Daily Insights

Olay Sheds Its Retouched Skin

By: Mackenzie Baker | Feb 26, 2020

Olay is making a clean break from skin retouching, turning away from the unrealistic expectations set by the practice. 

Skin retouching is a widely used practice for advertisements within the beauty and fashion industries—but one that comes with its fair share of criticisms. Olay is responding to the critics with a new vow of adherence—creating a “skin promise” pledge that means the brand will no longer use the technique on digital, print, influencer, and out-of-home advertisements. The label plans to fully cease the practice by the end of the year, guaranteeing that from 2021 onward no model will be retouched in brand ads. 

Olay has already begun putting its pledge into practice—debuting its first unretouched ad during this year’s SuperBowl. The ad is part of Olay’s new campaign called My Olay which will feature celebrities Busy Phillips, Lily Singh, and Denise Bidot in unretouched ads. Skin care ads, in particular, have high viewer engagement rates on Instagram, according to a Gartner report on the topic, and using influencers and celebrities can help brands like Olay increase views. Despite this, Olay is prepared to walk away from any influencers not willing to go unretouched for brand content. 

Olay is the latest brand to pledge an end to image retouching and the move could resonate with both beauty buyers and influencer marketing overall.