Honest Co. takes heat for false product ingredient claim

For years, marketers have claimed Honest goods are free of sodium lauryl sulfate. After lab tests proved otherwise, reps are scrambling to make things right.

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Honest Co. is facing consumer backlash over its use of a controversial ingredient in several laundry detergents and dish soaps.

The five-year-old consumer products company is the brainchild of actress Jessica Alba. She now serves as its chief creative officer. In the past, execs have touted that their products were free of sodium lauryl sulfate. The company had been explicit in its pledge to avoid using the ingredient.

Earlier this year, however, two independent lab tests commissioned by The Wall Street Journal found Honest’s laundry detergent to contain “a significant amount of sodium lauryl sulfate.”

At the time, Honest reps said they didn’t use SLS, but rather a similar ingredient, sodium coco sulfate, which is derived from coconut oil. Scientists came back and said that sodium coco sulfate was actually a mix of cleaning compounds that contained SLS.

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