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Toothpaste and deodorant - where to buy cheaper?

GregorMc

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances July/Aug 2011
Primitivo July/Aug 2022
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
 
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henrythedog

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Time of past OR future Camino
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OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
Any supermercado. Like at home?
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
Hey GregorMc, lesson learned, but also a great Camino story to share once you’re back home and not one to feel too foolish about. Something like this happens to most of us. It’s all part of the Camino experience. I once asked a hospitalera in Hontanas if she could call ahead for me to Boadilla to reserve a bed. Well, what came out of my mouth was the word bocadillo. With a wry smile she said she’d happily call ahead for me, but she needed to know what kind of “sandwich” I wanted her to order. Foolish, of course! But, a fond memory along The Way.
 
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Jeff Crawley

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Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
Ouch! as others have said the supermercado is your best friend but sunscreen always seems to be more pricy in Spain.
If it helps, you are not alone, I once paid out €9 for some crema de labios (lip balm), again a "premium" brand for those doing high altitude sports like skiiing (yeah, right!)
 
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StuartM

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
A bit late but antibacterial base layers are fantastic. I've sweated buckets into mine and they never smell, deoderant or not. I've got the Rab long-sleeved tshirts. They're a very fine material, like a synthetic silk, so nice and cool but the fine weave also has a high SPF. I think it's like SPF30 or 50 or something like that?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I learned early on in Spain that things like sunscreen, deodorant and toothpaste are best purchased at supermarkets. Lidl is particularly good.
DIA supermarkets are found
throughout Spain and also offer a wide selection of inexpensive food and basic necessities.
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Second everything other members said about supermercados
Coming off recently completed my first Camino Frances I unfortunately like you learned rather quickly that Farmacias are very expensive 😢
look in the supermarkets and keep an eye on anything on sale ...two times I was able to buy small deodorant Roll-ons for E .50
One is still with me...perhaps I didn't need it but it didn't hurt to have
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I learned early on in Spain that things like sunscreen, deodorant and toothpaste are best purchased at supermarkets. Lidl is particularly good.
I use sensodyne toothpaste and the same size at home is circa $2.00 cheaper at a supermarket on the CF. Only drawback is finding small tubes is unlikely!
 
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RRat

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
Where? At the little store along the way. I found that those little stores have everything you need and their prices are reasonable. Grab an apple and those cupcakes while you're at it. The really flat cookies are really good too. Not to sweet. But they come in a package with too many so be prepared to share.
 

motero99

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Portugues (2022)
some of the albergues have travel size shampoo and toothpaste. It is convenient and relatively inexpensive.
 

DearKat

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Irun to Santiago planned
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
Im taking solids. Solid shampoo, deo, sunscrean to save room in my pack and avoid leaks plus they last AGES. I have tabbies as toothpaste in case I have no water stealth camping I could spit brush. Solidas are usually sold in any natural or organic beauty store and can fly home no problem as its not liquid. Even the big stores like LUSH could be ordered online and sent forward to a hotel or stopping point https://www.lush.com/es/es
 

Jim

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
It's that way for Italy, and France also-- It wouldn't be surprising if that's the way of it for most if not all of continental Europe! Pharmacy prices are way above what supermarkets/big box stores and even for what small family-run grocery stores sell them for. And that would be for mostly the same brands, although granted the pharmacies do carry some high-end specialty type products.
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
I hate roll on deodorant. If you are in Leon or another bigger city you can get the stick kind at El Cort Engles.
I am not totally in love with them either but at that moment for a price and a size I just threw my dislikes out the window
I think the 1st one i got I was in Logrono... not as big as Leon but IMHO tapas are better 🤣
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
I bring small travel size toothpaste and deodorant from my home pharmacy...used sparingly they get me through six weeks.
I actually bought a 5-pack of travel size toothpaste at my local rite aid and thats what carried me through the Camino. I think it did work out to be 1 tube = 1 week so it was perfect (then the wife showed up in SdC with a large tube that we used from that moment on...but she traveled in style and had a large suitcase that was duly forwarded throughout Finisterre walk)
 

Letsgocamino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2013 Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portuguese Porto to SdeC May 31 2017.
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
My sis and I walked into O Porriño and couldn't find our hotel so we ducked into a farmacia for directions. I'll always remember how nice and clean and great smelling it was and the employees were so nice and helpful. I bought a tube of facial sunscreen which was a bit expensive but I loved it and used it and carried it home with me. This was 2017. I finally tossed it last year! Sweet memories 😊
 
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06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Travel/sample size toothpaste tubes: make friends with your dental hygienist and each time you go, ask for a couple of sample tubes. My Pamplona friends get their personal hygiene stuff in supermarkets as others have said above. Perfumerias in bigger cities is where you can get the items you bought variations of in the pharmacy (at lower cost, of course). Lidl and Aldi being ubiquitous now, you could strike very lucky.
 

