Health

Bad News If You've Ever Bought Store-Brand Aloe Vera Products

November 22nd 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

Aloe vera products are often used to soothe sunburns and heal damaged skin, but it has recently been discovered that some aloe vera products might not contain the aloe plant, at all. When looking at store-brand aloe gels at several big retailers, no trace of aloe was found​, according to a report by Bloomberg News.

Aloe

Multiple lab results of store-brand aloe products from CVS, Target and Wal-Mart turned up zero evidence of aloe, which was marked as a top ingredient for all of the products, according to Bloomberg News reporter Lydia Mulvaney. It was also found that Walgreens store-brand aloe products contained only one out of three necessary chemical elements of aloe.

There are several lawsuits against Walgreens, CVS, Target and Wal-Mart following a separate lab testing orchestrated by multiple law firms that revealed no sign of aloe in the store-brand products. “No reasonable person would have purchased or used the products if they knew the products did not contain any aloe vera,’’ stated a complaint filed in September. The lawsuits came about after customers complained of false advertisement, Bloomberg News reported.

This speaks to a larger issue surrounding beauty product regulation in the U.S.

As ATTN: has noted before, beauty products are not subject to robust regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Cosmetics and U.S. Law "does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market," the FDA states on its website. In April 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act to increase regulations on personal care products, but only a second hearing has been held on the bill since its introduction. During multiple sessions, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced her own bill titled the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act to enact a similar change on beauty product regulations, but it didn't pass.

Target, CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart all denied the allegations and said that they were told by their supplier that the products contained aloe, Bloomberg News reported. Fruit of the Earth, which provided the gels for Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreens has denied the allegations, as well, and told Bloomberg News that it uses organic aloe from Florida.

A Wal-Mart spokesperson told ATTN: via email that its supplier stands by the authenticity of its aloe:

"We hold our suppliers to high standards and are committed to providing our customers the quality products they expect. We contacted our supplier and they stand behind the authenticity of their products."

A CVS spokesperson offered a similar statement to ATTN:

"We are committed to bringing high quality products to consumers, and maintain ongoing contact with suppliers to ensure that they meet our high standards. We have reviewed with the supplier, and they have affirmed the product’s authenticity."

Walgreens had this to say in an email statement to ATTN:

"The quality, safety and integrity of our products is of highest priority to us, and we carefully select suppliers who share those priorities as well.  Our supplier has assured us that the product’s ingredients match its labeling."

ATTN: has reached out to the other two brands regarding the Bloomberg News report and will update this piece if we hear back.

Read the full Bloomberg News story here.

Update 11/22 at 2:03 p.m. PT: This article has been updated to include a statement from Walgreens.