Johnson & Johnson To Stop Selling Skin-Whitening Creams

by : Lucy Connolly on : 21 Jun 2020 17:34
Johnson & Johnson To Stop Selling Skin-Whitening Creamsneutrogena/Instagram/Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has said it will stop selling skin-whitening creams that are popular in Asia and the Middle East.

The consumer products giant made the comments on Friday, June 19, promising to remove the product lines Neutrogena Fine Fairness and Clear Fairness by Clean & Clear from production.


The products, which are advertised as dark-spot reducers but have been used to lighten skin tone, have come under renewed scrutiny in recent weeks amid worldwide protests for racial equality in the wake of George Floyd‘s death.

johnson & johnson skin lightening creamsJohnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson said its website was being updated to remove links to both products, which may still appear on shelves ‘for a short while’. ‘We will no longer produce or ship the product line,’ the company said in a statement, as per The New York Times.

The statement continued:


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. This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.

While the products in question aren’t sold in the US or the UK, they are popular in Asia and the Middle East. In India, where the Clean & Clear cream is sold, consumers have posted reviews praising the product’s ability to lighten skin while in Asia, adverts for Neutrogena Fine Fairness describe how it allows users to ‘whiten more thoroughly’.

Beauty products that promise to lighten skin are marketed primarily towards women by some of the world’s largest brands, including Unilever, Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal, with approximately 6,277 tonnes of skin-lightener being sold worldwide last year.


Almost 12,000 people have signed a petition calling on Unilever to stop selling Fair & Lovely, a skin-lightening product also marketed in India in the Middle East. Adverts for the cream show dark-skinned women using it to lighten their skin before ultimately becoming more successful as a result.

‘This product has built upon, perpetuated and benefited from internalised racism and promotes anti-blackness sentiments amongst all its consumers,’ the petition states. ‘Colourism, discrimination based on the colour of your skin, is a direct by-product of racism affecting millions of people today, that fairness creams such as Fair & Lovely continue to advance.’

johnson & johnson skin lightening creamsneutrogena/Instagram

Hopefully other companies will follow suit soon and production of these horrendous creams will be stopped ASAP.


If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, Asia, Beauty, India, Now, Racism


The New York Times and 1 other
  1. The New York Times

    Johnson & Johnson Will Stop Selling Skin-Whitening Lotions

  2. Change.org

    Ban Fair & Lovely