If I Save on Skin Care, I Can Send my Kid to Summer Camp!
March 18, 2012 8:10 AM   Subscribe

When it comes to skin care products, are CVS/Walgreen's (or generic of your choice) brands the same as L'oreal, Olay, etc.?

Have you ever gone from the name brand to the generic and had similar results?

Specifically, I like Olay's Pro-X line (which I use with Retin-A cream from my doctor), but CVS offers their own version which is a lot cheaper. Is it worth switching?

Along the same lines, are there any drugstore retinoids that have similar results to prescription Retin-A? Getting to the dermatologist is a pain.
posted by kinetic to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Temptalia's dupe list might be helpful for skincare product comparisons.
posted by runningwithscissors at 8:22 AM on March 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

I've tried switching to off-brand Olay products a few times and have always come back. Generally because I feel like the lotion gets in my eyes somehow and stings a bit. Some combo of feeling like the cheaper lotion is more liquid and more perfumed. But this is with the basic beauty lotion, not the Pro-X line.
posted by saffry at 8:27 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most or all drugstores take returns on opened makeup and beauty products. I'd buy the generic version, try it for a week, and return it if it doesn't work for your particular skin.

No, I don't think you're going to find a drugstore retinol cream that is as strong as Retin-A; the difference in strength is what makes Retin-A prescription only.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:05 AM on March 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've tried some generic versions of my Neutrogena favorites and been disappointed. The CVS foaming face wash was watery and the WalMart skin lotion seemed greasy. YMMV.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:40 AM on March 18, 2012

I like Dollar General's makeup remover wipes better than the Ponds version that they are imitating.
posted by radioamy at 10:25 AM on March 18, 2012

The Best Generic Beauty Products You Should Know About has lists of store brand products that experts found outstanding.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:51 PM on March 18, 2012 [10 favorites]

I really like walgreen's alpha hydroxy face cream - works nice, no scent, not greasy. I find it's often sold out at the store I go to, so sometimes it can be hard to track down.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:47 PM on March 18, 2012

The Guardian: "Boots anti-wrinkle cream actually works, say researchers. First reliable clinical trial of a high street anti-ageing product shows No7 Protect and Perfect reduces wrinkles. (...) Tests on the volunteers' skin showed that those who used the anti-ageing cream were producing a protein called fibrillin-1, which makes skin more elastic. The research appears in the British Journal of Dermatology."
posted by iviken at 2:57 PM on March 18, 2012

Results: as far as Olay Pro-X goes, the real deal is far superior to the CVS brand.
posted by kinetic at 2:24 PM on May 7, 2012

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