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CVS Bans Photoshop in Its Beauty Product Photos


CVS has just announced that it is banning Photoshopping of its beauty images. More specifically, the pharmacy chain will stop retouching in ways that “materially alter” the subjects in photos.

CVS Pharmacy says the move is a “commitment to create new standards for post-production alterations of beauty imagery.” The new policy applies to photos used in CVS stores, on the company’s website, in marketing materials, and on social media.

“For other suppliers, the retailer will place an icon with a “digitally modified” warning message on any marketing materials that don’t comply with CVS’ new standard by 2020,” USA TODAY reports. “The company’s largest beauty product suppliers include Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, L’Oreal, Maybelline and CoverGirl owner Coty.”

The company is also introducing a new “CVS Beauty Mark,” a watermark that will be introduced in photos to indicate that they have not been materially altered.

By “materially altered,” CVS means retouching has been used to change or enhance “a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, wrinkles or any other individual characteristics.”

The CVS Beauty Mark will be introduced in photos this year, and the goal is to have it appear on all photos in the beauty sections of CVS Pharmacy stores by the end of 2020.

A CVS Pharmacy store. Photo by Mike Mozart and licensed under CC BY 2.0

“As a woman, mother and president of a retail business whose customers predominantly are women, I realize we have a responsibility to think about the messages we send to the customers we reach each day,” says CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes. “The connection between the propagation of unrealistic body images and negative health effects, especially in girls and young women, has been established.

“As a purpose-led company, we strive to do our best to assure all of the messages we are sending to our customers reflect our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”