often such putative class actions allege that advertising which touts a product’s anti-aging properties is deceptive and misleading to consumers. Typically, complaints over anti-aging claims lack affirmative evidence that a