Update: In a statement to People, Jessica Alba has denied The Wall Street Journal's report that Honest Company detergent contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), once again claiming that it only contains sodium coco sulfate (SCS), which the Honest Company believes to be less harmful than SLS.
Alba further countered the article's findings, writing that "The Wall Street Journal has been reckless in the preparation of this article, refused multiple requests to share data on which they apparently relied and has substituted junk science for credible journalism." She also claimed that both external and internal testing done by the company has found that the detergent is SLS-free.
This story was originally published on March 11, 2016.
Jessica Alba’s wildly successful Honest Company is under fire again. A test from an independent lab has found sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, in its detergent, The Wall Street Journal reports. Honest Company has denied these findings, claiming that its detergent contains another compound, sodium coco sulfate (SCS), which it believes to be less harmful than SLS.
SLS is a common cleaning agent that can be found in a host of household brands, from Tide to those that also claim to rely less on harsh chemicals, like Tom's of Maine and Mrs. Meyer’s. While there is no firm evidence that the levels of SLS found in consumer products can be harmful, it can cause rashes in high enough doses.
Alba and Honest Company have made a huge payday out of selling products that are touted as “honestly free of” chemicals like SLS. Since the brand's founding in 2011, its valuation has reached 1.7 billion, making Alba wealthier than Beyoncé. It has yet to be seen how, if at all, this latest controversy will affect the company's meteoric growth.