Annapurna, Axe, Ayush, Breeze, Brooke Bond, Bru, Dove, Fair and Lovely, Hamam, Closeup, Clinic, Kissan, Knorr, Kwality, Lakme, Lifebuoy, Lipton, Liril, Lux, Pears, Pepsodent, Ponds, Pureit, Rexona, Rexona – Deos, Rin, Sunsilk, Surf Excel, Vaseline, Wheel
Through its advertising blitz, Unilever has always engaged in creating and reinforcing the racist myth that dark skin is ugly and inferior, having pimples or warts is socially degrading and having wrinkled skin and growing old is unacceptable.
By promoting products like ‘Fair and lovely’, ‘Ponds Anti Aging Cream’, ‘Slimfast’ and ‘Pimple care’, Unilever not only makes us look at natural process of human body as an illness but also claims to have ‘miraculous cure’ to resist these natural processes. Unilever reinforces the patriarchal stereotypes about women and their bodies. Their advertisements speak less about their products and more about how women should look to gain socially acceptance.
But how about the safety of their products? Publicly declaring the chemicals and toxins in their products or the processes is not a part of Unilever’s practices
Fast Moving Consumer Hazards:
· Unilever products contain more than 40 Cancer causing chemicals.
· Environmental Working group, a voluntary organization found highly toxic substances like Sodium Borate, BHT, Quartz, etc. in Ponds cold cream, anti ageing creams, Dove soap, Axe deodorants, Vaseline and other products of Unilever marketed in the western countries. These chemicals are known to cause irritation of skin and eyes, serious damage to internal organs apart from causing Cancer.
· There is little reason to expect more product safety in India than in the west, given Unilever’s track record in environmental pollution, worker safety, human rights or consumer welfare all over the world.
· Detergents and soaps of Unilever (Surf excel and Rin etc), in which Unilever has a 65% market share in India, has high levels of arsenic. A study by IIT Kanpur has confirmed that there is a significant amount of arsenic in most Unilever soap and detergent products.
· Over long duration, even at low levels, arsenic can cause cancer to skin, lungs, kidney and other organs. It also causes serious damage to the organ systems.
· Arsenic also causes contamination of water and enters the food chain.
Hidden Costs of Skin-Deep Beauty:
Click here for a fact-sheet on Unilever’s Cosmetics