The modern American drugstore is weird and wonderful, a one-stop bazaar where convenience is king and nothing is off limits. Beer, cigarettes, cholesterol meds — it’s all there, and it’s probably cheap. When it comes to basic hygiene products, however, most people associate the word “drugstore” with your no-frills, run-of-the-mill grooming essentials: shitty shampoos, harsh soaps. And while there’s still plenty of that, domestic drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens also stock products every bit as wonderful as your boutique variety. You just have to know what you’re looking for.
Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Pure-Castile Soap Peppermint
In 1948, Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation soap maker living in Escondido, California, founded Dr. Bronner’s, a brand that would later become an icon of the countercultural movement of the ’60s and ’70s. His famous Castile soap — made with coconut, hemp and olive oils — comes in eight scents, each made in the USA from organic ingredients. They’re incredibly mild, free of synthetic foaming agents and detergents that might irritate sensitive skin.
Sebamed Everyday Shampoo
Headquartered in Germany, Sebmed was established in the ’50s by a dermatologist named Heinz Maurer who pioneered the first soap-free cleanser with a pH value of 5.5 (the same as human skin and scalp). This paraben-free shampoo is suitable for all hair types and cleanses without stripping necessary oils.
Vichy Laboratories 24 Hour Roll On
Owned by L’Oreal Group, Vichy, founded in 1931, is one of biggest skincare brands in the world, though most of its products are sold in Europe. This roll-on deodorant contains zinc gluconate and perlite in place of aluminum salt to neutralize odors and keep excess moisture at bay.
Avenè Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser
Water from the thermal springs in Avenè, France, is the stuff of legend. Used to treat skin disorders as far back as the 1700s, it was later bottled and sent to soothe burn victims of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. That same water is now the main ingredient in every product from the brand Eau Thermale Avenè, including this face and body cleanser, which also features the ingredient monolaurin to reduce excess oil.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen
Like Vichy, La Roche-Posay is a sub-brand of L’Oreal Group. It’s known for its weightless sunscreens, which offer sun protection without feeling greasy. This moisturizer includes SPF 15 and integrates sunscreen into the wearer’s daily routine. For prolonged exposure during other outdoor activities, pair with physical blocker sunscreen with at least 10 percent zinc oxide.
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