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Emma Watson caught up in skin whitening cosmetics drama

Actress Emma Watson's representative has defended the actress from links to an under-attack cosmetics campaign.

The 25-year-old feminism icon and women’s rights activist allegedly endorsed Lancome’s Blanc Expert skin whitening line three years ago as part of a campaign in Asia.

The Harry Potter star, who hasn't featured in ads for the products since 2013 and is no longer affiliated with Lancome, was used in the ads to suggest to consumers her skin tone is what they should aim for.

However, a new expose suggests the product contains "disruptive ingredients intended to whiten the skin".

Watson’s rep has addressed the article and the links to Watson, telling Refinery29, "I cannot comment on my client’s previous contractual arrangements with Lancome. However, my client no longer participates in advertising beauty products, which do not always reflect the diverse beauty of all women."

A spokesman for the cosmetics company has also addressed the controversy, insisting the Blanc Expert product is one of several products that offer "whitening" claims.

The rep tells PeopleStyle, "Blanc Expert was created by Lancome 20 years ago. It helps brighten, even skin tone, and provides a healthy looking complexion. This kind of product, proposed by every brand, is an essential part of Asian women’s beauty routines."

Emma became a leading equality figure after she made a stirring speech embracing feminism as she introduced the HeForShe campaign at a United Nations meeting in 2014, months after the actress was named a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

Defending her role as a feminist, she asked, "Why has the word become such an unpopular one?"

She added, "I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men."

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