George Floyd

Band-Aid Brings Back Bandages for Diverse Skin Tones

The Johnson & Johnson brand said it will also make a donation to the Black Lives Matter movement and take other actions "in the fight against systemic racism"


One-hundred years after the invention of the Band-Aid, Johnson & Johnson will launch a new line of the bandages in a range of Black and brown skin tones.

"We hear you. We see you. We’re listening to you," the Band-Aid brand said in an Instagram post on Thursday that cited the need to take action for "tangible change for the Black community."

"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," the post said. "We are dedicated to inclusivity and providing the best healing solutions, better representing you.⁣"

In 2005, Band-Aid launched a line of "perfect blend" bandages to blend with multiple skin tones, company spokesperson Megan Koehler told NBC. That line was discontinued three years later.

"We are excited to bring back a similar product with improved comfort and flexibility," she said in a statement. The new Band-Aids will launch in 2021 in the company's "most popular style, flexible fabric."

The company says its "clear strips" style of bandages, which first launched in the 1950s, are designed to be used by people with a variety of skin tones.

Still, Johnson & Johnson has long faced criticism for offering Band-Aids through its history that did not match the skin tones of Black and Brown communities.

One commercial in the 1950s had touted Band-Aids' pink, "flesh-colored" look, according to an Atlantic story on the demise of a Black alternative called the Ebon-Aid in the early 2000s.

New York entrepreneur Michael Panayiotis' told the magazine in 2013 that Ebon-Aid went under from poor sales, in part due to having been siloed on shelves dedicated to other products for the Black community, instead of with other first-aid products.

In 2014, another company Tru-Colour Products began offering diverse bandages. Founder Toby Meisenheimer, who is white, told HuffPost he was inspired to start Tru-Colour after his Black son cut his forehead and the Band-Aid he picked "stuck out like a sore thumb."

In the wake of a national reckoning on racial discrimination prompted by protests over the death of George Floyd, Band-Aid's post said "We can, we must and we will do better."

The company said it will also make a donation to the Black Lives Matter movement and take other actions "in the fight against systemic racism."

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