L’Oréal Will Remove Words Like “Fair” and “Lightening” From Products

L’Oréal has announced that it will no longer use words like “fair” and “lightening” in product descriptions, CNN reports. The beauty giant made its decision public on Friday, June 26, with a statement detailing the new policy. “The L’Oréal Group has decided to remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products,” the statement read, per CNN.

L’Oréal’s announcement comes in the wake of similar decisions from other beauty brands. On June 25, Unilever pledged to change the name of its “Fair & Lovely” collection, which is currently sold in India. As noted by Dazed, the brand will reportedly reframe the packaging and advertising of its cream, explaining further in a statement: “We recognise that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’, and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this. As we’re evolving the way that we communicate the skin benefits of our products that deliver radiant and even tone skin, it’s also important to change the language we use.”

Unilever’s promise of change was made on the heels of petitions calling for the Fair & Lovely line to be discontinued, with many pointing out that such products promote colorism. “Colorism, discrimination based on the color of your skin, is a direct by-product of racism affecting millions of people today, that fairness creams such as Fair & Lovely continue to advance,” one such change.org petition explains. At the time of writing, it has over 13,700 signatures.

Similarly, Johnson & Johnson recently announced they would be ending sales of their “skin-lightening” products, currently available in Asia and India. “Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our Neutrogena and Clean & Clear dark-spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” the beauty company said in a statement, per The New York Times. “This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.”

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