L’Oreal to remove the word ‘whitening’ from your products

French industry-leading cosmetics company L’Oreal announced they will remove words like “bleach” and “lighten” from their products after a number of beauty brands received a backlash for their skin-lightening products in amid continuing protests for racial equality.


“The L’Oreal Group has decided to remove the words white / whitening, fair / equitable, light / lightening from all of its overnight products,” the company said in a statement.

French company and world market leader in perfumery and cosmetics.

French company and world market leader in perfumery and cosmetics.

The move signals a shift from beauty giants to deal with racial stereotypes. L’Oreal’s skin lightening creams are among the most popular on the market, and are targeted at Asian, African, and Caribbean buyers who face a cultural stigma where lighter skin is perceived as more desirable.

L’Oreal’s promise of change comes a day after consumer product leader Unilever announced they would rename their “Fair & Lovely” cream, which is popular in Asia to lighten skin.

According to reports from Yahoo News, the product generated $ 500 million in revenue in India last year, but the brand says they are working to recognize how their terminology and branding perpetuate racist stereotypes.

“We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skincare brands that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones, celebrating a greater diversity of beauty,” said Sunny Jain, director of Beauty and Personal Care at Unilever. “We recognize that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’ and ‘clear’ suggest a unique ideal of beauty that we do not believe is correct, and we want to address it.”

Still, the company maintains that the Fair & Lovely range “has never been, and is not, a skin whitening product.”


Johnson & Johnson also pledged to discontinue some of its Neutrogena and Clean & Clear products, advertised as dark spot reducers in Asia and the Middle East.