I frequent CVS for several reasons. Well, I frequent CVS for one real reason, which is because I need “essentials,” and then one pseudo reason, which is that I frequently have time to kill and want to look at the latest beauty displays and buy candy to stuff in my purse and eat on the subway. I love drugstores—what bounty awaits beyond the automatic doors!—but CVS is my fave.
One thing I’ve never relied on CVS for, however, is skin care. I’m a delicate flower, ever wary about what I put on my face, which is to say that I will put anything on my face that is $60 and comes in minimalist packaging. As that type of person (as in, kind of an asshole?), I never thought I’d be willing to give not just a drugstore brand, but a drugstore’s proprietary brand, a try.
And then! Here is a thing that happened: I was introduced to Skin+Pharmacy. Before I use any product, whether it’s $1 or $1,000, I peep the ingredients list. It’s just a habit; I have sensitive skin and a lot of things often used in skin care don’t mesh with me. In this case, I had nothing to be wary of: Skin+Pharmacy, which, yes, is a new brand exclusive to CVS, is formulated without any of that garbage.
There are no sulfates in their cleansers, no comedogenic oils or extracts in their moisturizers, no heavy fragrances, and just as importantly as what these products don’t contain is what they do… and it’s the good shit. Squalane, glycerin, healthy oils like olive, argan, and apricot, glycolic and hyaluronic acids, floral waters, shea butter, retinol, allantoin—you know the deal. They’re pretty much the exact same formulas you’d find in much pricier products, except almost all of them are under $20.
I have to insert a disclaimer here, because I’m not sure what kind of behind-the-scenes sorcery CVS is conducting to be able to sell such high-quality products at such absurdly low prices, and I don’t want to be held responsible if, in fact, there is some kind of blood deal going on here. (There almost definitely isn’t, but covering my tracks just in case.) But if high-quality products at absurdly low prices sound like something you might be interested in, hit up CVS or cvs.com for your fix.
My favorites? The Advanced Skin Therapy Healing Gel (coming soon!), which is $9.99 and will cure just about everything that ails your skin—whether it’s irritation, sensitivity, inflammation from acne, dryness, or even eczema, it’s got you covered head to toe. And for $20 you can score the Advanced Anti-Aging Therapy Glycolic Peel Pads, which has all the same ingredients as the far more expensive one that everyone swears by and buys over and over again. Again, I have no clue how CVS is making this happen—but I’m sure as hell happy they are.