Drugstores today aren’t what they used to be. While they were once the exclusive domain of all things medicinal, they’ve morphed into a place where you can now find everything from snack foods to DVDs and even groceries.
These days you can go to your local drugstore without the intention of filling a prescription and leave with breakfast burritos, a new frying pan and a pair of rubber flip-flops.
To that end, I started paying attention to some of the better drugstore offerings — the products that cost lest but offer as much bang for your buck as their pricier counterparts. In no particular order, and just in time for autumn, these are some of my favorite drugstore finds.
The skin on your face can be extra dry, flaky and just plain irritated after a season in the sun. Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash claims to be clinically shown to be as gentle as water. I am particularly fond of this cleanser because it doesn’t strip skin or make it feel dry the way some other cleansers do.
Do you need a little something to rejuvenate your face? Roc Instant Facial Smoother acts as both a smoother (don’t expect miracles on deep lines, but it can plump fine lines and wrinkles) and primer. It’s perfect alone or under face powder or tinted moisturizer.
Physician’s Formula Wrinkle Filler and Deep Moisture Repair has some heavy duty ingredients, including Alpha-Hydroxy Acid and peptides, meant to target sun and environmental damage caused by too much time in the sun.
Keep on Glowing
Unless you’re committed to regular tanning sessions, chances are your summer glow is fading fast. Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster has season-to-season bronzers, so if you’re still desperate for a touch of sun, you can bronze your way into fall.
Garnier BB Cream is a self-described “miracle skin perfector” that renews, brightens and hydrates. That’s not a bad combo for post-summer skin, just make sure to choose the shade that best matches your current skin tone.
I sometimes go into a fugue state as I browse the toothpaste aisle trying, to figure out which toothbrush to buy. I mean who really needs telescoping bristles?
Then again, I’ll admit to being intrigued by the idea of Colgate’s new 360 Optic White toothbrush with “whitening cups” that claim to better hold toothpaste.
Reach has made the choice easier by creating Reach Design — toothbrushes with different geometric patterns and colors, which makes a mundane task like toothbrush shopping a little more fun.
Lots of people write me wondering where they can get snowy white teeth without spending a fortune.
Luster Premium White has a genius (battery operated) 1-Hour White kit designed and created by dentists to provide significantly whiter teeth without sensitivity.
Are you a fan of strips? Rembrandt Stain Dissolving Strips target stains on teeth from coffee or wine. The enamel-safe formula gently whitens teeth in about two weeks.
Not a fan of strips? Colgate Optic White has the same whitening ingredient as strips and claims to offer whiter teeth in about a week.
Care for your Hair
Organix has a fantastic new line of hair repair products. So much so, that I had a hard time choosing just one.
The Hydrating Macadamia Oil collection is perfect for hair frazzled by too much sun. A standout from the collection is the Dry Styling Oil, which is about ¼ of the price of trendy Moroccan oil products and works just as well to smooth hair and add shine.
The Awapuhi Ginger Instant Recovery Mask contains keratin proteins meant to soften even the most bleached and bruised strands of hair.
If your hair is too damaged for daily washing, Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo is sulfate-free and refreshes listless locks. As someone with baby-fine hair, I sometimes use dry shampoo on my clean hair to add lift.
After a hot summer that included a lot of showers (A LOT), chances are that your skin needs some extra pampering.
Neosporin Moisture Essentials now offers first aid for dry and sensitive skin. Their new daily body wash is packed with gentle and calming ingredients (glycerin is the second ingredient) and smells oh, so good.
Softsoap’s newest product, Citrus Splash & Berry Fusion, has teeny tiny moisture beads that are best for those who just can’t let go of their mojito state of mind.
After a hot shower, the skin on your body needs some extra care.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula’s Skin Therapy Lotion targets severely dry, itchy, and irritated skin. It’s perfect for those dry patches on your body (or even your feet!).
Lubriderm Men’s Sport Deodorizing Lotion is great for active guys and the light formula keeps you from feeling (or smelling) shvitzy during those hot early autumn days.
Some products are so quirky, cool, or just plain interesting that they belong in their own category.
BenGay Zero Degrees is a new medicated pain relief gel that can be stored in the freezer and used to target random bruises or muscle strains.
WoundSeal Powder is a non-prescription topical powder that seals minor cuts. Simply shake some powder out on a paper cut and it forms an instant seal or scab over your owie.
Of course I’m no medical professional, so please don’t take any advice offered or products recommended here as anything but purely for entertainment purposes.
Rachel Weingarten is frequently mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of offerings at her local Duane Reade. She’s a style expert, marketing strategist & personal branding consultant for CEOs, politicians and celebrities and the creator of MintStyle. She is the award-winning author of Career and Corporate Cool and Hello Gorgeous! Beauty Products in America ‘40s-‘60s. Visit her online at http://racheletc.com or on Twitter @rachelcw Write to her with your burning style questions at firstname.lastname@example.org