You've probably seen bottles of aloe vera gel, used to soothe damaged or sunburned skin.
But store-brand aloe gel sold by Walmart, Target and CVS doesn't have a trace of aloe in it, Bloomberg reports.
They all list aloe leaf juice as either the primary ingredient or the second ingredient after water. They all used a cheaper aloe-like substance called maltodextrin.
Aloe products are a $146 million industry, according to market researcher SPINS.
The specific gels found to not contain aloe:
- Walmart's Equate Aloe After Sun Gel
- CVS Aftersun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel
- Target's Up & Up Aloe Vera Gel
Bloomberg also tested Walgreens' Alcohol Free Aloe Vera Body Gel, but the tests were inconclusive as to whether or not it actually had aloe.
No reasonable person would have purchased or used the products if they knew the products did not contain any aloe vera.
Several law firms have filed lawsuits against the aloe vera suppliers, seeking class-action status.
The retailers either declined comment or denied the allegations. Fruit of the Earth, which made the gels for Walmart, Target and Walgreens, also denied the allegations.
This isn't the first time
Back in the 1980s, many allegedly aloe products contained maltodextrin, a sugar usually made from corn starch. It's also used as a food additive and a sugar substitute.
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