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Indian Consumers' Obsession With Fair Skin Drives Growth In Skin-Whitening Market

August 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In 2012, Indians consumed 233 tonnes of skin-whitening products, driven by their obsession with fair skin. Started in 1978 with Unilever's launch of the Fair & Lovely brand of skin-whitening cream, the market grew to reach $432 million in value, according to market research firm ACNielsen. Unilever's first skin-whitening cream has paved the way for an endless line of whitening face cleansers, shower gels, and even vaginal washes that their makers claimed work to lighten the surrounding skin. The market for skin-whitening products was growing at 18 percent each year, ACNielsen data also showed. India's leading cricket players and Bollywood celebrities often endorse these products, further driving the public's fixation with whiter skin.
Monisha Rajesh , "India's unfair obsession with lighter skin", The Guardian, August 14, 2013, © Guardian News and Media Limited
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