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Brands Embrace Diversity By Offering Products In Different Skin Tones

June 17, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Many brands are moving toward a more inclusive skin tone spectrum when creating their products. In some cases, brands were created specifically for consumers who were unable to find what they needed to match their skin tones. In other cases, brands are playing catch up and trying to thoughtfully offer options for more diverse audiences.

Band-Aid Plans To Launch Bandages In Different Shades Next Year

band-aid

After a false start in 2005, Band-Aid is once again planning to launch a range of bandages in multiple skin tones in the next year. The 100-year old brand said in a statement on Instagram, “We are committed to launching a range of bandages in light, medium and deep shades of brown and black skin tones that embrace the beauty of diverse skin. We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you.⁣” The brand currently sells clear Band-Aids and has a family pack that includes various tones, but the new product will be exclusively for black and brown skin and will come in the brand’s most popular “Flexible Fabric.”

Nubian Skin Offers Lingerie And Hosiery Shades Of Black And Brown

nubian skin

For hose, bras and underwear, the description “nude” often means colors that match white women’s skin, making it difficult for black and brown women to find the right undergarments. Nubian Skin, a lingerie and hosiery brand, was founded by Ade Hassan when she grew fed up with the limited options. “My nude isn’t the nude I see in shops. Despite the reality that women of colour have the same needs as all women when it comes to lingerie and hosiery, the industry simply doesn’t cater to us. So, I thought, it’s time to rethink the definition of nude,” said Hassan. Like many similar brands, Nubian Skin is based in London, but their products are available at stores in North America. Nubian Skin has a robust website and marketing strategy including a loyalty program for frequent shoppers and content marketing that covers topics from haircare to motherhood for women of color.

Make-Up Brands Offer Foundations In Dozens Of Colors For All Women

Shutterstock_396973645 Makeup products to even skin tone and complexion on aged paper. Corrector, loose and compact powders, concealer pencil, liquid foundation with brushes and cosmetic sponges. Retro style processing

When Fenty cosmetics launched, it was lauded for offering more than 40 shades of foundation for women of all skin tones, and many brands have followed suit with similar products. Milk Makeup, Clinique, Uoma and Tarte are among the brands making an array of foundation colors. Uoma founder, Sharon Chuter, sees her choice to create a diverse landscape of make-up options as an ethical business decision that she believes more brands will follow in the future. “People are turning to brands as the new form of congregations. People are seeing brands as places with like-minded beliefs, especially with the digital sphere. And that’s what good brands become. People no longer are saying ‘That’s a bomb lipstick,’ they’re saying 'Is it vegan? Who is the founder? What do they believe in? Are they racist?,’” said Chuter. 

Chuter also wants everyone to be able to have fun with make-up and not feel forced into specialty shops or asking for something from the backroom, “Beauty should be fun, a place that distracts you from the craziness of this world, where we can all indulge and dress up as whatever.”

Arts And Crafts Brands Introduce Crayons And Markers In A Variety of Skin Tones 

Crayola recently made news with the release of its Colors of the World collection that includes many different skin tones, and they aren’t the only art brand trying to be more inclusive. COPIC, a favorite among artists, has a “Sketch Set” of markers in skin tone colors, and Japanese cosmetics brand Shiseido has created a line of crayons based on the actual color of children’s skin tones. Trendhunter.com reports that Shiseido initiated the project because mixed-race children in Japan often feel like outsiders. “To challenge this belief about skin tone, Shiseido created a custom crayon set by scanning the color of a child's skin and creating a colored drawing tool with their name on it.”

The recent protests around the country may have lit a spark with many brands who realize they weren’t exploring the full range of diversity in America, while other brands always existed to serve diverse clientele. However businesses come to their decisions to be more inclusive, it’s important that brands actively listen to what consumers want and not pander or offer superficial solutions as a way to just get ahead. Long-term inclusivity strategies are likely to have a more meaningful impact for brands and consumers.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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