L'Oreal to drop words such as 'whitening' from skin products

L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics company, will remove words referencing “white”, “fair” and “light” from its skin-evening products, a spokeswoman declared yesterday, a day after Unilever made a similar announcement in the face of growing social media criticism.


Unilever and L’Oreal are two big players in the global market for skin whitening creams used in many Asian, African and Caribbean countries where fair skin is often considered desirable.

The logo of French cosmetics group L'Oreal in Levallois-Perret, France. Image credit Reuters, Gonzalo Fuentes, File Photo

Unilever, in particular, came under fire for its “Fair & Lovely” brand at a time of worldwide focus on racial injustice following weeks of protests sparked by the May murder of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody in the United States, that then triggered worldwide protests in support of the American initial protest.


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

Recently, Urban Kapital reported that 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.

Image credit Kxan 36 daily News

However, are these apologies genuine or possibly ‘forced’ by the crucial timing?

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