Just like the same can of Coke varies from $0.70 at the value shop to $8 at the hotel lobby, the same concept applies to the toiletries and personal care items that you buy month in month out.
If you buy your toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, make-up remover, masks etc. from chains like Watsons or Guardian because of the points you chalk up on your loyalty card, you’ll be in for a big surprise at how much cheaper you can get the same toiletries elsewhere.
Here are 10 shops in Singapore where you can get toiletries at cheaper prices than the big chain pharmacies.
10 best shops for cheap toiletries in Singapore (2019)
|Toiletries shop||Location||Best for|
|Swanston||Chinatown||Toiletries, personal care e.g. pads, household cleaning products|
|Ocean Cosmetics||Chinatown||Similar to Swanston|
|Pink Beauty||Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Clementi, Bukit Batok||Drugstore & Korean brand makeup, skincare products|
|Venus Beauty||Islandwide||Toiletries, personal care, baby products|
|Beauty Language||Islandwide||Branded hair care, bath products, makeup|
|CK Department Store||Islandwide||Toiletries, personal care, household cleaning products|
|Red Tomatoes||Ang Mo Kio, Tampines||Sanitary pads, body care, skincare, baby products|
|British Essential||Hougang, Jurong East, Queenstown & 4 locations in the East||Drugstore brand makeup, toiletries|
|PS Essentials||Hougang||Similar to British Essential|
|Value Dollar / ABC||Islandwide||Generic soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, razors|
Swanston @ Chinatown
Swanston on level 2 of People’s Park Complex Food Centre is THE granddaddy of discount toiletries stores in Singapore. It’s always crowded! You can find not just personal care products like toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, cotton pads, and more, but also household items like laundry detergent.
The prices are generally already significantly cheaper than chain like Watsons and Guardian, but Swanston also has monthly specials that give you even more bang for your buck.
The downside is that Swanston only has one outlet at Chinatown. While the location is great for CBD workers who want to stock up at lunchtime, I don’t know how convenient it would be to lug heavy toiletries home.
Swanston store location: #02-1004/1007 People’s Park Complex, 32 New Market Rd., Singapore 050032
While you’re at People’s Park Complex you might also want to check out another shop on level 3, called Ocean Cosmetics (also known as Sunny Ocean).
Ocean Cosmetics sells personal care toiletries (shampoos, shower gels, and the likes) at comparable prices to Swanston, but the selection is smaller. It is, however, usually less crowded than Swanston, so if you don’t have time to wrestle the crowds at downstairs, you can try to find what you need here.
Ocean Cosmetics store location: #03-1058/1060 People’s Park Complex, 32 New Market Rd., Singapore 050032
Pink Beauty is a beauty junkie’s dream. The beauty retailer stocks a wide range of makeup and cosmetics from popular international brands, as well as the usual local drugstore brands of skincare and shower products… all at a big discount here.
For example, they sell a 1L bottle of Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser at $22.90, which is just a dollar more than the price of the 473ml bottle at Watsons ($21.90)! You can also get the Bioderma Sensibio H20 cleansing water (500ml) for $19.90; that’s half the Watsons price of $41.90.
On top of affordable drugstore brands, Pink Beauty also stocks K-beauty brands like Laneige, Innisfree, Dr Jar+, and Holika Holika. A cult favourite, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask costs $42 at Laneige boutiques but can be found here for a wallet-friendly $29.
Not sure if they have what you want? Check out the online catalogue before heading down. If you don’t mind the $3 home delivery fee (it’s actually quite cheap), you can even shop online.
Pink Beauty store locations: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Batok, Clementi, Toa Payoh
Found mainly in heartland neighbourhoods, Venus has 21 outlets packed with quality products at very affordable prices. There are stores at both heartland centrals and malls, and the range is very extensive, with 475 listed brands on their website.
Aside from the usual drugstore toiletries brands, you can find household essentials and even baby products like diapers, which are known to cost quite a bit.
However, do note that not everything is cheaper. I noticed that Venus Beauty sells Innisfree’s My Real Squeeze masks, but they’re $3.90 instead of $2, which is the price at Innisfree stores. Prices are cheaper in general, but if you’re looking at branded stuff, I recommend doing a quick price search online first.
