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This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

LANCOME LES SOINS SOLAIRES "PURE MELANIN" SUN CARE CLAIMS SUBSTANTIATED by the company, the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus concluded in an Oct. 14 case report. After investigating the Cosmair division's claims for the sun care products, NAD said it "was persuaded by the scientific evidence that the advertiser had a reasonable basis to make the general function and efficacy claims contained in the advertisement in question." The Les Soins Solaires sun care products were. launched by Lancome in March. NAD's inquiry focused on three claims that were made in a magazine advertorial" for the products. The ad ran in spring and summer issues of publications including Elle, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Mademoiselle and Harper's Bazaar. The group discovered the ad during its routine monitoring process and initiated the investigation with an Aug. 5 letter to Cosmair. The agency of record is Publicis/New York. The watchdog organization questioned the following claims: 1) "Lancome discovers a breakthrough radical defense against sun aging"; 2) ". . . a new protection against free radicals . . . a primary cause of premature aging"; and 3) "Lancome's Pure Melanin . . . acts as an ideal complement to your natural melanin by neutralizing free radicals." To support its claims, Cosmair submitted reports detailing both in vivo and in vitro tests to support the efficacy of the topically applied synthetic melanin in inhibiting free radical peroxidation. The company also explained that "much scientific literature has determined that exposure to UVA rays leads to the production in the body of free radicals, which causes the peroxidation of skin lipids which damages skin cells" and contributes to skin aging, NAD noted. Naturally occurring melanin "acts as a natural defense to the peroxidation of the skin lipids," Cosmair told NAD, noting that "when too many free radicals are produced by too much exposure to sun, the natural defenses can be overwhelmed." Cosmair's synthetic melanin is incorporated into the Suncare Treatment products along with "FDA approved UVA protection ingredients such as titanium dioxide."

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