'Glow' to reportedly replace 'whitening' on labelling as L'Oreal adapts communication

Beauty brand L'Oreal will reportedly use the terms "glow" or "even" to replace its "white" or "fair" terms used in some of its products designed to help even out skin tones, according to Reuters. This comes days after the company said it will remove the words white/whitening, fair/fairness, light/lightening from all its skin evening products.

Reuters cited L’Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon who told investors that the rebranding was targeted at specific products, and is especially for treatments in Asia and countries such as India which are aimed at protecting skin from the sun and avoiding dark spots. It is added that Agon said the brand is "adapting" its vocabulary to meet changing expectations and attitudes. Marketing has reached out to L'Oreal for additional information.

L'Oreal's move to replace its whitening terms echoes a similar move by Unilever’s Indian unit Hindustan Unilever, which said last week it is dropping the word “fair” from its "Fair & Lovely" products. Unilever has also removed from Fair & Lovely’s packaging, words such as ‘fair/fairness’, ‘white/whitening’, and ‘light/lightening’ that could indicate a fairness-led transformation.

L'Oreal and Unilever's rebranding efforts come amidst the protests in United States in the Black Lives Matter movement. Apart from these beauty brand, Colgate-Palmolive is also reviewing its iconic toothpaste brand Darlie amidst race-related discussions. Its iconic green packaging features a smiling man in a top hat and in Chinese, the brand name translates to “black person toothpaste”.

Earlier last month, L'Oréal came under fire for being hypocritical in its support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The brand was called out by transgender model Munroe Bergdorf after posting an image on Instagram of a black tile with the words "Speaking out is worth it". Bergdorf said the brand did not support her when she spoke out against the racial violence of white people in 2017, and instead dropped her from a campaign. L'Oreal has since reconciled with Bergdorf, and invited her to be part of its newly-formed UK diversity and inclusion advisory board of voices inside and outside the company, who will influence and inform its action plan.

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