CVS vows to ban photo manipulation on beauty products by 2020

The company wants to combat unrealistic beauty standards.


Bryan Rolli


Published Jan 15, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 4:44 am CDT

CVS Health announced today that in an effort to combat the unrealistic beauty standards imposed by Photoshopping images, it will ban photo manipulation in all its store-brand makeup marketing and promo, USA Today reports.

The drugstore chain, which has more than 9,600 locations nationwide, will also impose a photo manipulation ban on the other makeup and beauty brands it sells. The goal is to eliminate all image enhancement from its own products by April 2019, and from other brands by 2020. Brands that don’t comply will have to place a “CVS Beauty Mark” label on their products to alert customers of the digital touchups.

CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said the goal of the initiative is to challenge the “unrealistic body images” that are so prevalent in today’s marketing, which she called “a significant driver of health issues” among women.

“We’re all consuming massive amounts of media every day and we’re not necessarily looking at imagery that is real and true,” Foulkes told USA Today. “To try to hold ourselves up to be like those women is impossible because even those women don’t look like how they appear in those photographs.”

Foulkes described the photo manipulation ban as such: “We will not digitally alter or change a person’s shape, size, proportion, skin or eye color, or enhance or alter their lines or wrinkles or other individual characteristics.”

So far, other beauty brands have expressed support for the initiative as well, vowing to join the chain in its effort to “present positive and authentic images of women that reflect their individual characteristics and personal distinction,” Revlon North America President John Collier told the publication.

“I think they’re thinking about it too because the world is changing fast,” Foulkes said. “Social media is changing things and there’s a sense of empowerment among young girls that didn’t exist when I was growing up.”

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*First Published: Jan 15, 2018, 11:47 am CST