L’Oréal Self-Tanning Towelettes: Overlooking Black Skincare

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

This week is all about survival – survival kits that is. We at Her Campus were fortunate enough to get our hands on a few survival essentials, and one item stood out to me in particular. L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes are a perfect product for “on the go” color; no sun or tanning bed required. Your streak-free, natural looking tan will appear in 2-4 hours, but unfortunately, I’ll just have to take L’Oréal’s word for it. I haven’t the slightest clue how the product would appear on skin much fairer than my own, but I do know that anyone with a significant amount of melanin will likely find no use for this product.

Of course, I can’t really complain for the simple fact that the product wasn’t made for those with my complexion. I get it – really, I do – and it’s fine. I’m sure the “survival kit” was designed to be not only generic, but to appeal to a plethora of different people and their varying self-care needs. No malicious intent here.

With that being said, I do think that this whole ordeal speaks volumes about a deeper social commentary. Black beauty and/or skincare is often overlooked due to the overall Eurocentric nature of our society. Despite progressive steps in the right direction in recent years (with brands like Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty producing 40 different shades of foundation), fair skin is still considered the default complexion among many of the world’s top beauty companies.

It’s almost as if Black consumers are an afterthought.


L’Oréal has recently taken steps to be more inclusive with insight from chemist Balanda Atis who works as manager of the company’s Woman of Color Lab. It was designed to focus on developing products that cater to women with darker complexions. But Black people need to be thought of as more than just a side project for the beauty industry. Basic inclusivity is the first step, but moving forward black wants and needs should be considered just as valuable as those of our non-black counterparts.

These companies can expand their shade range as many times as they want, but we will never know any real progression until they stop excluding us from their products and their “survival kits” from the jump.