Walgreens Private Label Brand Review

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Walgreens Private Label Brand Review

As the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States (CVS Health is the first), Walgreens doesn’t require much introduction. The Walgreens pharmacies sell everything from beauty products to groceries to wellness products, and may be the only place where you can fill a prescription, get photos developed and get a flu shot all in one store.

Walgreens has acquired other pharmacies including the Duane Reade chain and the massive European Boots chain, forming what is now a massive global holding company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc in 2014. They are currently in the process of expanding further with the pending acquisition of Rite Aid. Walgreens itself might fall behind CVS, but the Alliance is the largest in the health, pharmacy and daily living sphere and is one of the biggest purchasers of prescription medications in the world.

What is Private Labeling? Why Does Walgreens Have Its Own Private Label Brand?

Walgreens Logo

Put simply, private labeling is purchasing products from a manufacturer and selling them under your own company name. These “phantom brands,” as they’re sometimes called, are often created by large retailers offering a lower-cost alternative to the more recognized brands on their shelves. Some stores, like Trader Joes, almost exclusively sells their own private label products, while others like Costco, Walmart and Walgreens sell their own private label products as a hefty part of their revenue stream, because their profit margins are obviously wider when selling their own brands than when purchasing products from other companies to sell.

Private labels used to be seen as competitive only in cost and inferior in quality, but these brands are increasingly perceived as selling good quality items. According to Forbes, 80% of shoppers consider private label products to be equal to, or even better than, name brands when comparing quality and packaging.

Costs are able to be kept low without compromising on quality because: A) Marketing costs are lower because retailers can just push their products in store rather than host expensive ad campaigns for individual products, and B) Various manufacturers will be vying for contracts with large retailers, stimulating healthy competition and keeping manufacturing costs as low as possible.

Walgreens Brand Products Overview

Walgreens has a few successful private label brands, but today our focus is on Well at Walgreens. The products are all wellness related items including a wide range of vitamins and supplements, a large variety of over-the-counter medications, sexual wellness items such as personal lubricant and an ovulation predictor, personal care items like coconut oil and sunscreen, and first aid staples like hydrogen peroxide and triple antibiotic ointment. As far as private label products go, these are definitely in the upper tiers of quality and dependability.

Walgreens Omeprazole Acid Reducer Review

Walgreens Omeprazole Acid Reducer

Once a day to prevent and relieve symptoms of acid reflux. Omeprazole is a newer, more advanced kind of heartburn reducer, and it actually prevents pumps in the stomach lining from producing excess acid. Many reviews indicate that this product is just as effective as other, more expensive, omeprazole heartburn medications, and it gives amazing relief to chronic heartburn sufferers. The bottle packaging is unique for omeprazole, which is usually packaged in individual blister packs.

Blister packs don’t serve any real purpose other than to help the patient see what they’ve taken, and because it adds bulk to the product, it helps justify high prices to the consumer who sees fancier packaging and what seems like more pills. Perhaps Walgreens didn’t feel the need to add the blister packs because the price doesn’t need justifying.

Walgreens Oil Absorbing Sheets Review

These sheets are very comparable to the Clean & Clear Oil – Absorbing sheets which have quite a cult following. They glide nicely across the face, absorbing excess oil without removing or disturbing makeup or drying the face. It is packaged almost identically to the Clean & Clear ones, in an easily portable, thin pack about the size of a credit card that you can carry with you for midday blotting.

Walgreens Hand Wipes Review

The Walgreens Hand Wipes are alcohol free and have added Vitamin E so they are non-drying. They are antibacterial wipes that kill 99.99% of germs. The wipes themselves are really great, but the pop up cap feature usually does not work, and the whole lid must be twisted off to access the wipes which makes them extremely inconvenient to use.

