Johnson & Johnson, the company behind Neutrogena, Clean & Clear, and more mass skin-care brands, has recently declared that it will discontinue the production of skin-lightening products popular in parts of Asia and the Middle East, Reuters reports. Specifically, the brand will no longer sell its line of Clean & Clear Fairness products that are sold in India and its Neutrogena Fine Fairness line. The products will likely still appear on shelves until the entire stock is depleted.
This news was announced on June 19 as the global conversation on antiracism continues. "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," the company said in a statement. "This was never our intention – healthy skin is beautiful skin."
Products in the Neutrogena Fine Fairness line are marketed as dark spot correctors, though a product description for the Neutrogena Fine Fairness Brightening Serum claims that the product can "double your skin's whitening power for even-toned lasting translucent fairness."
In the last few weeks, dozens of companies based in the US have taken steps to acknowledge the roles they've played in the marginalisation of Black people. Aunt Jemima is in the process of rebranding following the discovery that its mascot has a racist origin while Band-Aid recently decided that it will widen its range of flesh-toned bandages to accommodate people with darker skin. Several other companies have also made pledges to hire more Black and brown people at the corporate level.