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Hindustan Unilever to drop word 'fair' from its 'Fair & Lovely' skin cream

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 25 June 2020, 18:20 IST

The Indian unit of Unilever on Thursday stated that it will axe the word fair from its Fair & Lovely range of product, which have long been slammed for giving publicity to negative stereotypes against dark skinned people.

The move comes as cosmetics compinies have come up against an increasing amount of adverse response on social media amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We are making our skin care portfolio more inclusive ... a more diverse portrayal of beauty,” Hindustan Unilever Chairman Sanjiv Mehta said in a statement. The company also sells the popular Dove and Knorr range of products.

Earlier, sources had told Reuters that the company was giving thought to such alterations.

Products sold as skin lightening have a huge market in South Asia because of a societal fixation with fairer skin tone, however those idea are being qestioned more often.

“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,” Sunny Jain, Unilever’s president of its beauty and personal care division, said in a statement.

Unilever’s Fair & Lovely dominate the market in South Asia. Similar items are also marketed by L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble.

The ‘Fair & Lovely’ brand name change is subject to regulatory approvals, Hindustan Unilever said. The company did not say what the new name was going to be.

Apart, a source in L’Oreal in India stated that the company was also discussing in view of the backlash.

“Words such as skin brightening, whitening, lightening could soon become a thing of the past on all labels and product sales pitches,” the source said.

L’Oreal India did not make any statement. An email to L’Oreal in France didn’t induce an prompt response.

Earlier, Johnson & Johnson stated that it would stop selling skin-whitening creams.

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First published: 25 June 2020, 18:16 IST