There are 21 outlets islandwide, but if you’re cheap AND lazy, you can shop online too. There’s also an online catalogue for convenience. Delivery is free for orders above $50, which is easy to hit when you’re toiletries shopping.
Venus Beauty store locations: 21 outlets islandwide
For those who don’t want to hang out in the heartlands where there’s no air con, head to Beauty Language, a huge chain of 28 outlets found all in shopping malls.
Beauty Language sells mostly hair care, body wash, and cosmetic products, so no household stuff here. This is also not the place to be looking for cheap shampoo and soaps. There is a limited range of drugstore brands, but shoppers mostly go there to pick up the more upmarket brands at a discount.
Think branded perfumes and skincare products from SK-II, Estee Lauder, Lancome and hair care from RedKen and L’Oreal Professionnel. The largest bottle of SK-II’s award-winning Facial Treatment Essence (330ml) has a suggested retail price of $365, but sells for a ridiculous $255.30 at Beauty Language. That’s over $100 less, and even cheaper than duty-free prices!
The store holds frequent clearance sales at the event spaces of shopping malls, so be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest sale updates. Their catalogue and prices are available on their website too.
Beauty Language store locations: 28 outlets islandwide
CK Department Store
CK Department store is every auntie’s favourite. And it doesn’t just sell clothes and household goods, it also stocks a very respectable selection of toiletries. The prices are generally competitive so you won’t need to worry about getting ripped off, and as icing on the cake, they often have seasonal specials.
Typically they have purchase-with-purchase sales, plus special discounts for their best sellers that they call “star buys”. You can check the ongoing promotions on their website.
If you’re not fussy about brands, CK also has its own house brand called myCK. myCK has dishwashing, laundry, and household cleaning detergents, as well as wet and dry wipes and tissues.
CK Department Store locations: 20 outlets islandwide
This strangely-named beauty and toiletries retailer is quite comprehensive, and best of all, they have an online store. I was introduced to Red Tomatoes by a friend who calls it “the place to buy cheap sanitary pads”. Laurier pads, for example, cost almost half the price compared to Watsons.
Apart from an extensive range of body care and skincare brands, they also sell baby care products like diapers and rash cream. East siders can hit up Red Tomatoes’ two Tampines outlets. For everyone else, there’s the (relatively) more central Ang Mo Kio one.
Red Tomatoes store locations: Tampines St 81, Tampines St 23, Ang Mo Kio Ave 6
Like Beauty Language, British Essential is slightly more atas, and mostly has stores in shopping malls. However, there’s one at Hougang Central, which is a more traditional heartland discount store and focuses mainly on cheap toiletries and makeup from typical drugstore brands like Dove, Olay and Silkygirl.
British Essential does not have an online store, and their Facebook page is quite outdated, so there’s no way for you to check the exact prices online. Nonetheless, if there’s one near you, there’s no harm heading down to check for products which prices you are familiar with.
British Essential store locations: JCube (Jurong East), Dawson Place, Hougang, I12 Katong, Eastpoint (Simei), Tampines 1, White Sands (Pasir Ris)
Basically a clone of British Essential located in Hougang Central, PS Essentials also sells mainstream toiletries brands. They also do not have a website (and virtually no online presence to speak of), so the only way is to check it out at the physical store.
PS Essentials location: Blk 806 Hougang Central #01-144 Singapore 530806
Value Dollar (Valu$) / ABC Bargain Centre
This one is for those who really don’t care about brand names. Value Dollar / ABC Bargain Centre (a.k.a. that FIRE SALE!!! shop in the heartlands) is a great place to pick up loose items like disposable razors and toothbrushes for less than $1 per multi-pack.
If you’re not too picky about brands, they also stock generic toiletries like Colgate toothpaste, Dove and Lux soap bars, Dettol antiseptic and Gillette shaving cream. Prices are rock bottom here, even compared to places like Swanston.
Apart from toiletries, you can also find loads of heavily discounted household cleaning products like laundry powder, kitchen and toilet detergent, baking soda – as well as enough snacks and sweets to melt your teeth.
Have more tips on where to find cheap toiletries? We would love to hear from you.