Johnson & Johnson will no longer sell skin-lightening products in the Middle East

The brand will discontinue two of its skincare lines that promote fairer skin


DUBAI: Multinational company Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will no longer sell its skin-lightening formulas in the Middle East. The news comes amid the ongoing protests against racial injustice sweeping across the globe.

The brand has confirmed that it will discontinue two of its skincare lines that promote fairer skin, which includes its Clean & Clear Fairness line as well as its Neutrogena Fine Fairness range, both of which are marketed to help reduce dark spots for those who want clearer, fairer skin. The products were not distributed in the United States but were sold in Asia and the Middle East.

“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 consumer-products giant said in a statement. “This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.”

The decision to pull the skin-lightening products from shelves comes just a few days after Bollywood stars faced backlash and were labeled “hypocrites” for speaking out against anti-black racism while promoting products in India designed to make people’s skin lighter.

Johnson & Johnson isn’t the only company to be criticized for selling products that advertise skin-lightening effects.

More than 11,000 people have signed a petition calling on Unilever to stop selling Fair & Lovely, a skin-lightening product marketed in India and the Middle East.

The decision to remove the skin lightening lines is the latest move by Johnson & Johnson to respond to the protests against racism that have been held across the US and beyond since the death of African-American citizen George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Band-Aid, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, announced that it would start selling different colored skin tone bandages. “??We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, collaborators and community in the fight against racism, violence and injustice,” the brand wrote in an Instagram post. “??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. We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you.”

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