L’Occitane to Pay $450,000 for Consumer Refunds in FTC Settlement

The FTC has approved the final consent order settling charges that L’Occitane, Inc. deceptively claimed that two of skin creams have body slimming capabilities and are clinically proven. The settlement requires L’Occitane to pay $450,000 for consumer redress, as well as prohibiting it from making future false and deceptive weight-loss claims.

The two products are Almond Shaping Delight, which sold for $48 for 7 ounces, and of Almond Beautiful Shape, which cost $44 for 6.7 ounces.  L’Occitane claimed that the skin creams would slim users’ bodies, even though they had no scientific evidence to support the claim.

According to the FTC complaint, specific claims made in L’Occitane advertising campaigns included that Almond Beautiful Shape could “trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks,” and that it was a “cellulite fighter.” For Almond Shaping Delight, the claims included that it has “clinically proven slimming effectiveness,” and can “visibly refine and reshape the silhouette, to resculpt and tone the body contours.”

In addition to requiring the $450,000 payment, the order prohibits L’Occitane from claiming that any product applied to the skin causes substantial weight or fat loss or a substantial reduction in body size; from claiming that any drug or cosmetic causes weight or fat loss or a reduction in body size, unless the claim is backed by two adequate and well-controlled human clinical studies; requires that any claim that a drug or cosmetic reduces or eliminates cellulite or affects body fat or weight be backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence; and prohibits the company from misrepresenting the results of any test, study, or research, or that the benefits of a product are scientifically proven.

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