Neutrogena and Clean & Clear products, which were advertised as dark-spot reducers and sold in Asia and the Middle East, will come off the shelves, said Johnson & Johnson.

The consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson said it would no longer sell certain products that are advertised as dark-spot reducers but have been used by some purchasers to lighten skin tone.

The product lines, Neutrogena Fine Fairness and Clear Fairness by Clean & Clear, 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 company said in a statement. “This was never our intention — healthy skin is beautiful skin.”

The company said its website was being updated to remove links to both products, which may still appear on shelves “for a short while.”

“We will no longer produce or ship the product line,” the company said.

The statement followed a string of announcements this week by companies saying they would be removing brands that have been criticized for using racist imagery to sell products.

Extracts from a New York Times article (original). Published 19 June 2020.