Looks like honesty was never the policy for Jessica Alba’s “Honest Company.”
The company made false claims about omitting a damaging ingredient from its cleaning products last year. They claimed a harmful chemical, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which can cause rashes, was not present in their dish soap, multi-surface cleaner and laundry detergent. But it was.
The “Sin City” actress has now filed to settle for the lawsuit, according to which the laundry detergents, dish soaps and multi-surface cleaners made by the Honest Company contained SLS, while she marketed them as being SLS-free.
The company claimed another gentler alternative to SLS called sodium coco sulfate or SCS was used.
However, according to court documents, SLS is a component of SCS. So these two are basically the same thing, and can cause severe rashes.
In March 2016, a lab test conducted by The Wall Street Journal showed Honest laundry detergent used SLS, despite the company swearing otherwise.
SLS is blacklisted in the Honest Free Guarantee in the website; it is purported to cause skin irritation and is a possible carcinogenic.
The company disputed the lab findings at the time, stating their own tests did not find any such chemical in the detergent.
"Despite providing The Wall Street Journal with substantial evidence to the contrary, they falsely claimed our laundry detergent contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). To set the record straight, we use sodium coco sulfate (SCS) in our brand's laundry detergent because it is a gentler alternative that is less irritating and safer to use," the company had said in a statement.
Fast forward one year, the company has settled to pay out its unhappy customers. According to the settlement, customers who bought the products are allowed to choose payment by check or in the form of credit usable for purchases at Honest.com.
The credit back to Honest will be worth 1.5 times the dollar recovery amount.
According to the settlement, Alba's company agreed to create another formula for the products that are SCS-free and certify that the reformulated products do not contain SLS. Honest was also ordered to refrain from marketing products that contain SCS as being SLS-free.
In a statement given to Daily Mail, the Honest Company reasoned about the settlement. “We vigorously deny any and all allegations alleged in the lawsuit — specifically that any of our cleaning products contain SLS. However, given the fact that continued litigation could be protracted and expensive, we have settled this lawsuit to limit further costs and distraction to our business.”
“We stand behind the safety and effectiveness of our products and the responsibility we have to our consumers, and are gratified by the loyalty of both our customers and retail partners.”
This isn't the first time the Honest Company has been under fire for its product line. Alba’s company launched a natural sunscreen in 2015, but soon reports flooded in about it causing red sunburns on customers' skin. It didn’t block the sun, it burned the skin. Reason: inadequate amount of zinc oxide in the lotion’s formula.