L’Oréal ditches ‘fair’ and ‘lightening’ phrases from its beauty brands

By Becky Bargh | Published: 29-Jun-2020

The announcement comes as a number of other major beauty companies u-turn on their terminology

Beauty giant L’Oréal has said it will remove words such as ‘white/whitening’ from its skin care products.

In a statement to Cosmetics Business the 110-year-old brand said it would also ditch phrases that include ‘fair/fairness’ and ‘light/lightening’.

The news comes days after personal care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson cut two skin-lightening products from its brand portfolio.

Neutrogena Fine Fairness, available in Asia and the Middle East, and Clean & Clear Fairness, sold in India, have now been discontinued.

It also follows the decision from Anglo-Dutch beauty owner Unilever to change the name of its Fair & Lovely skin care brand after recognising the language suggested a ‘singular ideal of beauty’.

However, consumers have called for the brand to be banned altogether in a petition addressed to Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope, which has amassed more than 13,000 signatures.

Last year, councils in England and Wales urged consumers to avoid skin-lightening creams ‘at all costs’ and liked the products to paint strippers.

This is due to the commonly used illegal toxic bleaching agent hydroquinone, which is still available to buy in many African countries.

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