LONDON: Johnson & Johnson has decided to stop selling skin-whitening creams widely popular in Asia and the Middle East.
The products have come under renewed social pressure in recent weeks amid a global debate about racial inequality. Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its Clean & Clear Fairness line of products, sold in India and other countries in South Asia.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the company would drop its Neutrogena Fine Fairness line available in Asia and the Middle East.
“Conversations over the past few weeks highlighted that some product names or claims on our dark spot reducer products represent fairness or white as better than your own unique skin tone,” Johnson & Johnson said.
“This was never our intention – healthy skin is beautiful skin,” the healthcare company said, adding it would no longer produce or ship the products but they might still appear on store shelves until stocks run out.
Creams that promise to lighten or brighten skin are marketed primarily to women by the world’s biggest personal care companies, including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and L’Oreal under their respective brands Fair & Lovely, Olay and Garnier.
About 6,277 tonnes of skin lightener was sold worldwide last year including products marketed as anti-aging creams targeting dark spots or freckles.
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