L’Oreal will rename “lightening” and “whitening” products to fight racial stereotypes

by Peter Heck · Jun 29th, 2020 11:42 am

Last Updated Jun 30th, 2020 at 9:55 am

French cosmetic giant L'Oreal has made public its decision to remove all references to "lightening" or "whitening" from its products.

"The L'Oreal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products," the company said in a statement.

Skin-lightening creams are some of the most popular in the industry — particularly in Asian, African, and Caribbean markets — but L'Oreal announced its move was intended to stand up against racial stereotypes. And they aren't alone.

Unilever previously announced a similar change, promising to rename its"Fair & Lovely" skin cream to something less offensive.

"We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skincare brands that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones, celebrating greater diversity of beauty," Sunny Jain, the head of Unilever's Beauty & Personal Care said. "We recognize that the use of the words ‘fair', ‘white,' and ‘light' suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don't think is right, and we want to address this."

Johnson & Johnson has also pledged to stop selling products designed as "dark-spot removers."


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