Cosmetics vendors often stretch truth, buyers warned

July 02, 1992|By New York Daily News

When it comes to pitches by beauty cream companies, some "truths" are only skin deep, New York's top consumer watchdog says.

A study by Consumer Affairs Commissioner Mark Green says shoppers at department store cosmetics counters are duped 36 percent of the time by sales representatives who hype benefits of expensive so-called anti-aging and anti-cellulite creams.

Consumer Affairs officials made 148 undercover inquiries at 14 cosmetics counters at Macy's, A&S, Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Mr. Green said that more that 53 questions drew claims by cosmetics companies that their products reduce wrinkles, flush away cellulite, break up fat cells or firm breasts.

The claims, Mr. Green said, are "all false."

Dermatologists say that only surgery and possibly application of the prescription cream Retin-A can reduce wrinkles. Over-the-counter creams do nothing more than temporarily alter the skin's appearance.

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