Friday, February 7, 2014

Yes! Yes! CVS! Now, Let's Review Some Of Their Products

I am very happy about the news that CVS will stop selling tobacco products as of October (click here for more info: As someone who grew up with two chain-smoking parents, I was aware from a very early age,  that what I was breathing was bad. The smoke coated my throat and stuck in my nose, but I had no choice – I had to breathe. The worst was when my father would blow smoke in my face, presumably because the expression I made was cute, but it was a horrible experience. How many parents blow cancer-causing agents in their own child's face?! What an (&*!

Because of my experiences growing up, I have always HATED tobacco and took a stand against it whenever I could. When I was dating, I would not date a smoker. Sorry, but the pleasure of your company is not worth the health risk from hanging around your smoke. And at my wedding, more than 20 years ago, I ticked plenty of people off when I insisted that we have a non-smoking wedding, something that was unheard of then. I made the catering hall remove all ashtrays from the banquet room and personally printed up signs that said “No Smoking.” My husband's aunt was aghast! “I love you because you're family, but I hate you because you won't let me smoke,” she said. Tough! My husband and I were not spending all that money so that the food could be tainted with carcinogens and my dress made smelly by smoke.

Anyway, I am VERY happy about CVS' decision, even though I'm sure their motives are profit-driven, and in honor of their decision, have decided to review some of the products I've bought there. Note that their decision does not affect my reviews. I just thought it would be nice to evaluate some of their products. Here we go:
  1. CVS Baby Wipes – We still use wipes to clean hands, wipe faces, take off make-up, etc. CVS Wipes are great for this and are a fraction of the cost of name-brand wipes. They're not as thick as some other brands, but for what I'm using them for, they're fine. Oh, and do not keep these or any wipes in the car if you live in a cold climate. These suckers freeze, obviously, because there's water in them.

  2. CVS Diapers – When my kids were in diapers, we tried every brand imaginable because the cost of diapers was so high. CVS Diapers cost less than the name brands and did not perform as well. My kids could never make it through the night dry if they were wearing one, although I did keep them in the car for emergencies. My recommendation: go with Pampers or Huggies and skip these.

  3. My favorite thermometer!
    CVS Digital Thermometer – We keep a few thermometers in the house because it seems that whenever I need one, either the battery fails or I can't find the darn device. I've tried various brands and the CVS Digital Thermometer is the most reliable and beeps the fastest. It's great for oral and underarm temps. Love it!

  4. CVS Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops – Both hubby and I suffer from allergies and these drops have been wonderful for relieving itchy, allergic eyes. They're very soothing and work great.

  5. CVS Eyelid Wipes Moist Pads – Hubby bought these to help with his previously-mentioned allergies and I tried them. Yuck! They're so saturated with cleanser that they got into my eyes and I had to wipe them with a tissue. They made my eyes sting and are gross. Skip these and buy Visine Total Eye Soothing Wipes instead.

  6. CVS Gold Emblem Zero Calorie Sweetener – This Maltodextrin-Sucralose concoction sweetens my coffee just as well as Splenda and doesn't cost as much. The only downside is that one packet contains 24 grams of carbs versus Splenda's 0 carbs.

  7. CVS Skin Cleansing Cream – We know that soap dries your skin so you should use a cleansing cream to wash your face. Hubby was buying Cetaphil, but the CVS Skin Cleansing Cream does just as good a job as that, but at a much lower price. Having grown up with Noxema, I like the tingling-feeling I get when I use it and the scent is refreshing.

  8. CVS Gold Emblem Baked Cheese Snack Crackers – If you're looking for something to put in the kids' snack bags, grab these! They're crispy, just salty enough, non-oily and don't leave an aftertaste like some generic cheese crackers do. Keep them in your car for when the kids get hungry on the go.

  9. CVS Flexible Plastic Ear Cleaners – I had heard that you're not supposed to use cotton-tipped swabs in the ears because you can do some real damage to your ears and actually push wax deeper into the canal. So when I saw these, I asked my ear specialist about using them as an alternative to get excess wax out of my ears. She said NOT to use them because the potential for doing damage is great. She suggested using ear cleaning drops or just plain old peroxide-diluted-with water. Nothing against CVS' ear cleaners – you just shouldn't poke ANYTHING in the ear canal EVER.

  10. CVS Gold Emblem Sea Salt & Vinegar Almonds - Scientific evidence suggests that eating nuts, such as almonds, might reduce the risk of heart disease, so we gave these a try. They've got a nice sour-salty taste and a satisfying crunch. As with all nuts, however, you want to watch portion size because they're high in fat. But they are YUMMMY!

By the way, I'd heard that CVS has a money-back guarantee on all beauty products, so I tried it out when the pink lipstick I bought turned out to be more neon than rose. CVS took the opened package back, which I brought with my receipt, and they refunded the full price – no questions asked. Sweet!

Many also contain a Minute Clinic staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  On my insurance, a visit to one is billed at the same rate as a doctor's visit, but you don't need an appointment.  Recently, when my husband got hurt, he went to the nearby Minute Clinic where a PA examined him and advised him to head to an Urgent Care for stitches.  She told him not to go to the Emergency Room because, on average, there's a 2-hour wait there and she knew, for a fact, that the Urgent Care was open and able to do stitches.  She did not charge him for the visit, since she hadn't done anything; other medical professionals would definitely have billed him just for being seen.  My husband respected the PA's thoroughness and integrity. 

Thanks to their no-tobacco policy and our experience with the Minute Clinic, if given the choice of going to CVS over Rite-Aid or Walgreens, I'll be taking my business here. We vote with our dollars, folks! Use your vote wisely!

Thanks for reading. Please check back in with me over the weekend. After Tuesday's ice storm, we're due for a few more inches of snow here on Sunday and it's funny – whereas we would have been concerned about 3” of precipitation earlier in the season, now it's not even worth a glance. Perspective is an ever-changing thing....


  1. I was thrilled to hear about CVS' decision. It's never a bad thing when a company takes a stand against selling a product that kills people. I live in an area where there are not a lot of chain stores. But we DO have a fairly local CVS, I had no idea they had so many house brand items - many of which I could use in my daily routine.

    1. Ilene,

      Thanks for commenting. CVS does have a lot of house brands and as you can see, some are worth buying while others are passes. I think it's a matter of trial-and-error.


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