Jessica Alba is dealing with a double blow against her thriving startup after months of riding the corporate high.
The actress’ Honest Company has reportedly been sued for a second time in a week – this time for altering its sunscreen formula and removing the chemical that protects the skin from the sun.
According to TMZ, a second class-action suit was filed against the company that Alba co-founded with Christopher Gavigan. The latest suit alleges the company changed the formula of its SPF 30 sunscreen in March and removed more than half of its zinc oxide content – causing users to scorch in the sun.
The suit follows complaints from several consumers who took to social media in July to post pictures of themselves or their children with severe sunburns after allegedly using Honest Sunscreen. Users called the sunscreen ineffective even though the lotion claims it has SPF 30 with “broad spectrum, mineral-based protection.”
This newest lawsuit follows that of Jonathan D. Rubin, who filed a class-action lawsuit late last week claiming all the company’s products that were described as “natural” actually contain synthetic preservatives.
According to the court documents, Rubin accused the company’s products of being “deceptively and misleadingly labeled and marketed.” He highlighted a list of products including Honest Hand Soap, Honest Dish Soap, Honest Diapers and Honest Multi-Surface Cleaner that he claims contain unnatural ingredients.
“Honest also labels and markets the products as ‘natural’ on its website, on third-party marketplace websites, and in print and television advertisements,” the lawsuit continued.
Alba co-founded the company in 2011 to sell nontoxic products in baby products and household items. The startup is now valued at $1.7 billion, making Alba one of the world’s richest self-made women, according to Forbes, with a net worth of about $340 million.
Following the first lawsuit, Alba slammed the allegations, saying they hold no merit and that she is “proud” of the products her company has developed
“Seven years ago, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was frustrated by the lack of healthy and safe product options for me and my new family,” the actress said in a statement. “I started The Honest Company to develop safe and effective products not just for my children, but for families everywhere. I am proud that we have built this company into an industry leader focuses on using natural ingredients and developing products that people love.”
Earlier this summer, Alba defended the company’s sunscreen – saying the product was tested by third-party companies to ensure it complied with Food and Drug Administration regulations.
“The results showed that our product is effective and safe for use as an 80 minute water-resistant (FDA's highest rating), SPF 30 sunscreen lotion in accordance with FDA regulations when used as directed ,” she said in a statement to E online. “We stand behind the safety and efficacy of this product."