The fairness cream industry in India is worth nearly $450m and it is only expected to increase.
And while the ways in which these products are advertised have changed from "downright offensive to the consciously discreet", as Ranjavati Banerji points out in the New Statesman, the range of "fairness" products has only mushroomed.
Ram Subramanian, an activist and ad filmmaker who also runs the Voice of Ram Facebook page, has slammed Fair & Lovely for perpetuating the idea that only those who are white skinned are beautiful.
In a Facebook video, which has gone viral, Ram writes, "Dear Fair and Lovely I want you to shut down before 15th August, 2017 so, you have to go! #LetsUncolour #iAmNewIndia (sic)."
Declaring that the three words- "Fair & Lovely"- have been bothering him for a long time, Ram says, "I am a South Indian and I come from a middle-class home where like most south Indian middle class homes there was a dressing table with one tube of face cream for everyone in the family. And that cream was Fair & Lovely."
He calls them out for "denting the confidence" of many a dark-skinned person, for making people question their own beauty and leading them to feel that being fair is the only way to achieve success.
"We might be wheatish, brown or black but we are definitely not mute, stupid or blind anymore," he adds. "Fair & Lovely, along with all equal cosmetic creams that advertise or even hint at "fairness is equal to better", you have to go."
Although the video confuses racism and colourism, at one point comparing Fair & Lovely to the infamous Ku Klux Klan, it nevertheless delivers a message that has struck a chord among several social media users.