The UK body watching over fair commercial practices, has found a number of claims for a food supplements containing collagen to be in breach of nutrition and health claims rules. The website of the brand Dermacoll contained a number of indications that the collagen peptides have a beneficial effect on skin. More in particular claiming that collagen supplementation could combat skin ageing and reduce wrinkles, plump and fill fine skine lines, strengthen the skin and drench and hydrate the skin.
ASA marks the differene between ‘claims which stated or implied a beneficial physiological effect on or change to the structure of the skin to aid in its function of providing a barrier’ which do constitute health claims versus statements on ‘temporary improvements in appearance or maintenance of normal appearance of the skin’ which it considered to be cosmetic claims out of the nutrition and health claims scope.
However in terms skin ageing, ASA considered the distinction between health claim and cosmetic claim is not fully clear. It argued some may perceive the prevention of skin ageing as a health claim and therefore such statement should be accompanied by a specific authorised health claim. When perceived as a cosmetic claim, the effect should be substantiated by evidence.
For the other claims “Plump and fill out fine lines”, “strengthen your skin from the outside in” and “Drench and hydrate your skin” ASA also looked at the additional statement “strengthen and regenerate the underlayers of the skin” appearing with a picture of skin layers. This made the Panel conclude the product had a specific physiological action which would have a beneficial health effect on the function of the skin, thus constituting a health claim. In terms of “strengthen your skin from the outside in” ASA argued that the word “strengthen” extended to a heightened level of protection to the skin against damage and therefore the statement be a health claim. Neither of the claims was authorized or linked with an authorized health claim.
The defendant company, Dermacoll, submitted scientific references in order to demonstrate the claimed effects. However in the view of ASA any was sufficiently supporting the made allegations.
UK Advertising Standards Authority ruling on HealthArena Ltd t/a Dermacoll (19 June 2019) - link