Most Trusted Shampoo/Conditioner: Pantene
A high-end hair care line in Switzerland in 1945, Pantene came to America in the 1960s because of demand from European travelers. It launched in upscale stores like Saks Fifth Avenue. Remember “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”? The popular advertising campaign, combined with Procter & Gamble’s acquisition in 1985, helped make Pantene accessible to all women. In 2006, Pantene launched its “Beautiful Lengths” program to encourage women to donate their hair to cancer patients. It has collected more than 600,000 ponytails and funded the creation of more than 34,000 free real-hair wigs.
Most Trusted Body Lotion/Moisturizer: Jergens*
Andrew Jergens Sr. founded The Jergens Soap Company (with partner Charles H. Geifus) in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1882. The very first product? Coconut oil soap. Today, the company’s Shea Beauty Oil is made from shea nuts collected and harvested almost exclusively by women in West Africa, where shea butter is considered a source of empowerment and community. *Statistical tie with another brand
Most Trusted Body Lotion/Moisturizer: Aveeno*
Albert and Sidney Musher believed in the power of classic remedies to soothe everyday health issues. They experimented with raw cereal to discover finely milled colloidal oatmeal bath, which can help treat everything from sunburn to eczema to chickenpox. Aveeno, which the Mushers founded in 1945, got its name from Avena sativa, the Latin word for oat. *Statistical tie with another brand
Most Trusted Hair Color: L'Oreal
L’Oréal was originally called Société Française des Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux, or the Safe Hair Dye Company of France, when it was founded in 1909. Today, L’Oréal hair color products come in 40 different shades, including dark blonde, copper, and burgundy.
Most Trusted Mass Merchandiser Retail Store: WalMart
Sam Walton opened the first Walmart Discount City in Rogers, Arkansas in 1962. He originally wanted to buy a department store in St. Louis, Missouri, but his wife Helen insisted she wanted to live in a small town. By 1979, Walmart opened 276 stores, had 21,000 employees, and reached $1 billion in sales. Today, Walmart has nearly 11,000 stores in 28 countries. The company’s best-selling item (out of more than $405 billion in annual sales)? The humble banana has earned this honor for the past few years.
Most Trusted Online Shopping Site: Amazon
When Amazon opened its virtual doors in 1995, it offered only books. The first one sold? The scintillating Fluid Concepts & Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. Amazon began selling music, DVDs, and videos in 1998, with other consumer products available the following year. In 2014, customers ordered more than 2 billion products on the site.
Most Trusted National Pharmacy/Drug Store: Walgreens*
As a teenager, Charles Walgreen injured his finger in an accident working at a shoe factory. He could no longer play sports, so he got a job at Horton’s Drugstore in Dixon, Illinois. Walgreen later moved to Chicago and worked with some of the city’s leading pharmacists before opening his own store—just 50 x 20 feet in size—in 1901. It was known for its customer service. While taking phone orders, Walgreen repeated the order slowly and kept talking so his assistant could deliver the goods before the customer hung up the phone. Today, Walgreens is America’s largest drugstore chain with more than 8,200 stores. *Statistical tie with another brand
Most Trusted National Pharmacy/Drug Store: CVS Pharmacy*
Know what CVS stands for? “Consumer Value Stores.” The first location opened in 1963 in Lowell, Massachusetts, selling health and beauty products; the first stores with pharmacies opened a few years later. By 1985, the company reached $1 billion in annual sales. Today, CVS has 7,800 retail pharmacies. CVS made recent headlines when it committed to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products to help customers commit to a healthier lifestyle. *Statistical tie with another brand
Most Trusted Pet Care Products: Hartz
It all started with singing canaries. In 1926, a near-penniless Hartz founder Max Stern left Germany for America. A friend who owed Stern a modest sum could pay back the loan only with a bounty of canaries—5,000, to be exact. So Stern immigrated with them and sold them to the John Wannamaker Department Store on New York City’s Astor Place. For years, Stern traveled back and forth to Germany to import canaries, selling them at such stores as R.H. Macy, Sears Roebuck, and F.W. Woolworth. In 1932, he expanded into packaged bird food and then into products for cats, dogs, and other pets. By 1980 Hartz products were sold in more than 40,000 locations across America and Canada.
Most Trusted Headache/Pain Reliever: Tylenol
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, was discovered in Europe in the late 1800s, when French doctors found that a similar drug treated pain and fever in a patient with intestinal parasites. But it would take nearly half a century for the medication to be widely available in America. A father-and-son company, McNeil, launched the first Tylenol product in 1955—TYLENOL Elixir for Children, available only by prescription. It was approved for over-the-counter sales in 1960. Among the company’s important innovations: safety-sealed, tamper-resistant packaging (1982); Gelcaps, an easier-to-swallow new dosing form (1988); and Rapid Release Gels, designed with holes for faster effects (2005).