When it comes to anything that you use to wash your body or moisturise your skin, simplicity is key, hence the importance of using an organic body wash to help make your shower a soothing, relaxing experience.
However, one of the most popular skincare and body wash brands is the subject of a class-action lawsuit alleging deceptive marketing, as well as a range of other offences such as unjust enrichment and fraud.
The skincare brand Dove, owned by the multinational corporation Unilever, is alleged to have lied in the marketing of one of their body washes by claiming it was “microbiome gentle”.
A skin microbiome is part of the body’s natural defence against infection, is part of the body’s immune system and helps in the healing of wounds.
The implication that a body wash is “microbiome gentle”, therefore, is that it contains ingredients that help to nourish the skin and help the body’s natural defences, with the result being happier and healthier skin.
However, plaintiff Aliyah Anderson claimed that the main active ingredient of the body wash is Cocamidopropyl betaine, a synthetic fatty acid made from coconuts that is restricted in cosmetic products and can be unsafe if it is not rinsed off the skin.
There are also claims it is connected to a range of skin complaints in the lawsuit, such as contact dermatitis, eye irritation, eczema, rosacea and psoriasis.
This is the core basis of the deceptive marketing claim, but the plaintiff also complained about the term “skin-natural” being used to refer to ingredients that are not naturally derived.
The judge in charge of the case, Kenneth Karas, dismissed the unjust enrichment, fraud and a few other charges, but allowed the claim of deceptive labelling to proceed.
The argument is that had the products been accurately labelled, customers would not have bought them at the price they were selling for.