When the image appeared in Elle magazine, to promote the French firm's Feria range of hair dyes, it came under fire in America. The New York Post called the picture "shocking" and accused L'Oreal of making Beyonce, 26, look like a "weird, nearly white version of herself."
And on Aug 7 Britain's best-selling black newspaper 'The Voice' said it would be "disgusted" if the image had been "whitewashed". "There is an attitude in the modelling industry that black models do not sell. Models that end up in magazines tend to be very, very light-skinned or Asian," The Sun quoted editor Steve Pope, as saying.
"It appears Beyonce has been the victim of that kind of attitude. If it is true, I cannot understand why anyone would want to do anything so ridiculous. It is offensive to Beyonce. It is trying to distort who she is," Pope added.
L'Oreal, however, has denied any tampering. A spokesman said: "It is categorically untrue that L'Oreal Paris altered Miss Knowles' features or skin tone in the campaign for Feria hair colour."