Earlier this year, the nonprofit eco-advocacy agency Environmental Working Group released a scathing report card on the sunscreen industry, claiming that 80 percent of products on store shelves today are either ineffective or harmful. One product that did well in the EWG's review was the sunscreen produced by the Honest Company, an organization co-founded by Jessica Alba that promotes the use of natural ingredients in its products. But while Honest sunscreen may be all natural, it's effectiveness is coming under scrutiny.

Alba and the Honest Company are in hot water based on reports from users that the sunscreen did not protect them from sunburns. Honest sunscreen users have been flooding social media and Amazon with reviews and pictures like these:


Sunburned little girl

The mom of this little girl claims that her daughter was burned so badly she had blisters on her shoulder. (Photo: Amazon.com)

Woman with sunburn

This woman is not the only user to compare Honest sunscreen with baby oil. (Photo: Amazon.com)

Sunburned little girlThere is nothing worse than thinking you are protecting your kid only to find out that your actions may have caused her harm. (Photo: Amazon.com)

Woman with sunburnAnother unhappy customer. (Photo: LindsyMarshall/Twitter)

According to reports from NBC5 in Chicago, the Honest Company recently changed the formula for its sunscreen to include only 9.3 percent zinc (compared to the 20 percent that it had previously contained.) Most sunscreen products that list zinc oxide as their active ingredient contain between 18 and 25 percent. The company released a statement standing by the product:

"Our Sunscreen Lotion was tested, by an independent 3rd party, against the protocols prescribed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) monograph for over-the-counter sunscreen products. 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."

Company officials also noted that the complaints represent a very small proportion compared to the number of bottles of sunscreen sold.

Related on MNN: