A beauty brand shut down claims that its body butter attracts wolf spiders.

Sephora recently started selling Sol de Janeiro’s Delícia Drench Body Butter, a scented, moisturizing cream. The product is already popular at the beauty store, where it has an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

But a one-star reviewer wrote on Sephora’s website that they disliked the product for an unexpected reason: They claimed wolf spiders appeared inexplicably attracted to the body butter.

Sol de Janeiro addressed the claim in an Instagram story on Friday, saying its products don’t attract spiders.

Sol de Janeiro and Sephora did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

The reviewer said a wolf spider chased them when they wore the body butter

A customer who goes by chemkats warned other buyers about spiders being attracted to the body butter in a review posted just over a week ago.

“If you’re scared of wolf spiders — watch out for these lotions lol,” the reviewer wrote, going on to say that the lotion seemed to attract the spiders. “When I put it on instantly one will come out. Normally I’ll see one every like 3 years, used this and it was every day. I stopped using it and haven’t seen one since.”

A screenshot of a review of a product sold on Sephora's website.

The reviewer said a wolf spider chased them when they wore the body butter.


Sephora



The reviewer said that one spider chased them to get to the body butter. Wolf spiders chase their prey, unlike many species of spiders that catch their food in webs, as Live Science reported, though they would not typically consider humans food.

“One time, the spider wanted to eat whatever ingredient it is so bad that it chased me,” the reviewer said. “I swear on everything. I’d run left, it ran left, I ran right, it ran right. Like it was legit following the scent.”

The review went viral online and garnered even more attention after someone posted about the supposed wolf spider attraction on Reddit, pointing to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society that found certain chemicals attract female spiders. Two of the chemicals named in the study, farnesyl acetate and hexadecyl acetate, are sometimes found in skincare products.

But Sol de Janeiro denied that those chemicals were in any of its products in an Instagram story on Friday, as HuffPost reported.

“All of our products, including our Delícia Drench Body Butter and upcoming Cheirosa 59 Perfume Mist are free from farnesyl acetate, diisobutyl phthalate, and hexadecyl acetate,” the statement said. “So while they may attract a lot of attention from people, they won’t from arachnids (even though we love all creatures at Sol de Janeiro).”

A photograph shows a close up of a wolf spider carrying an egg sac

A wolf spider carrying an egg sac.

Joe McDonald/Getty Images



The Redditor who posted the study added an update to their post that they “can shop with confidence now” that Sol de Janeiro confirmed its products don’t contain those products.

Floyd W. Shockley, who serves as the chair of the Entomology Collections Committee at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, also told The New York Times that it’s more likely anyone seeing more wolf spiders after buying the body butter is just seeing them because it’s cold outside.

“Wolf spiders prefer to hunt and live outdoors, but when it gets cold they come indoors to overwinter, thus increasing the likelihood of a spider-human interaction,” he told The Times. It’s not the body butter drawing spiders indoors; it’s the natural change in season, when the product happened to be released.

Though the wolf spider attraction has been largely debunked, multiple people have added reviews that mention wolf spiders to the product, appearing to be responding in jest to the original post.

“Loved this product, until the spiders came,” one reviewer wrote. “As I am writing this a military of spiders has taken me captivate. SOS please send help!”

“Smells good, seems like wolf spiders agree,” another said.

“Mine came with all the wolf spiders I could ever possibly want without having to pay anything extra,” another wrote. “Looking forward to more spiders to come in 2024!”

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