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Legal Wrinkle: Anti-Aging Cream Faces Class-Action Lawsuit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Is it a miracle in a jar or a fraud?

One beauty giant says its night cream helps repair DNA, but a class-action lawsuit is challenging those claims.

At $92 a pop, Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair cream carries a big promise in a little bottle --- the youth potion every woman is looking for.

The beauty giant claims the product reduces signs of aging, thanks to the company's innovative DNA technology.

Those claims have caused a legal wrinkle.

The lawsuit accuses Estee Lauder of making billions by misleading customers into thinking a cream can actually repair their DNA.

"I don't think they can repair DNA with their creams," one skeptical woman told CBS 2's Amy Dardashtian on Tuesday.

But as unbelievable as it sounds, dermatologist Dr. Jeanette Graf said creams can repair DNA.

"Whether it's in the form of peptides, whether it's in the form of retinols, whether it's in the form of enzyme inhibitors -- all of which play a role together in diminishing the amount of DNA damage," Graf told Dardashtian.

Some creams can even prevent damage, Dr. Graf said.

"We're able to block enzymes that ordinarily would break down the skin and break down the collagens," she told Dardashtian.

Graf said Estee Lauder's scientific theories are sound but its formula is likely secret, so it's hard to know exactly what's in the product. She added every person can react differently.

Some women said they don't buy the claims of anti-aging creams.

"It's not taking out the dark spots off my face at all," one woman told Dardashtian

"Within a couple weeks I used it, I noticed a difference but then it kind of stops," said another woman.

While Graf said it's best to put the cream on overnight, she said you're not likely to see a difference overnight. Even the best creams can take years to work, so she said you don't necessarily have to spend the big bucks.

"They can go into their drug store, into their mass market stores and they get excellent products for a lot less and get great results," Dr. Graf said.

She said the number one anti-aging trick is using good old-fashioned vitamin A in the form of retinol.

CBS 2 reached out to Estee Lauder but the company would not comment because of pending litigation.

The lawsuit will not move forward until a judge decides who is eligible to join the class of litigants.

No specific amount of money has been requested yet.

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