GregorMc

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances July/Aug 2011
Primitivo July/Aug 2022
Apparently, it’s a luxury Italian brand. And the deodorant is vegan - plant based no aluminium sulfide 🤷‍♂️
Well to add insult to the high price the plant-based antiperspirant/deodorant does neither! I’ve been smelling like an abattoir for the past two days. Thankfully I’ve now got cheap standard chemicals under my arms - to the undoubted pleasure of those around me.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I have had the opposite problem on camino. I ran out of toothpaste on the VdlP: the problem with carrying a small tube from home. Somewhere near the beginning of the Sanabres, I ran out. The local corner store: the only store in town, sold toothpaste, cheap, but only one type, in a monster tube. I was not too thrilled to add that to my pack.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese Central 2022; Primitivo, Arles
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
I went into the farmacia to buy sunscreen and came out with a 30 euro tube of what I later discovered was an anti-wrinkle/anti-aging cream. I will say, I felt like I looked much younger for a bit, though I ended up a bit burned (in more ways than one).
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I have had the opposite problem on camino. I ran out of toothpaste on the VdlP: the problem with carrying a small tube from home. Somewhere near the beginning of the Sanabres, I ran out. The local corner store: the only store in town, sold toothpaste, cheap, but only one type, in a monster tube. I was not too thrilled to add that to my pack.

I had the same problem - solution was wasteful but ... I squeezed half out.
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
It's that way for Italy, and France also-- It wouldn't be surprising if that's the way of it for most if not all of continental Europe! Pharmacy prices are way above what supermarkets/big box stores and even for what small family-run grocery stores sell them for. And that would be for mostly the same brands, although granted the pharmacies do carry some high-end specialty type products.
Same for Portugal. Hit the supermercados, for sure! In Portugal, good prices at Intermarché, Pingo Doce, Continente, Le Clerc, Lidl, Aldi, and I'm sure some others. Almost every week, any given chain will have some brand on sale. Medium-sized towns tend to have one or two supermarkets. Usually shown on Google Maps.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
WOW!! I thought that 8 euros for a cup of coffee was expensive But you beat that.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
Coming off recently completed my first Camino Frances I unfortunately like you learned rather quickly that Farmacias are very expensive 😢
For things like that. By contrast, a hundred doses of my daily thyroid hormone replacement was always six euro and no demand for a prescription. The first time, I asked if I needed a prescription, and she said yes—then gave it to me anyway. All the other times, there were no questions to buy levothyroxine, lisinopril, and metformin. And the prices are lower than my co-pay in USA. Americans might benefit by buying meds right before going home.

For things that DO require prescription, I wonder whether showing the label on the old bottle will get you a refill?
 

Canche

Volcano Climber
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte/Frances 2016, San Salvador & Primitivo 2021
OK. I’m feeling a little foolish. I just paid €21 for a tube of toothpaste and a roll-on deodorant. That's £17.75 back home. There would be a riot in Boots if that was the price for Colgate and RightGuard.

So, I obviously shouldn't have gone to the Farmacia for toiletries. Where should I have gone? Where do Spaniards shop for everyday toiletries and things like sunscreen? Asking for a friend 😀
There are plenty of places to buy toiletries but the best deoderant is baking soda. It's light weight and easy to pack.
 
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Camino del Norte starting Sept 5, 2022
I am not bringing deodorant as I will simply wash myself daily or more than that if needed and have toothpaste tabs which is super lightweight!
 

David61

Active Member
Few years ago a friend and I were touring Spain by motorbike and after about 10 days my mate became a little "saddlesore". We stopped at a supermercado and he found some cream to soothe his "bits", a bit expensive but he said he simply did not care. I asked him if I could look at his purchase and laughed telling him not to put that anywhere sensitive as it was toothpaste!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
I test everything before I leave home, thus I know that a small tube of toothpaste will last me 10 days. For a 6 week Camino I will use 4 small tubes of toothpaste, and can dispose of the empty tubes as I go along. The one time I bought toothpaste in Spain, the only thing available was a large tube which added 6 ounces to my pack weight!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I test everything before I leave home, thus I know that a small tube of toothpaste will last me 10 days. For a 6 week Camino I will use 4 small tubes of toothpaste, and can dispose of the empty tubes as I go along. The one time I bought toothpaste in Spain, the only thing available was a large tube which added 6 ounces to my pack weight!
We bought a small tube of toothpaste (about 3 oz) at Eroski, Oral B, I think. Same price as home.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Aren’t you going on an extended number of caminos this year …?
Will two small tubes last? 😉
Well, as for my extended number of caminos, I shall be walking about the first half of the Podiensis, from Le Puy to Cahors, then travelling to Rabanal to volunteer for the first half of October at Gaucelmo Albergue. I don't know after that, except that I shall be finishing on the Invierno from Ponferrada and my flight home is on Dec. 4, from Madrid. But I think that two small tubes should suffice. And the other issue is that toothpaste has to go in the bag for possibly dangerous liquids, and the size for each item is limited. Changed plans and government regulations together can make packing complicated.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
You are right pointing this out, any hygiene product you buy in a Farmacia in Spain seems to be inside a special halo and it costs outrageously expensive, I know that as a Spaniard, and I would never buy hygiene products in s chemist. No Spaniard would normally buy ordinary toothpaste, deodorant or sanitary towels in a chemist, unless in an extreme emergency.

