Diy Skin Care, the skin-care brand owned by Target, said it has removed the claim that its products are safe and effective against acne and psoriasis, after customers complained.
The company also said it was “reviewing” its claims about its products, which have been popular among teenagers for their ability to calm skin, improve the appearance of pores and stop the appearance and worsening of sunburn.
The claim comes as a growing number of companies are launching health-conscious products aimed at helping teens improve their appearance.
Some products have been labelled as anti-aging, which critics say could have serious consequences for children, and the companies have been criticised for marketing them as anti-“aging.”
But Diy’s chief executive, Lisa J. Smith, told reporters on a conference call that its product is a proven and effective treatment for acne.
“We know the skin can get a little irritated and we know that there is some evidence to suggest that there are some types of acne which are worse if you have a red or irritated skin,” she said.
“So, we are very proud of our products for their anti-ageing properties.”
Diy said it will review all its claims in an effort to clarify them.
“Our product is made with skin that is healthy, youthful and looking great and we will be updating our website in the coming weeks to further clarify our products’ anti-acne properties,” Ms Smith said.
A spokeswoman for Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But there are plenty of products on the market aimed at teens and young people, which contain ingredients that can be potentially harmful, including sunscreen and facial moisturisers that contain the chemical retinol.
The company said it removed the statement about its skin-conditioning products from its website because “it is not something we encourage kids to do”.
It is common for teenagers to use skin-brightening products that contain retinols, which are also found in prescription drugs and cosmetics, because of their purported anti-inflammatory properties.
“This product was promoted as a skin-lightening product, but we are aware that some people may be upset by this statement and have raised concerns about the ingredient,” Diy said.
“We have been working closely with Target on this issue.”
A spokesman for the Australian Academy of Dermatology said it is “committed to supporting dermatology research into skin lightening, but does not support cosmetic use of retinoids”.
“We do not support skin lighteners in children and adolescents as a solution to the skin problem, nor do we recommend cosmetic use,” the spokesman said.
The Australian Skin Foundation said it would be launching a review of its claim on its product line and will not support it.
“It is not the only retinoid product that has been associated with skin problems, so it is not an absolute truth-telling standard,” a spokesman said, adding that it was working with Diy to “reduce the use of this product” in its advertising and marketing.
Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics said that its medical experts had raised concerns with its claims on its products.
“They were concerned that some retinyl-rich skin-tanning creams and products, including those from Diy, may cause significant skin problems such as acne and hyperpigmentation,” the academy said in a statement.
“Further, they believe that retinolyl is not a safe ingredient for use on children.”
A spokesperson for the American Skin Foundation did not respond to request for further comment.
Diy did not give details about the products it was removing from its site.