InStyle Editorial Guidelines

InStyle is a trusted and authoritative voice in the lifestyle space, comprising beauty, fashion, wellness, and pop-culture. We go straight to the source — celebrities, stylists, dermatologists, astrologers, legal scholars, ob/gyns, and more — for the facts behind a story, ensuring accuracy every step of the way. We never cover unsubstantiated rumors nor give unfounded advice. We are a values-driven team who carefully selects each story based on our core mission to inform, inspire, and entertain. Here’s how we put that mission into practice.

Brand Principles

Uplift, don’t put down.

Whether reporting on a celebrity style move we wouldn’t necessarily wear or a plastic surgery procedure that’s become a veritable “trend,” our perspective is that others’ choices aren’t ours to judge. We report on trends from the front row so our readers know what’s happening from Hollywood to Couture Week, but you won’t find us saying you “need” a specific product, or that you have “flaws” you ought to “correct” or a body shape you should conceal.

We never engage in shaming or disempowering language: Women, people of color, folks with disabilities and LGBTQ+ people whom we cover and proudly count among ourselves face enough of that in the world. We intentionally tip the scales in the opposite direction — toward openness, celebration, and fun.

Inform and inspire.

The news is not always uplifting but being informed about current events and one’s role in the larger world can inspire action. Topics like climate anxiety, the scourge of gun violence, and threats to human rights across marginalized communities may not feel that they fit into a joyful ethos but they really do. Research has found a link between honoring your own values and mental wellbeing. In other words, ignorance is not bliss — but knowing whether your favorite brands further equity and inclusion and care for the planet can help get you there. (Stunning photos of your latest TV crush don’t hurt, either.)

Use our platform for good.

As a legacy brand with a large and engaged audience, we take seriously the responsibility that comes with our reach. Here are some specific values we are committed to upholding with our content.

  • No fur: In 2018, InStyle became the first major magazine to ban fur in its pages. We uphold this commitment, made in partnership with PETA, to this day, and continue to highlight ethical sustainable developments in fashion.
  • No dangerous health fads: We will never cover dubious diet fads or unnecessary “women’s intimacy” products that prey on shame or insecurity.
  • No hate: When brands or venerated figures in fashion, beauty, and pop-culture use their platforms to spread harmful messages, we reevaluate their space on our pages.

Updates & Corrections

Updates: Some of our articles are updated to deliver the freshest, most accurate info. For example, a shopping guide to the best moisturizers needs to have what’s best, and what’s in stock, right now. Or, hair color trends for fall should reflect this fall.

Fact Checking: Whether updated or not, each article on our site is fact checked by an editor to be sure quotes are being used in context; names, dates, and any other concrete data is verified, and studies cited are thoroughly read to be sure the stats tell the right story. We don’t pick up news from gossip blogs or other untrustworthy sources where verification is impossible.

Corrections: In the event an error slips through our editing process, or a developing story changes after we've published it, we will update the article to reflect the best information available at the time. Timestamps are marked as "updated" whenever a story has been republished, and when the situation calls for it, an Editor's Note will be added to explain the change. If you notice an error or have other concerns about anything on our site, please reach out to senior editorial director Laura Norkin, laura.norkin@dotdashmdp.com, with CORRECTION in the subject line.

Writers, Creators, & Sources

We prioritize finding the right writer and photographer, hair and makeup artist, stylist, and more to tell each story authentically and sensitively. From our internal staff to the freelancers and vendors we hire, we seek to bring in professionals with an authoritative point of view and expertise in their area, whether that means an advanced degree or years of relevant editorial experience. We interview sources who are verified by the governing bodies in their own field (e.g. dermatologists must be board certified), and won’t publish anonymous quotes except in rare cases when revealing a person’s identity would be dangerous or detrimental to them.

We believe in transparency and are working to ensure every author on InStyle has a robust bio page, so our readers can get to know the people behind the stories they love. Here’s where you can meet the InStyle team.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

InStyle’s mantra is “Everybody’s in,” and that means we work to make sure anyone who finds their way to our stories can find themselves reflected in them. It means the worlds we build and share look like the world we inhabit in real life, and all its gorgeous diversity — that of race and ethnicity; hair type and skin tone; size, shape, ability, age, and gender expression.

This goes for our team behind the scenes, too. We prioritize finding the right writer and photographer, hair and makeup artists, stylists, and more to tell each story authentically and sensitively. Additionally, we work with Dotdash Meredith’s Anti-Bias Review Board, a group of educators, advocates, and researchers dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and racial justice initiatives. They review existing articles to be sure we’re delivering on this mission. Read more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, here.

Product Reviews & Recommendations

At InStyle, part of our mission is to help you find best-in-class buys that are worth your time, money, and attention. Our team is comprised of subject-matter experts across fashion, beauty, and self-care and wellness, and we bring these points of view into vetting the products we will recommend and the brands with which we align.

In addition to relying on our own expertise, we tap industry experts — from celebrity hair stylists to top dermatologists — for a deeper understanding of what’s trending, what works, and what will stand the test of time. Though brands may send us products to try for editorial consideration, we will never accept a product in exchange for positive coverage (or guarantee coverage at all). We may earn affiliate revenue on commerce stories, and whenever that is the case you will see a disclosure at the top of the article; regardless, the products featured are chosen because they work and we feel good about using and recommending them. Read more about our commerce guidelines, here.

Read more on Dotdash Meredith’s Content Integrity Promise, here.