L’Oréal to remove words like ‘whitening’ from skincare products

L’Oréal al has announced it will remove words like “whitening” from its products, as global anti-racism protests continue.

“The L’Oréal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products,” the cosmetics company said in a statement on Saturday.

The announcement follows the decision on Thursday by the Indian and Bangladeshi arms of Unilever to rename their locally marketed “Fair and Lovely” skin-lightening cream for the same reason.

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Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever – which reportedly earned $500m (£405m) from the product in India last year – said it would stop using the word “fair” in the name as the brand was “committed to celebrating all skin tones”.

Several companies – including L’Oréal – have been criticised recently for skin-lightening products after the global rise of the Black Lives Matter movement after the US police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd last month.

Johnson & Johnson said last week it would stop selling some Neutrogena and Clean & Clear products, advertised as dark-spot reducers in Asia and the Middle East.

Several American companies have said they would change their visual identity, such as Mars, which says it plans to develop its Uncle Ben’s brand, which uses a caricature of an African American man as its logo.

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