With a name like Honest Co, accusations like the ones that a report in the Wall Street Journal threw at the shopping startup co-founded by actress Jessica Alba are a big deal. The company has rejected allegations that the company uses ingredients in its laundry detergent which it has pledged to avoid.

WSJ claims that the detergent contains sodium lauryl sulfate, SLS, a skin irritant. It cites two independent lab tests it commissioned.

Honest Co responded, “The Journal has falsely claimed our laundry detergent contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate… we use Sodium Coco Sulfate (SCS) in our detergent and multi-surface cleaner,” said Honest in a blog post. SCS is a less-irritating, safer substance, used in skin care and cleansers, explained Honest, citing some studies themselves. They called the WSJ‘s testing wrong and “reckless.”

This follows a February lawsuit which accused Honest of fraudulently labeling home and personal care products as natural, plant-based or chemical-free, in order to overcharge customers. Another lawsuit claims that Honest’s sunscreen failed to protect them, causing sunburns.

Honest Co was founded about five years ago in Los Angeles, achieving rapid growth through its many products, including diapers, soap, lotion, cleaning products and more recently make-up products, which are promised to be free of “harsh chemicals.” It sells its products online as well as at Target, Whole Foods, and other major stores across the country. Target has said that it has no plans to remove the product from its shelves, and Whole Foods Market says it will wait to “understand the results of the test.”


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