Johnson & Johnson Will Cease Production of Skin-Whitening Creams Overseas

Johnson & Johnson Will Cease Production of Skin-Whitening Creams Overseas

Johnson & Johnson Will Cease Production of Skin-Whitening Creams Overseas

The products by Neutrogena and Clean & Clear are popular in Asia and the Middle East.

The products by Neutrogena and Clean & Clear are popular in Asia and the Middle East.

Text: Mili Godio

Johnson & Johnson announced on Friday that they will stop selling two lines of skin-whitening products overseas amidst global conversations about racial inequality and oppression. According to Reuters, the company will cease production of the Neutrogena Fine Fairness line sold in Asia and the Middle East, as well as the Clean & Clear Fairness line available in India. The announcement comes just a month after Johnson & Johnson’s decision to stop producing their famous talc-based Baby Powder in North America due to claims that it causes cancer.

The discontinued products, which were not distributed in the U.S., were long advertised as dark-spot reducers for consumers in Asia and the Middle East. In a statement via the New York Times, Johnson & Johnson said, “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 added, “This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.”

Skin-whitening products have been a source of intense criticism for a long time, primarily for their role in perpetuating colorism and racism in areas that historically prefer light skin tones to deeper ones. A commercial for Neutrogena’s Fine Fairness line in Asia promotes the product to “whiten more thoroughly,” while countless Youtube videos review the Clean & Clear Fairness cream and its effects on whitening.

According to the Times, the company will no longer produce or ship the product line but it may remain on shelves for a short period of time.

As the fight against racial injustice continues worldwide through the Black Lives Matter movement, many companies have made some necessary changes as they are called out for racist imagery associated with their products. Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, and Uncle Ben’s have all reevaluated the racist origins behind their brand. While Aunt Jemima will change the name and image associated with it, Mrs. Butterworth, Uncle Ben’s, and Cream of Wheat claim that they will reassess their “visual brand identity.”

Thousands have signed a petition online calling on Unilever to discontinue their Fair & Lovely line of skin-whitening products also marketed in Asia and the Middle East, which is advertised through an intensely racist commercial showing the “success” of lightening a darker skin tone. Proctor & Gamble and L’Oréal have also been called out for selling skin-whitening products.

Band-Aid, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, recently announced that they will start selling bandages made with different skin tones in mind. In an Instagram post, the brand said, “We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators and community in the fight against racism, violence and injustice.”

“We are committed to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of Brown and Black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin,” Band-Aid continued. “We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you.”

Credits: Photo: ArabNews

UP NEXT

Sies Marjan Shuts Down Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
The brand closed its doors after five years in business.