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Business trends

Asia's skin whitening market reckons with global antiracist push

Companies including Johnson & Johnson and Unilever to change product lineup

The "Fair & Lovely" brand of skin lightening product is to change, Unilever's subsidiary in India has said   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Asia's $7.5 billion skin whitening market is under growing scrutiny after three of the biggest global companies in the cosmetics and toiletries industry vowed to change their marketing of popular products, responding to a worldwide increase in anti-racist sentiment.

L'Oreal became the latest group to respond to consumer pressure, announcing over the weekend that its skin evening products would no longer be marketed with the words "fair," "whitening" and "lightening." It followed Unilever, which announced similar intentions last week, and Johnson & Johnson, which is pulling two whitening lines from shelves in Asia and the Middle East.

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