Tesco launches plasters for dark skin tones

The supermarket is the first in the UK to produce and stock the items

TESCO HAS become the first UK supermarket to launch a range of plasters for dark skin tones in a bid to better represent the racial diversity of the UK.

A black American man’s tweet, which charted his emotive response to using a plaster that matched his skin tone, inspired the supermarket’s new product.

Dominique Apollon, the vice-president of research at Race Forward, a US-based non-profit organisation focused on advancing racial justice, said the experience had him “holding back tears”.

His tweet went viral, clocking up almost 540,000 likes and more than 100,000 retweets. Other black Twitter users shared their experiences in the comments, which amounted to more than 100,000.

Tesco said the tweet highlighted “how significant the issue of representative plaster tones is for those in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities”.

The development of the fabric plasters, which are available in three shades – light, medium and dark – were supported by the BAME at Tesco, which works to raise awareness of diversity and inclusion.

Transparent plasters are available to buy in various stores around the country, but no major supermarket stocks plasters to match darker skin tones.

Tesco hopes other retailers will follow its lead.

A genuine difference

Paulette Balson, chair of the BAME at Tesco network said: “One of the main objectives of our network is to help Tesco better serve our customers from all backgrounds and communities. No UK supermarket had ever stocked plasters in a range of skin tones before and we saw this as an opportunity for Tesco to lead the charge and make a genuine difference.”

She added: “Through our research within the network, we know how emotive a product like this can be. For example, one colleague reported that their child had felt self-conscious wearing a plaster on their face to school recently, because it didn’t match their skin tone and stood out.”

The own-brand fabric plasters are on sale in all of Tesco’s 741 stores from today. They are priced at £1.

Nicola Robinson, health, beauty and wellness director at Tesco said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we continually review our products and services to best meet their needs.”

Black consumers have often lamented the lack of skin tone specific products. These frustrations have sparked a backlash against the use of the term nude in fashion and beauty, and inspired racially inclusive businesses.

Underwear and hosiery brand Nubian Skin is one British brand that has developed products to match melanin-rich skin.

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty set a new bar for the beauty industry when it launched in 2017. The brand’s commitment to inclusion came in the form of 50 diverse foundation shades and made Time magazine’s list of best inventions.

Comments Form


  1. | gurj singh

    Beauty products I understand … but a plaster!!?? A plaster is designed to do a job, why the colour of the plaster should matter is beyond the realms of common sense. I would like to meet someone who has refused to wear a plaster due to its colour, seriously, this is madness. We are going down the completely wrong path, what next racially diverse cast’s? colour of pills?….. The world is going mad – am i the only one who sees the absurdity in this… Tesco should be ashamed as they are feeding the madness all in a bid to make a extra pound.


    • | The Cat

      Go and rant on a site that cares for your views. What colour makeup do you use??? Maybe for your skin type and colour?

      Keep your useless views to yourself or air them on the Daily Mail website where they would be welcomed with open arms.


  2. | Serena

    It’s not as trivial as you are making it out to be. Of course most people haven’t lost sleep over this. However, the actual argument here is that every industry from medical to fashion and beauty, including all forms of media, uphold white to be the default standard as opposed to one of many variations. They even touched on this when the article mentioned the fashion and beauty industry’s use of the term ‘nude’. If nude is skin tone, it (until now) has only show ONE skin tone.


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