“Companies are not allowed to sell drugs in the United States without submitting an application to the FDA proving their products are safe and effective and then winning FDA approval.”

Regulators warned L’Oreal SA, the world’s biggest cosmetics company, to stop advertising skincare products using language that makes them sound like drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Lancome USA, a L’Oreal unit, claimed some of its skin care products could “boost the activity of genes” or “stimulate cell regeneration” to reduce signs of aging.

Any product that is intended to affect the structure or function of the human body is classified as a drug, the Federal Agency said in the warning letter posted on its website on Tuesday.

Note: On its website, Lancome describes the Genifique Repair cream, which costs $98 for a 1.7-ounce container, as “our first night care that boosts the activity of genes.” The company cites an in-vitro test on genes to back up the claim.