It is the first Japanese cosmetics company to stop using the Japanese word bihaku (bi means beauty, haku means white).
Kao’s new product series called Twany has shifted to using the word “brightening” instead.

Kao said it decided to drop the term as part of a broader commitment to diversity, adding that it was wrong to promote the message that one skin tone is superior to another.

The company will use the word “brightening” from now on. Kao’s move makes it the first J-Beauty giant to follow the lead of international cosmetic giants, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and L’Oréal that have made similar changes to their labelling recently.

Extracts from a BOF article (original). Published 7 April 2021.