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We Said Brightening, Not Whitening!

Funmi Fetto helps show racism in your face cream.


Well established Vogue writer, Funmi Fetto, recently reflected on her own articles in regard to skincare.  Fetto received an email explaining how the products she was recommending were in fact, whitening Black skin rather than brightening it.  

“Upon reflection, if you are a person who is battling blemishes and discoloration, I’d argue that nine times out of 10, this is not an indication of your desire to be white – or whiter.” 

After doing research, she found many products branded to help hyperpigmentation contained the same ingredients as those branded to help with bleaching and whitening. Ingredients to look out for are hydroquinone, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, azelaic acid.  These are what Fetto calls “melanin suppressors” and some are easier to spot than others.  For example, Mario Badescu’s Whitening Mask containing kojic acid is going to do what it says on the tin.  Yet, NIDO’s RE: Pigment, used for brightening and correcting blemishes, contains Diglucosyl Gallic Acid, which they call 60 times more powerful than kojic acid.  Fetto finishes her article with a powerful message:

 “...having glowing skin does my confidence the world of good. And I don’t want to “suppress” my Blackness.” 

Brands need to do better at highlighting what their ingredients do to all skin colors. We want that golden hour glow 24/7, not bleaching products rebranded to hide the racism embedded in wanting to be whiter.  

Top image posted by David Titlow


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