A global conversation on race has emerged and is rippling through the beauty and skincare industry. The conversation has raised questions about how whitening products are marketed. Do whitening products perpetuate racially biased beauty standards? Women’s Wear Daily interviewed Grail Insights’ Director, Kunika Khera about shifting perceptions of ‘whiteness’ and how the beauty industry is responding.
According to WWD, skin lightening products are a huge market, generating $4.08 billion in 2017. That’s expected to nearly double by 2026. But now, the world’s biggest skincare and beauty players are taking a hard look at their products and messaging. Some have already removed words like ‘whitening’ and ‘lightening’ in their product descriptions.
Kunika Khera researches consumer attitudes and behaviors for the health and beauty sector. WWD reached out to Khera for a perspective on the potential changes in product descriptions. “It’s actually bringing, more than anything else, at least awareness [of the racism issue]. People are starting to talk about it. So that’s actually a step in the right direction,” said Khera, adding that “the discussion is important for inclusivity, so that the pressure on these people, on these kids — the younger girls and boys — goes away, and it becomes a personal choice at the end.”
Expect to see more products that promise ‘brightening’ instead of ‘whitening’ in the near future. Read the full article in WWD.
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