English drugstore and pharmacy vocabulary

In England, high-street chemists (drugstore or pharmacy) stock a huge range of toiletries (items for personal hygiene), baby products, cosmetics, perfumes and medicines. Dispensing chemists also fill prescriptions (given to you by your doctor) and some even develop films for you.

Baby care
Many people buy nappies (diapers) for their babies at chemists. Along with the nappies are other products for babies, such as nappy cream, cotton wool buds (lengths of plastic tipped with soft cotton to clean a baby’s ears, for example), baby wipes (to help clean a baby) and so on.

Hair care
Chemists also stock a range of hair products. You can buy shampoo and conditioner (to wash your hair) and products to colour hair. For styling your hair you can buy gel or mousse, which act a bit like glue to keep your hair in a particular style. You can also buy hair brushes or combs, to make your hair neat, and hair grips and hair slides, which are plastic objects that keep your hair in place.

Personal hygiene
There’s normally a wide selection of personal hygiene products. Many English people like to soak in a long, hot bath, and so there’s a huge market in bath oils, bath salts or bubble bath – all ways to add nice smells to your bath! You can also buy nail scissors and emery boards (to file your nails) and pumice stone, to rub away dry skin from your feet. For oral hygiene, you can buy toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss, which is like string that you use to clean between your teeth. You can also buy face and body creams, moisturiser (cream to prevent your skin from going dry), soap and deodorant. Other items you can find in this section of the chemist are razors, to shave hair from your body, shaving foam; and feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and sanitary towels.

Make up
If you are looking for cosmetics or make-up, you can find eye-liner (or kohl), mascara (for your eyelashes) and eye-shadow, which is coloured powder to put on your eyelids. You can also buy foundation (a cream to put on your face to give an even surface), blusher (to add colour to your cheeks), lipstick (which adds colour to your lips), and lip-gloss which adds shine to your lips. To colour your nails you can use nail polish, also known as nail varnish.