In Spain, chemists are a state concession, very restricted, just like a tobacconist, you cannot open one without a special concession, pretty much like a pub in the UK.

A business like Boots, halfway between a prescription drug business and a sort of drugstore, so familiar to British, would be unconceivable in Spain; on the other hand, anybody can open a bar in Spain, but not everyone can freely open a bar in Birmingham, say.

That lesson cost you a few quid, I guess, it is a deep cultural difference.
Buen camino!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
A business like Boots, halfway between a prescription drug business and a sort of drugstore, so familiar to British, would be unconceivable in Spain


@amancio, would a perfumería be a good option for all those toiletries kinds of things?

A business like Boots, halfway between a prescription drug business and a sort of drugstore, so familiar to British, would be unconceivable in Spain; on the other hand, anybody can open a bar in Spain, but not everyone can freely open a bar in Birmingham, say.


I guess Spain prefers alcohol over personal hygiene. 🤣
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I have bought toiletries in droguerías in Spain, which sell vitamins, toiletries, and (I think) non prescription drugs, along with other things like make up, hair products, perfume, cleaning products, etc.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have bought toiletries in droguerías in Spain, which sell vitamins, toiletries, and (I think) non prescription drugs, along with other things like make up, hair products, perfume, cleaning products, etc.
THAT’S what I meant!!!! Thanks for giving me the right word. Perfumerías have some of these products, but droguerías are what I was thinking of.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
After letting go my shampoobar in Triacastella I bought a showergel in Sarria at the Eroski Center.
You get some in every supermercado, especially in the german brand LIDL, but they are not as common than Eroski, Gadis or Mercadona.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
@amancio, would a perfumería be a good option for all those toiletries kinds of things?




I guess Spain prefers alcohol over personal hygiene. 🤣
lots of lines open in this thread!

1) a droguería would be the place of choice for any toiletries or hygiene products, not for OTC products in any case (medical products without a prescription)
2) a perfumería is a slightly posher name, still a reasonable place to buy toothpaste or deodorant, however, in any small town you might not easily find a drogueria, let alone a perfumeria
3) vitamins, supplements and any other stuff that does not count as a drug/medicine, would be found in Farmacias. In fact, farmacias sell a lot more of this type of stuff than actual medicines, I believe

These things change from one country to another. In Spain, Farmacias are extremely restricted by number of inhabitants in a place, my town, for example, has got 7000 inhabitants and 2 farmacias - the special license to open one can only be bought from another owner, and there is a big business about this. In fact, in my town, south of Granada, the two Farmacias belong to the same (rich) owner. It is a bit like pub licenses in Great Britain and Ireland, there is a limited number, no new licenses, if any at all, are released.

However, in Spain, anybody can open a bar pretty much anywhere, in fact, it is what many people do, only with Spanish opening hours, it is a job that takes over your life, pretty much.

So, if you need to buy toilettries or hygiene products, this would be my choice

1) Tienda (good old shop) in any small town, they will appreciate your business and it helps small towns keep alive
2) Droguería
3) Perfumería
4) Supermercado local
5) BIG supermercados (mercadona, lidl, aldi, eroski)
5) Farmacia, but only if it is the last resource, any of the products they sell will cost you twice as much as in any of the above

And, for medicines, you can only get a sort of general prescription, unlike in the UK, where you will get in the chemist exactly the number of pills your treatment requires; here, with a prescription to take 2 tablets, you might have to buy a package with 40 tablets, even if you only need 2.

Different sytems.

as a summary: better spend the money in a bar than in a farmacia. In fact, when you reluctantly pay money back for a debt to somebody, we have a Spanish saying upon giving them their money:

"Ojalá te lo tengas que gastar en la farmacia"

which means, I wish you will have to spend this money in the chemists!
 

Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
In Spain, chemists are a state concession, very restricted, just like a tobacconist, you cannot open one without a special concession, pretty much like a pub in the UK.

A business like Boots, halfway between a prescription drug business and a sort of drugstore, so familiar to British, would be unconceivable in Spain; on the other hand, anybody can open a bar in Spain, but not everyone can freely open a bar in Birmingham, say.
From my experience so far living in small-town Portugal, I would say the same is true there.
 
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