Honest Co, co-founded by Jessica Alba, is denying a news report that said its laundry detergent contained an ingredient that it promised its customers it would never use.

Alba helped found Honest Co about five years ago. It has grown rapidly, selling nappies, soap, lotion and cleaning products that it says are free from “harsh chemicals” online and at major stores around the country.

Late last year it started selling lip gloss, blusher and mascara under the brand Honest Beauty.

The Wall Street Journal, in a report posted to its website on Thursday, said it tested Honest Co’s detergent at two laboratories and found it had sodium lauryl sulfate.

Honest Co said on Friday that the detergent does not contain SLS, but does contain sodium coco sulfate, an ingredient it says is a “gentler alternative”. It conducted “rigorous testing” and said the Journal is wrong and “reckless”.

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The Journal said Friday that its report “is accurate, fair and meets” its standards.

Honest Co is also facing a class action lawsuit from customers who say the company’s sunscreen failed to protect them, causing sunburns. That case is still pending and Honest Co has said its products are safe.

AAP