L’Oreal, the world’s biggest cosmetics company, on Friday announced that it will remove the words “white”, “fair” and “light” from its skin products, Reuters reported. This came a day after Hindustan Unilever said it would drop the word “fair” from the name of its skin lightening cream “Fair & Lovely” and will rebrand it.
Cosmetics companies have been widely criticised for promoting negative stereotypes related to darker skin tones. The death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd, after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, has prompted a reassessment of racism and triggered protests across the world.
A L’Oreal Group spokesperson said the company acknowledged the legitimate concerns about the words used to describe its skincare products, according to Business Standard. “We have, therefore, decided to remove the words,” the spokesperson added. One of its flagship skin products is called “White Perfect”.
The company is an important player in the Rs 5,000-crore market for skin whitening creams in India.
Johnson & Johnson had also said that it would stop selling skin whitening creams under its Neutrogena and Clean & Clear brand.