After 'Fair & Lovely', L'Oreal to drop words white, fair, light from skincare range

Updated: Jun 27, 2020, 15:41 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The move came a day after Unilever made a similar announcement in the wake of growing criticism on social media

Photo used for representational purpose
Photo used for representational purpose

French cosmetics major L'Oreal Group on Friday announced that it will drop the words such as white, fair, and light from all its skincare products. The move came a day after Unilever made a similar announcement in the wake of growing criticism on social media.

Amid rising voices against colourism and racial stereotyping, the cosmetic brands have been under the scanner for their products that promote skin fairness. The backlash intensified in the wake of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement in the West.

"The L'Oreal Group acknowledges the legitimate concerns about the terms used to describe skin even-ing products, and has therefore decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin even-ing products," the company said in a statement.

L'Oreal is a big player in the personal care category and owns global brands like Garnier, L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline New York, and NYX Professional Make Up.

As the announcement was made, many people took to Twitter to express their opinion. Some congratulated the company for removing the words, while many said that instead of removing the names, the products should be discontinued.

On Thursday, Unilever had said it is removing the word 'Fair' from its popular skincare brand 'Fair & Lovely' as ‘the brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones’.

Several companies have been forced to reassess their products and branding following the 'Black Lives Matter' protests. Earlier this week, Johnson and Johnson announced that it will exit the fairness cream category in India and the Middle East. Recently, the online marriage website ‘’ removed the skin tone filter after facing criticism from users.

Kolkata-based FMCG firm Emami, which owns fairness cream brand Fair & Handsome, had said it is evaluating the current situation. "We, as responsible corporate citizens value consumer sentiments and take cognizance of the holistic approach that is required to be taken to address their needs. We are studying all implications currently and evaluating internally to decide our next course of action," an Emami spokesperson had said.

Many Bollywood celebrities, including Priyanka Chopra, have also been under fire for previously endorsing the fairness creams. In an interview in 2015, Priyanka was asked why she endorsed fairness products in the past and she replied that she did it for a year and felt really bad about it, that’s why she stopped doing it.

(With inputs from PTI)

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