NEW YORK - Honest Co., co-founded by movie star Jessica Alba, is denying a news report that said its laundry detergent contains an ingredient that it promised its customers that it would never use.
Alba helped found Honest Co. about five years ago. It has grown rapidly, selling diapers, soap, lotion and cleaning products that it says are free of "harsh chemicals." Late last year it started selling lip gloss, blush and mascara under the brand Honest Beauty. The company is reportedly exploring an initial public offering.
The Wall Street Journal, in a report posted to its website Thursday, said it tested Honest Co.'s detergent at two laboratories and found it had sodium lauryl sulfate.
On its website, Honest Co. promises that it doesn't use SLS - a common ingredient in other brands - because it can cause skin irritation.}
It said Friday that its detergent contains sodium coco sulfate instead, an ingredient it says is a "gentler alternative." The company said it conducted "rigorous testing" and said the Journal's article is wrong and "reckless."
"I am extremely disappointed by the recent Wall Street Journal article full of misrepresentations," Alba said in a blog post .
The Journal said Friday that its report "is accurate, fair and meets" its standards.
Honest Co., based in Los Angeles, sells its products online and at discount retailer Target, grocery chain Whole Foods and other major stores around the country.
Target Corp. said Friday that it had no plans to remove the detergent from its store shelves. Whole Foods Market Inc. said it is working with Honest Co. to "understand the results of the test."
Privately held Honest Co. is also facing a class action lawsuit from customers who say the company's sunscreen failed to protect them, causing sun burns, according to court documents. That case is still pending and Honest Co. has said its products are safe.