Walgreens Acne Treatment Gel Review

Walgreens Acne Treatment Gel

The Acne Treatment Gel by Walgreens is a Maximum Strength product that does the job well. Its active ingredient is Benzoyl Peroxide 10%, which works by unclogging pores of impurities and sebum, and its antibacterial properties prevents the bacteria that causes pimples and cystic acne from growing. Any product with this ingredient will have certain possible side effects, including skin dryness or peeling and a warm, tingling sensation when applied. There’s also a small chance of experiencing abnormal side effects like itching, redness, swelling, or a burning feeling, and use should be immediately discontinued with that kind of reaction.

It is best to try the product on a small patch of skin prior to full-face application to test for personal irritation. Make sure to let the product fully dry before coming into contact with materials that you care about, because it can have a bleaching effect when wet.

Walgreens Charcoal Blackhead Eliminating Scrub Review

Walgreens Charcoal Blackhead Eliminating Scrub

Charcoal helps absorb oil and dirt, and that is all a blackhead is; oil that is trapped inside a pore and oxidized to appear dark. This blackhead eliminating scrub has a very thick consistency, and exfoliates the skin without being too irritating. It contains Salicylic Acid 2% which clears up clogged pores and promotes skin-cell turnover by exfoliating the skin. This Walgreens scrub is claimed to be comparable to the Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, and the ingredients of the two products are almost exactly the same and in a closely similar order, which is usually a pretty good indicator of product similarity.

I actually think that the Walgreens version is preferable because it doesn’t have exfoliating micro-beads like the Garnier product, and any skincare professional will tell you that those should almost always be avoided as they are too abrasive for most people and can cause even more inflammation.

Walgreens 3-Step Acne Kit Review

Walgreens 3-Step Acne Kit

This 3 step system is reflective of the idea and active ingredients of the Proactiv program. It begins with the Clarifying Cleanser with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide. The next step is the Refreshing Toner which balances pH levels in the skin and is infused with a soothing botanical blend of witch hazel, aloe leaf juice, chamomile extract and rose hip extract. The final step is the Repair Therapy which is applied directly on spots. It’s an oil free lotion which continues acne clearing all day with more Benzoyl Peroxide 2.5%. The system is amazing for mild to moderate acne, but it isn’t strong enough for very persistent acne or cystic acne.

Walgreens Ultra Vanishing Acne Cream Review

Walgreens Ultra Vanishing Acne Cream

Like the Acne Treatment Gel, the active ingredient of this spot treatment is Benzoyl Peroxide which is an antibacterial and clears pores. This product is also very effective, and doesn’t contain Laureth-4 which is irritating for some people and an ingredient of the gel. This vanishing cream can be drying, so ease your skin into it by only using every other day or so at first and increasing use as necessary (up to three times daily.) Again, benzoyl peroxide is a form of bleach so make sure this dries fully before coming into contact with pillows or clothing.

Walgreens Scar Gel Review

Walgreens Scar Gel

The Walgreens Scar Gel deeply hydrates skin helping scar tissue heal itself and bind together again. It contains ingredients like red onion extract which helps regenerate damaged skin, aloe leaf juice which softens and heals, and chamomile extract to soothe the inflamed skin. It’s great for acne scarring, stretch marks, burns and cuts, but should never be used on an open wound.

Is Walgreens Cruelty Free?

While Walgreens doesn’t conduct animal tests themselves, they purchase their products from suppliers and manufacturers who do, so unfortunately, they are not cruelty-free.


The Well at Walgreens products are extremely effective for the most part, the packaging design and quality is up to par with national brands, and the prices are very competitive. There are a few areas in which brand name and prestige (which this private label does not have) are equal factors in purchasing to good prices and quality (which it does have). Leather handbags, designer shoes, cars, watches, and sparkling water for fancy dinner parties for example. But when it comes to everyday items like paper towels, salt and over-the-counter pain reliever, statistics are showing that people are turning to cost-efficient, private label brands like Well at Walgreens time and time again.


Thanks for reading our Walgreens feature! Be sure to check out our review of Walmart’s Equate Private Label Brand while you’re here at Innovative Private Label!

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