French cosmetics giant L’Oreal said Saturday that it will remove words like “whitening” from its skin care products, a move that comes amid global protests against racism sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States.
The company said in a statement that it “has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products.”
L’Oreal’s decision follows a similar move by Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever last Thursday. It is among a number of companies that have been the target of criticism in the wake of Floyd’s death following his arrest in Minneapolis.
Earlier this month, L’Oreal tweeted that that it “stands in solidarity with the Black community and against injustice of any kind. … Speaking out is worth it.”
The post drew a negative reaction from people who see the company’s business model and advertising as focused on white consumers.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson will also discontinue the Neutrogena Fine Fairness line in Asia and the Middle East amid growing criticism of skin-lightening products, including rival Unilever’s Fair & Lovely brand.
“Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that the name of our Neutrogena Fine Fairness line may be perceived in an unintended way as it represents fairness as better than your own unique skin tone,” a J&J spokeswoman said in a statement. “Grounded in the belief that healthy skin is beautiful skin, we made the business decisions to no longer sell the Fine Fairness product line.”
J&J said its global Neutrogena portfolio “uses ingredients that help boost skin cell turnover to even out the skin’s natural skin tone and smooth skin’s texture. We also use anti-aging ingredients that help fade the look of dark spots that naturally occur over time with aging and sun exposure. We do not sell products that bleach the skin.”
The Fine Fairness line uses a retinol formula to lighten dark spots, but doesn’t bleach the skin, she said.
J&J will work to replace the line with “the Neutrogena Bright Boost collection that uses resurfacing ingredients like Neoglucosamine to boost skin’s natural renewal process for brighter, more even skin tone, she said. It was developed to “meet the diverse needs of all skin types, even in different environments around the world,” she said.
J&J says its website and retailer pages are being updated now to remove links to purchase Fine Fairness products.
“For a short while products may still appear on a limited number of in-store shelves as stock runs through. We will no longer produce or ship the product line.”
Sources: Associated Press, AdAge
Photo Credit: Associated Press