Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion and Stress Relief Body Wash are at the center of a proposed class action lawsuit wherein a consumer claims the products simply do not have the ability to relieve stress.
Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno stress relief products exist within a greater aromatherapy industry that’s experienced a boom within the last few years, the lawsuit says. Creams and washes like the Aveeno products offered by the defendant are the preferred method of aromatherapy delivery for consumers, according to the suit, and account for “41.9% of the global aromatherapy market.” With the groundwork in place for a rapidly expanding $3.8 billion aromatherapy industry to continue to swell, the case says, conditions are ripe for “unscrupulous manufacturers” to draw consumers in with shaky promises about the efficacy of products in relieving stress and anxiety.
Defendant Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. represents that its Aveeno “stress relief” products can calm and relax the user, claims that the case states J&J based on label references to “clinical studies” on the scents of lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang oils. According to the 40-page suit, however, sound and reliable studies on the apparent benefits of aromatherapy show that lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang oils “are no better than a placebo at providing stress relief.”
“There are no studies demonstrating the ingredients in the products, by themselves or in combination, can be used for aromatherapy to relieve stress as [Johnson & Johnson] claims,” the complaint reads.
Of the studies on which J&J rests claims that its Aveeno stress relief products can work as promised, the lawsuit alleges that despite some studies suggesting lavender may affect mood and stress levels to an extent, those studies “suffer from significant methodological problems” that render their results unreliable.
Consumers would not have purchased the products if not for J&J’s misrepresentations, the lawsuit says.