Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has announced plans to cease production of two lines of skin-whitening products, which are popular in the Asian market. The announcement makes Johnson & Johnson one of the latest companies to drop business lines that are regarded as racist in the wake of a global debate on racial inequality.
According to the company’s spokeswoman, the company’s Clean & Clear fairness line of products, which are sold in India, will come off the shelf. In addition, the company will cease production of Neutrogena Fine Fairness sold in Asia and the Middle East.
“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,” Johnson & Johnson said. “This was never our intention – healthy skin is beautiful skin.
Johnson & Johnson has drawn mixed reaction from consumers
On social media, Johnson & Johnson’s decision was met with both incredulous and supportive reactions. In the announcement, the company said it will no longer produce the products, although they may still appear on shelves until stocks run out. There are a number of global personal care companies that produce creams that lighten the skin, especially among women. These include Unilever, L’Oreal, and Procter & Gamble.
Claire Chang, a board-certified dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology says the skin bleaching market is largely unregulated. This has led to flooding of the market with skin whitening products and treatments, some of which have no medical evidence.
According to a report by Euromonitor International, around 6,277 tonnes of skin lightener were sold worldwide in 2019. These include anti-aging creams targeting dark spots or freckles
Johnson & Johnson working on COVID-19 Vaccine
Johnson & Johnson has joined the long list of companies around the world in a race to look for a vaccine for COVID-19. The company announced that it is in talks with several governments and organizations to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S company said the talks are centered around securing an EU supply deal.
In a statement, a Johnson & Johnson spokesman said the company is committed to making the vaccine readily available to all people, especially in the most affect areas.