Palmer’s Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks, and other cocoa butter products that claim to reduce the telltale signs of pregnancy and obesity, do not work, according to two women.
Chezaree Booker of Yonkers and Qwonjit Nelson of the Bronx filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against the manufacturer, E.T. Browne Drug Co. on April 21 in U.S. District Court in White Plains.
“Unfortunately for consumers,” the complaint states, “the products are a sham. Scientific evidence shows the products do not prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks. The products are ineffective for their stated purpose.”
The lawsuit is “meritless,” Amy Feldman, a spokeswoman for the Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey company, responded in an email. “We are confident we will prevail in court.”
E.T. Browne has been in the skin care business for more than 175 years, according to its website. The Palmer’s brand boasts a “What’s Real” motto: “real high-quality, natural ingredients in formulas that really work, for real people at real affordable prices.”
Tummy butter, massage cream and massage lotion formulas include cocoa butter, Vitamin E, collagen, elastin, argan oil and shea butter that purportedly improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of stretch marks during and after pregnancy and weight fluctuation.
But according to the complaint, several studies from 2008 to 2016, of Palmer’s products or of the active ingredients, concluded that they did not prevent or reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
One of the studies included products provided by E.T. Browne, the complaint states, thus the company “was well-aware that its product flunked testing as far back as 2008.”
Booker bought the massage lotion at a CVS store in Yonkers in January for $8. Nelson paid $7 for the tummy butter last year at a Walgreens in the Bronx.
They claim they used the products as directed but saw no difference in their stretch marks.
The complaint posits that enough people have bought Palmer’s stretch mark products to amount to a dispute worth more than $5 million in damages.
The women accuse E.T. Browne of deceptive practices, false advertising, unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty and fraud.
E.T. Browne, the complaint states, “continues to sell its ineffective and worthless Palmer’s to unsuspecting consumers.”
Booker and Nelson are represented by Manhattan attorneys Scott A. Bursor and Yitzchak Kopel.