the strategist 100

The Strategist Drugstore

One hundred carefully considered, fully vetted essentials.

Photo: Joe Lingeman; Styling by Stephanie Yeh
Photo: Joe Lingeman; Styling by Stephanie Yeh
Photo: Joe Lingeman; Styling by Stephanie Yeh

Navigating the congested aisles of a CVS is a daunting exercise even for the most seasoned of shoppers. Do you get heavy-duty Band-Aids or regular? What’s the difference between the generic and name-brand pain reliever? Will any antacids actually effectively relieve indigestion? And what toilet paper should you keep in stock just in case?

Over the years, The Strategist has surfaced hundreds upon hundreds of best-in-class drugstore items including the nasal inhalers that tuk-tuk drivers use in Thailand, the 1864-era mouthwash that historian Walter Isaacson swears by, a doodad that takes the pain out of shots, and even an accordion plunger that will save you from embarrassment. But no run-of-the-mill Rite Aid or even high-end apothecary carries this all — which is why we decided to create our own drugstore at The Strategist.

Below, we’ve pieced together the inventory of our dream drugstore, featuring recommendations from doctors, integrative nutritionists, dermatologists, frequent travelers, authors, famous people, dental hygienists, and our own staff writers, among (many) others. (Of course, you should always consult your doctor before taking a new medication.) Some of the products are straight from the shelves of actual drugstores (like a pregnancy test or B.J. Novak’s favorite tub of Noxzema), while others are ones we wish were on the shelves of actual drugstores (like reusable Swedish dishcloths). Some are everyday items (like hydrating shampoo or itch-relieving moisturizer). Others are more niche (like a wand for removing ticks and the throat lozenges Bernie Sanders relies on for campaign tours). And, importantly, most of these items cost about as much as any counterparts you might find at your local pharmacy — with a few exceptions, such as the $37 British M hair oil our beauty writer (and her mom) swear by.