Jessica Alba’s Company Sued for Being Not-So-‘Honest’

A few weeks ago, we highlighted the problems with sunscreen sold by Jessica Alba’s Honest Company—despite being “all natural,” many consumers reported it didn’t actually stop them from getting sunburned. Now, the Honest Company is being sued for its ineffective products and misleading marketing.

The company is currently fighting two lawsuits. One alleges the company changed the formula of its sunscreen, decreasing the amount of zinc oxide, which caused consumers to be sunburned. Another class action suit mentions the company’s ineffective sunscreen, and also claims the Honest Company is deceiving customers by using “all natural” in advertising when most of the company’s products contain synthetic additives. Both lawsuits are seeking $5 million in damages.

Alba has responded to the lawsuit, saying: “The allegations against us are baseless and without merit. We strongly stand behind our products and the responsibility we have to our consumers. We are steadfast in our commitment to transparency and openness.”… “I know my children, Honor and Haven, are growing up in a safer home because of our products.”

But there’s not much actual evidence showing Honest Company’s products make Alba’s children any “safer.” In fact, these lawsuits highlight a key problem: the label “natural” doesn’t really mean anything. You can read more about how unregulated “natural” marketing labels are in our primer here.

While Alba and others who charge higher prices for “all natural” household, baby, and personal care products profit from scaring consumers about the safety of common chemicals, there’s little evidence to support such fearmongering. Until the U.S. government sets standards determining what “natural” really means, consumers will continue to be burned by bogus marketing claims from “green” companies like Alba’s.