L’Oreal is removing words to do with “whitening” from its skincare products.
In a statement, the cosmetics giant revealed it had decided to ditch the words ‘white/whitening’, ‘fair/fairness’, ‘light/lightening’ from all its skin evening products”.
This decision follows criticism the company has received online in recent weeks.
L’Oreal spoke in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, adding that it “stands in solidarity with the Black community and against injustice of any kind”
But the comment didn’t go down well with scores of social media users, who pointed out that the company sells whitening products.
One Twitter user said: “L’Oreal makes skin whitening products. One is called White Perfect – so I’m always suspicious of big corporates who want to appear like they have social conscience.”
Another remarked: “L’Oreal literally sells skin whitening products.
“A cosmetic company like this should be one of the last to comment on racism.”
Others criticised the company for firing Munroe Bergdorf back in 2017.
When the transgender model spoke out about “racial violence of white people” on Facebook, the company said her words were “at odds” with its values.
L’Oreal Paris’s new president Delphine Viguier has since apologised for the decision and invited Munroe to contribute the cosmetic giant’s UK diversity and inclusion advisory board.
It has also made moves to review some of its practices, which started with putting a halt on “whitening” and “lightening” products.
It’s not just L’Oreal who has made this decision in recent weeks.
Unilever is another company to rethink the name of some of its products – including a skincare range called Fair & Lovely.
Sunny Jain, President of Beauty & Personal Care at Unilever, said: “We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skin care brands that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones, celebrating greater diversity of beauty.
“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.”
“The brand has never been and is not a bleaching product.”