My open letter to Neutrogena ( and any other cosmetic company that ignores WOC)

So I recently got a coupon from Neutrogena and shared this email I sent to my them with my mom. I deleted this post because since sending this email, Neutrogena has expanded their line to cater to deeper shades. However, I wanted to repost this not just as an open later to Neutrogena but to other cosmetic lines that still do not cater to WOC. The pure frustration of shopping at the drugstore and the feelings of being marginalized are real and justifiable. I feel as though we are charged a premium because in order to find a shade that really works we have to shop at department and specialized beauty stores like Ulta and Sephora. Also I reposted it because honestly, it needs to be said.

I don’t think I have ever written to a company to complain. I’m generally not the type of person to express my feelings or concerns about products with a company. I just choose to buy or not buy. I feel that the power of the dollar speaks volume. However, I am at the point that I’m just frustrated with your company. Not necessarily you, the person who will be reading this email, but just the company in general.

For years I have wanted to try a Neutrogena foundation only to see that there are not shades for women with deeper complexions. I have watched countless ads on television displaying your round, yet beautiful in their own simplistic way little bottles dance across the screen; wondering if there was a shade for me. Only to be disappointed when I finally made my trek to the drugstore to see yet again there was not a foundation in my color. At this point I feel as though you are purposely tainting me. As though you know that you do not make a foundation in my shade and you just don’t care.

The way I see it is my dollar means nothing to you. The problem I have is that your company is one of the few companies at the drugstore that creates fragrance free and pretty good UVA protection products. None of which I have ever bought. Nor will I be purchasing until I see a product that is catered to a woman with a deeper skin complexion than Tan. Really? Tan is the best you could do?

Do you understand how it feels to be left out? Do you even get how disheartening it is to know that you can’t find what you need at the drugstore? It’s like being the kid that always gets picked last. Or better yet being the kid that never gets picked at all seeing, as though you guy don’t even try. Yet, you have a picture of dark skin woman on your website under shade finder but not one foundation shade that fits her. Why even have her picture there?

It’s bad enough other companies just randomly throw a dark shade in the mix. I figured it was just to shut us up so we wouldn’t complain and say they don’t make shades in our color range. It’s bad enough most companies don’t even take the time to develop shades to fit our undertones. No two dark skin women are made a like. There is absolutely no way one foundation could fit both of us if our undertones are different.

See I have heard great things about Neutrogena. I have been recommended several Neutrogena products for my combination yet overly sensitive to facial cleaners skin. I have wanted to try Neutrogena for years. Not only to satisfy my need to try new products, but hoping that I could find a cheaper alternative to my more pricey skin care routine.  However, every time I want to, I find myself being reminded “but they don’t even make cosmetics for people that look like you. Why waste time and money on a brand that doesn’t even have YOU in mind as a consumer?” and I decide against it.

Just answer this one question; in the near future, will you be offering more women of color cosmetics products in your line or no? Seeing as studies have shown that Black women tend to be the decision makers for the household when it comes to purchases and we out spend other ethnicities on hair and beauty products; I would assume you, yes you Neutrogena, would have figured out how to market to us by now. I guess not.

I’m sure no one who works for Neutrogena will ever see this post from a little blog like mine but I felt it was time it need to be said.



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