CoverGirl Launches Skin Care for First Time in 60 Years — Exclusive Details, Review

After 60 years in the makeup business, CoverGirl is expanding its global empire to include skin care. Whether you’re a habitual browser of drugstore beauty aisles or a stockholder in Coty Inc., who owns CoverGirl, this is major beauty news. It’s not so much a pivot for the brand as an expansion — one that, naturally, still has makeup in mind even when expanding into a new category.

“The project was born because we wanted to see what the ideal canvas was for makeup,” says Muriel Pujos, innovation ingredients director at Coty Inc., when I reached her via phone at CoverGirl’s innovation lab in Monaco. “We wanted to have the skin super ready and prepared for makeup, and for that, you needed to create an ideal skin-care routine.”

CoverGirl’s version of the ideal skin-care routine is, as its customers have come to expect, cruelty-free, vegan, and affordable. The range, available now at and, consists of five products nested under the label of Clean Fresh, making for quite a tongue twister when you read the list out loud: Clean Fresh Skincare Hydrating Cream Cleanser ($10), Clean Fresh Skincare Priming Glow Mist ($10), Clean Fresh Skincare Weightless Water Cream ($15), Clean Fresh Skincare Mattifying Oil Free Moisturizer ($15), and Clean Fresh Skincare Dry Skin Corrector Cream ($15). Together, the range makes up an almost-balanced skin-care routine (just add sunscreen).

“CoverGirl is an icon in the makeup aisle with a deep heritage in skin-forward products, so breaking into the skin-care category is a natural evolution for the brand,” Andrew Stanleick, the executive vice president of Coty Inc. North America, said in a statement. “We know consumers are more skin-aware than ever and want ingredient-conscious products at an accessible price point.”

Pujos’s team spent two years researching the active ingredients they would use in the formulas, and two more years developing them into actual skin-care products. “The formulas are based on natural-origin ingredients,” she says.

The most innovative of the bunch (which also includes usual skin-care suspects like hyaluronic acid and glycerin) is cactus water, sourced from the prickly pear cacti of the Mexican desert. All five products contain it. Aside from the hydrating properties of cactus water as a beverage (just ask Vanessa Hudgens, who keeps a fridge just for cactus water in her home), the water contains electrolytes that assist in hydration.

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