L'Oreal to eliminate the word "whitening" from products

Lawrence Kim
June 29, 2020

Unilever announced Thursday it plans to rename its "Fair & Lovely" skin lightening cream.

Industry-leading French cosmetics company L'Oreal announced they will be removing words like "whitening" and "lightening" from their products after a number of beauty brands received backlash for their skin-lightening products amidst ongoing protests for racial equality.

Skin-whitening products are especially popular in Asian, African and Caribbean countries, where untypical lighter skin is seen as more desirable.

L'Oreal's products include Garnier Skin Naturals White Complete Multi Action Fairness Cream.

Several companies, including L'Oreal, have been criticized recently for skin-lightening products after the global rise of the Black Lives Matter movement following the police killing in the United States of African-American George Floyd last month.

In a statement published on Saturday June 27, the group said it had "decided to remove the words "white/whitening", "fair/fairness" and "light/lightening" from all its "skin evening" products".

Johnson & Johnson went a step further, saying it would stop selling skin whitening creams sold in Asia and the Middle East under its Neutrogena and Clean & Clear brand.

The product reportedly generated $500 million in revenue in India past year, according to Yahoo News, but the brand says they are working to acknowledge how their terminology and branding perpetuates racist stereotypes.

Uncle Ben's, the rice brand owned by Mars - whose logo usually features the face of a Black man - has also said it will be changing the image in future, including on products in France.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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