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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Pimple Patches and Sheet Sets

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top ten products that you, our devoted Strategist readers, bought in droves. Think of this as the TL;DR of the Strategist: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like them, too.

It’s a tale of two pimple patches on the list, this week. An old favorite returns to the top spot after languishing lower down on the list for weeks, and a promising two-step newcomer appears for the first time in seventh place. Also on the skincare front, the powerful — and painful — pore-zapping mask that debuted at number one last week drops to second place; and a microneedling system (part of Dermstore’s device sale earlier this month) takes eighth. Three returning picks each inched up on the list: a longtime best-selling beard trimmer in fifth, a writer’s “keepsake” notebook in third, and fancy lube in sixth. We’ve written about these WiFi-enabled plugs before, but a sale last week inspired lots of you to explore smart home technology — bringing the plugs onto the list in fourth place. Two new products round out the list: a colorful xylophone for littles ones in ninth, and a super-soft sheet set in tenth.

1. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin (Last Installment: 3)

After two weeks in a row in third place, these pimple-eliminating patches, longtime staples on the best-seller list, are back on top. Strat beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton introduced us to the now-famous patches last year in her epic skincare Google Doc post: “[T]he Holy Grail. Drop everything and buy them. Not even going to explain, will just say if you pop or pick a zit, put this on immediately afterward, go to bed, and in the morning you’ll see what I’m talking about and thank me.”

2. The ‘Most Painful Mask Ever’ Is Like a Dyson for My Pores (1)

In the YouTube beauty community, this pore-suctioning peel-off mask has a reputation as the “most painful mask ever.” Despite videos featuring “tears, screams, and general terror,” writer Garrett Munce had to try it. “Whenever I use it, every single blackhead on my face is gone,” he said, “my pores become microscopic, like I’ve taken a Dyson to them.” His glowing review convinced lots of our readers to risk the pain as well and the mask stays on the list another week.

3. I Found a Notebook Like No Other Notebook (5)

As a writer, Molly Young goes through dozens of notebooks a year–usually “cheap-ish” ones that fulfill a few basic, utilitarian requirements.  But when she received this notebook as a gift, she fell for its handsome, textured cover and variable grid design. “I’ve tasted the fine wine and I can’t go back,’ says Young on her new favorite notebook. At under $20, it’s an affordable way to get some “eye-watering thrills” from an everyday product.

4. These $33 Plugs Turn Any Home Into a Smart House (Off last list)

These WiFi-enabled plugs are an accessible way to turn any outlets into “smart” ones. They first made the list back in January after writer Lindsay Weber first raved about them. “Anything you can imagine plugging in and turning on can be controlled with an app,” she writes. “All of my lamps can now be turned on and off with a swipe. I’ll switch on my air conditioner while out and about, as to hit that sweet 69 degrees before I even step inside.” After going on sale last week, they’re back on the list.

5. What’s the Best Beard Trimmer? (6)

This beard trimmer, with a radial dial that lets you choose lengths down to the half-millimeter (for guys who don’t want to go totally clean-shaven), moves up a spot on the list and into the top five. Writer Kurt Soller loves how it keeps stray hairs out of the sink: “A vacuum-suction feature that collects the majority of your shaven hairs — up to 90 percent of them, according to the company, but who really knows? All I can say is that this is a godsend.”

6. What Is the Best Lube? (7)

It might be one of the things we don’t talk about, but lube is definitely something we’re buying. This fancy lube moves up the list this week from seventh place to sixth. Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg raved about this very elegant looking lube: “Uberlube is THE BEST. Not joking — it is one the highest-quality silicone lubes out there. Plus, it comes in the classiest bottle you’ve ever seen. Aside from being a staff favorite, it is also a customer favorite!”

7. The Three Best Pimple Patches for All Kinds of Pimples (New entry)

A new generation of pimple patches has arrived and we’re not surprised that this two-step acne patch (with built-in microneedles) is an instant best seller after Rio’s rave review. “What I love most about this product is that it has serious bacteria-fighting ingredients (the tea tree and salicylic acid in the wipe) and a dose of intense moisture (hyaluronic acid microneedles in the patch itself), which will make even the meanest of zits relax,” she said.

8. The Best Beauty Tools I Discovered From Instagram’s Explore Tab (New entry)

Up next is another one of Rio’s recent discoveries, an at-home microneedling system that’s designed to treat acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines. It was included in Dermstore’s annual device sale earlier this month, and many of you picked one up to achieve professional procedure-level results at home. Rio told us, “After using this dermal roller for a couple of weeks, I’ve rid myself of acne scars that have been there for years. Happy (and stunned) to say this product is legit.”

9. The Best Gifts for a 1-Year-Old (New entry)

Since shopping for a friend’s kid’s birthday can be rough when you have no idea what’s appropriate for a certain age, we sought out child development experts for guidance. In our guide to first birthday gifts, one expert pointed us to this award-winning toy that’s great for interactive play. “In addition to being a musical instrument, it allows kids to experiment with cause and effect.”

Mellanni Bed Sheet Set
From $35

10. The 17 Best Sheets on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers (New entry)

We found these incredibly soft sheets on Amazon, where they’ve racked up thousands of glowing reviews (more than 44,000). One reviewer wrote, “These sheets are seriously the best sheets I have owned or lain in. I have stayed at multiple top-of-the-line hotels and none have come close to these.” They even made it into our best-selling products of 2017 list.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Pimple Patches & Sheets