Amazon removes 'dangerous, racist, and illegal' skin-lightening products

Amazon has removed a variety of skin-lightening creams.
Amazon has removed a variety of skin-lightening creams. Photo credit: Getty.

Amazon has removed toxic skin-lightening products after complaints from activists. 

The creams targeted individuals of colour wanting to lighten their complexion. 

Activists raised 23,000 signatures asking for the products to come off the virtual shelves, the Associated Press reported.

Non-profits the BeautyWell Project and environmental organisation the Sierra Club delivered the petition on Wednesday to Amazon's fulfilment centre.

BeautyWell founder Amira Adawetold the Associated Press out of the 24 skin-lightening creams they tested, more than half showed high levels of mercury.

On the same day as delivering the petition, the groups released a full-page ad in a local newspaper containing three words: "dangerous, racist, and illegal".

Amazon spokeswoman Cecilia Fan said anyone who uses their site must adhere to proper standards. 

"Those who don't will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available."

Skin-lightening is still popular within certain cultures. 

In October a US woman was put in a coma after using Pond's 'Rejuveness' cream, laced with skin-lightening cream containing methylmercury.

And in September, Simon Blackburn - chairman of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board - told BBC News "skin creams containing banned ingredients are very dangerous and could seriously damage your health, scar you for life and even kill you, so they should be avoided at all costs".


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