CVS completes Beauty Mark program

Three years ago the retailer embarked on ensuring all of the beauty imagery it produced on packaging, in-store materials and online, as well as that of branded partners, would disclose if models had been digitally altered.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture
a person posing for the camera

CVS Pharmacy said it has reached its goal to be fully transparent around beauty imagery produced by the retailer and for the retailer down its beauty aisles as well as on social media, websites and more. The retailer initiated the CVS Beauty Mark program in 2018, requiring beauty imagery to be transparent in regards to whether or not models had been altered on packaging and marketing materials. Anything unaltered received a CVS Beauty Mark watermark.

The retailer said they are the first retailer to implement these standards. “CVS Pharmacy is focused on helping our customers in their journey to better health and beauty is no exception,” said Neela Montgomery, president of CVS Pharmacy and EVP, CVS Health. “As we reach 100% completion of Beauty Mark in our beauty aisles, we are proud to lead the beauty industry in making a bold statement that supports the mental health of our customers, especially young women. We hope this authenticity will continue as the pandemic has created new and different issues in this space.”

A CVS-commissioned Harris Poll survey of women ages 18-35 found that 80% of the women surveyed feel more inspired by seeing unaltered images of models online.

The survey also found that the pandemic and its acceleration of virtual meetings has added a new meaning to “unaltered imagery,” as nearly half of the women who spend time on video calls during a typical week said they use filters to touch up or alter their appearance on calls.

Additionally, the survey touched on mental stress around beauty imagery. The poll found that 56% of respondents would rather give up something they love for a week than post an unflattering photo online, and women in the survey expressed that it’s nearly impossible not to compare themselves to images of women they see online.

Since 2018, CVS has partnered with nearly 600 influencers to share unaltered imagery over their social accounts. The retailer also recently announced Nyma Tang to be a Beauty Inclusivity Consultant. “I was so proud to be one of the first partners to help CVS Pharmacy launch its game-changing Beauty Mark commitment. The company has created a destination for the next generation of beauty lovers to embrace their unfiltered beauty, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the evolution of its mission,” said Tang. “In my new role, I am excited to help CVS make its beauty aisles even more inclusive and a place where customers can see themselves reflected not only in the imagery they see, but in the products they find on the shelves.”

For the survey, CVS partnered with psychologist Dr. Pamela Rutledge. She added: “We’re facing an elevated crisis around self-confidence, with 78% of women ages 18-35 now spending time on video calls each week, and many (37%) spending at least five hours on video calls in a typical week. In addition to the external pressures on women are encountering, constantly evaluating one’s own reflection is having a significant impact on their mental health.”