Dove Lotion Implies That Pale Skin is ‘Normal’

Picture from Dove product page. Language at issue highlighted.
Picture from Dove product page. Language at issue highlighted.

Dove, the skin care brand typically known for more uplifting messages such as their ‘Real Beauty’ campaign and social media like this…

… is being hotly criticized online after one user tweeted a picture of a bottle of Dove’s ‘Summer Glow’ nourishing lotion with gradual self tanner. People are upset that the bottle seems to classify white or pale skin as “normal.’’

The original post by Twitter user @hatfulofalex has been retweetwed 3,400 times and favorited 2,353 times.

UPDATE: Dove responded to’s request for comment after this article published. Here is the statement we received from a Dove spokesperson:

“Dove is committed to representing beauty of all ages, ethnicities, shapes and sizes. We believe in celebrating real beauty and in raising the self-esteem of women and young girls globally. Our European team was already aware of the mistake regarding labeling on Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion bottles. This was corrected during the summer of 2012. Many of our lotions focus on moisture as the key benefit and in some cases we label them ‘normal to dry skin.’ The Dove Summer Glow Body Lotion is a gradual self tanner that also moisturizes. It should have been marked as “fair to medium skin’’ or “medium to dark skin’’ depending on the skin type it focuses on. In this case, there was an oversight from our team and we accidentally combined the phrases. As soon as our teams in Europe discovered this error, they began the process of relabeling the bottles. We corrected the language in our other communication vehicles where possible. As always, we appreciate the feedback and support from our community.’’


Apparently this issue surfaced two years ago when the lotion originally hit shelves, sparking a similar Twitter unrest. The original Twitter post author to the latest complaint, @hatfulofalex, claims she bought the bottle of lotion one week ago.

Here are other reactions Twitter users posted about the packaging:

Is Dove’s packaging on this lotion appropriate?

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July 30, 2020 | 8:58 AM