Retail & Innovation

At Walgreens, skin is in

Learn how Walgreens pharmacy and beauty experts are helping customers feel good from the inside out.
Steve Rausch, Walgreens Stories
Our skin is the canvas upon which we present ourselves to the world. It also doubles as a vital organ—the body’s largest—critical to our overall health, serving as the first line of defense against harmful microbes, bacteria and viruses, while regulating body temperature and helping to prevent dehydration.

But, let’s be honest, despite all that, we mostly take our skin for granted.

We allow it to burn and dry out. We might not clean it regularly or nourish it with a healthy diet. Even skin conditions that aren’t a choice, like eczema, acne and psoriasis, can worsen if specific treatment regimens and care plans aren’t followed.

Walgreens understands how important our skin is, and is on a mission to change how we think about and treat it, transforming from a mindset of skin care to one of skin health, and becoming the premiere skin health destination for those who want great looking skin by offering trusted, in-store health and beauty experts and dermatologist-backed products.

  Heather Hughes
Leading the charge is Heather Hughes, group vice president and general merchandise manager for beauty, personal care and seasonal at Walgreens, who is also a licensed pharmacist.

Skin care, Hughes says, focuses on everyday routines that can temporarily cover up underlying conditions, but might not be the best approach to treat them.

Skin health, she continues, is a more comprehensive approach to caring for the skin from the inside out, understanding the changes that occur in your health that can impact your skin. It focuses on treating or caring for the underlying conditions or causes of a skin issue instead of turning to a temporary solution to cover it up.

“When we say Walgreens is the premiere skin health destination, we’re talking about how we combine our unique advantages—our in-store pharmacists and beauty and skin consultants plus ongoing education and training and dermatologist-backed skin products, including our owned brands—and leverage them to be the most trusted source for information on skin health that customers and patients can find anywhere,” she says.

Trusted and trained skin experts

There is research confirming that trust in pharmacists is particularly high when it comes to skin health: When a pharmacist makes an over-the-counter skincare product recommendation, customers and patients will purchase either that exact product or a product in the same category 96% of the time.

In addition to its pharmacists, Walgreens commitment to skin health has no better example than its beauty consultant program. The more than 3,500 beauty consultants in almost 3,000 stores nationwide are trained on skin health and are experts in over-the-counter products to help patients and customers treat myriad skin issues.

Walgreens pharmacists and beauty consultants undergo extensive training sessions on skin health multiple times per year, receiving guidance on how to engage with patients and customers by asking open-ended questions about their skin concerns or goals. They then use that information to recommend a custom skincare regimen with the right products that will work to create the best possible outcomes.

And often skin health treatment involves both prescription medications and over-the-counter remedies, so pharmacists and beauty consultants are trained to work closely together to extend the expertise in the pharmacy to the aisles of the store to create a seamless experience for patients and customers.

Science-driven skin products

The introduction of No7 Future Renew, a Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) owned brand that launched at Boots stores in the U.K. to huge demand earlier this year, and is exclusive at Walgreens through June 26, demonstrates WBA’s leadership in skin health. Its revolutionary super peptide blend, which can reverse visible signs of skin damage in four weeks, took 15 years to develop in partnership with the University of Manchester in England, as a more effective, less harsh alternative to retinol-based products.

“We're fortunate that No7 is part of our WBA family because having that direct relationship allows us to offer cutting-edge, science-backed products and solutions like Future Renew,” says Hughes. “It's the perfect representation of WBA’s commitment to skin health and shows our customers and patients that we’re there to help them protect and treat their skin.”
Walgreens beauty area expert and licensed esthetician Greta Kukay has been
     Greta Kukay
testing No7 Future Renew and not only loves how it’s made her skin look, but also for its proven efficacy for healing damaged skin.

“We all have damage to our skin,” she says. “As we age, damage hidden under the surface begins to reveal itself. In addition, cells aren’t regenerating as quickly, so our skin’s ability to repair damage starts to decrease over time. Peptides are commonly used to encourage the skin to repair itself, but the super peptide blend in No7 Future Renew products goes beyond that, renewing more than 50 key proteins in the skin.”

Owned brand skin products: High quality at a much lower price

In addition to No7, dermatologist-backed Walgreens brand skincare solutions are formulated with the same active ingredients as national brands, but at a better value.

“Customers are becoming much savvier with their skin. They know what works and what doesn’t,” says Kukay. “Customers trust the Walgreens brand and know they can achieve the same result of healthier, better-looking skin without spending a ton of money.”
Walgreens transformation to a healthcare company is centered around creating more joyful lives through better health, and that includes skin health.

“Skin health is a huge bridge between beauty and health and wellness,” says Hughes. “Because when a customer has the right products and information for healthy skin, it connects how they look and feel inside and outside, contributing to their overall health.”

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