Consumers hoping to hydrate and heal damaged skin might not want to buy store-brand products that claim to contain aloe vera because there is no evidence of the plant existing in those products at all, Bloomberg reported.
According to Bloomberg, “various lab tests” have shown that stores like CVS, Walmart and Target sell products that “showed no indication of the plant” despite listing aloe barbadensis leaf juice as the first or second ingredient.
A lab test paid for by Bloomberg showed no trace of three components of aloe vera: acemannan, malic acid and glucose. Instead, researchers found maltodextrin, a polysaccharide used to imitate aloe. Store-brand products claiming to contain aloe at Walgreens contained only malic acid.
And since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t evaluate or approve cosmetics before they’re sold, there’s nothing stopping retailers from selling the products as advertised.
Lawsuits filed against the four retailers claim that customers were misled and that “no reasonable person would have purchased or used the products if they knew the products did not contain any aloe vera.”