As protests against systemic racism and policy brutality continue to erupt across the United States, companies around the world are showcasing their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement through changes in their business and corporate models. Among them, is multinational company Johnson & Johnson, who have recently confirmed their decision to stop selling products from their Clean & Clear Fairness and Neutrogena Fine Fairness lines. Not available to consumers in the US, both lines were sold exclusively in Asia and the Middle East.
“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 company said in a statement. “This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.”
While they will soon update their website to reflect the changes, Johnson & Johnson confirmed that both product lines may still be available in stores for a little while longer, however, they will no longer be produced or shipped. The multinational company’s decision follows a suite of backlash they have recently received for promoting lighter skin. The backlash has also extended to the likes of their competitors, Proctor & Gamble, and Unilever, the latter of which has been met with a petition of 11,000 people demanding it’s Fair & Lovely range be pulled from production. Promising consumers “fair, healthy and hydrated skin,” the Fair & Lovely range boasts a number of skin-lightening products, including a moisturizing cream that is said to “improve overall fairness in four weeks.”
According to a study published by Euromonitor International, more than 6,000 tonnes of skin lightener were sold worldwide last year, including products marketed as anti-aging creams targeting dark spots and freckles. In light of the uproar, Johnson & Johnson has also announced changes to its brand, Band-Aid, noting that it will launch a range of bandages in “light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin.”