High Street retailer under fire over skin whitening cream

Tuesday 30th September 2014 10:49 EDT

New controversies have surfaced in Britain after a high street retailer Holland and Barrett has launched a new line of whitening creams called 'Dr Organic Royal Jelly'. Critics insist that the cream is targeted towards the South Asian community, that is raised with a belief that fairness equates to beauty, an idea that has given birth to a multimillion dollar skin whitening industry.

However the company has insisted that the cream is intended to help people with age spots, sun-darkened skin and other skin anomalies, but the campaigners have slammed it as 'exploiting racism to make money' and 'promoting a throwback to the racial hierarchies of colonialism and segregation'.

Jabeer Bhutt, the deputy chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation, reportedly told the Independent: “The fact that they are openly selling this is so damaging to the self-esteem of black and minority ethnic people in the UK,” he said.

“During the 1970s these creams were illegally sold in market stalls.

"They contained bleach, and people of African-Caribbean, Asian, and mixed-race heritage used them. Some disfigured themselves trying to whiten their skin. I don’t believe a big company like Holland & Barrett doesn’t know all of this, but is still prepared to attach itself to that history if it can make money. That horrifies me.”

The company continues to insist that the product does not contain bleach and that the primary ingredient in the cream was a brown algae with "proven skin-whitening attributes" to combat age spots, freckles, scars, blemishes, dark elbows and knees as well as general skin brightening".

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