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There’s been a wrinkle in makeup and skincare company L’Oreal SA’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit on face cream: a federal judge in New York on Tuesday gave the green light on a proposed class action lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding shoppers by suggesting that its topical collagen products help smooth wrinkles.
According to Reuters, the two plaintiffs claim that L’Oreal violated New York and California consumer protection laws by deceiving them into overpaying for its Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream and its Fragrance-Free Collagen Moisture Filler Daily Moisturizer.
According to the complaint, accessed by the wire service, topically applied collagen is too large to be absorbed by the epidermis, the uppermost layer of skin, making the products incapable of helping “smooth wrinkles” and “restore skin’s cushion” as the labels suggest.
L’Oreal asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming it did not say a moisturizer containing collagen would penetrate the skin or stimulate collagen production, and that reasonable consumers would not believe otherwise from the products’ names.
But a federal judge said the plaintiffs had a point: “It is wholly plausible that a reasonable consumer, shopping for cosmetics, saw a product named ‘Collagen Moisture Filler,’ promising to ‘smooth wrinkles’ and ‘restore skin’s cushion,’ and associated this product with the cosmetic benefits of the collagen molecule.”