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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Toothbrushes and Summer Dresses

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top ten products that you, devoted Strategist readers, all 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 to, too.

While lots of you took advantage of Amazon Prime Day to get ahead on winter shopping (the Orolay coat was a hit), your regular purchases include a slew of summer necessities. On this week’s best-seller list, we’ve got two sunscreens (a K-beauty pick from Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton in sixth, and a longtime dermatologist favorite in eighth); a powerful bug repellent in seventh; and two affordable summer dresses (a work-friendly style we found on sale from an Amazon house brand in second place, and a Loft dress recommended by writer Alice Gregory in tenth). Also making waves on the list this week are teeth-cleaning products we covered during last month’s Teeth Week. In fact, the first and third-place spots this week go to a dentist-approved charcoal whitening powder and a silver-infused toothbrush, respectively, with each making its best-seller debut. And in its second appearance on our list, a classic electric toothbrush (that dentists love) finishes in fourth place. Finally, two returning champs make the list once more — a toy piano for babies in fifth (up from seventh) and a pillow for side sleepers in ninth for the second time in a row.

Looking for a more natural and less wasteful way to whiten her teeth, writer Robin Reetz made the switch from Crest Whitestrips to this charcoal whitening powder, with her dentist’s approval. She reports: “After a few consecutive days of brushing with powder then toothpaste, my teeth appeared to go from a coffee-stained beige to a shinier ivory. And after repeating this routine every day for two weeks, all remnants of that beige color were gone, and a co-worker actually complimented me on how white my teeth looked.”

Putting together a work-appropriate outfit in the muggy, sweaty days of summer can be a challenge, so we were excited to spot this simple black dress on sale earlier this month. “There are lots of black midi dresses out there,” we said, “but what we particularly like about this one is the thickness of its V-neck, which gives it a somewhat elevated, and ever so slightly more ‘structured’ feel — allowing it to be dressed up or down somewhat more easily than most.” It’s no longer on sale, but at under $30 it’s still a bargain. Note: Only a few sizes in black are left, but we also like the dark navy version

Because of her very sensitive teeth, writer Frances Dodds found herself brushing six times a day to avoid feeling like her teeth were covered in a thick layer of gunk. On a tip from her boyfriend’s dad, she gave these silver-infused toothbrushes a try, and told us they work so well that she’s back down to twice daily brushing. She likes that some of the brush’s bristles are longer which “whisk away the early formations of plaque in deep crevices that a regular toothbrush can’t reach, and from surfaces that floss wouldn’t reach either.”

While we covered lots of new and exciting products during Teeth Week, when Strategist writer Karen Iorio Adelson asked dentists to recommend their favorite electric toothbrushes, old standbys from brands like Oral-B and Philips Sonicare were the clear winners. This one, which this week hits the list for the second time in a row, was a top pick since it both rotates and oscillates (vibrates) to clean teeth and remove plaque. Dentists like that it rotates 44,000 times per minute for “a lot of disruption of plaque,” and that the round brush head can make contact with all sides of the teeth.

This colorful toy piano was one of our expert-recommended choices for an age-appropriate gift for 1-year-olds, because it stimulates little ones’ growing minds. Child-development expert Dr. Sarah Roseberry Lytle says it’s a good pick because “young kids love to make music and noises and exploring things, like, ‘Can I make it softer? Can I make it louder?’ ‘What happens when I hit it harder?’ That’s a really interesting learning process.”

Although Rio only discovered this sunscreen a few months back, it’s quickly becoming a reader favorite and makes its fifth appearance on the list this week. She loves that it’s packed with all-star ingredients like soothing centella asiatica, brightening niacinamide, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid. “The Purito,” writes Rio, “almost immediately improved the texture, radiance, and moisture levels of my skin for the better.” She even raves, “it’s one of the best products I’ve ever tried in general, not just in the sunscreen category.”

Writer Maureen O’Connor calls this “almost completely odor-free” mosquito repellent “a staple in my ongoing mosquito jihad.” Slipping a bit from a sixth-place finish last week, it remains in the top ten as the buggy summer weather continues. Strategist senior editor Anthony Rotunno followed O’Connor’s lead and picked up a bottle for this outdoor wedding. He reports, “When I squirted the lotion into my hands, not a trace of chemical smell wafted from it (and neither my neck nor my hands smelled like chemicals after applying). More importantly: I made it through our ceremony in the woods without getting a single bug bite.”

We’ve long been fans of this dermatologist-recommended sunscreen, which doctors say is “especially effective because it’s rich in antioxidants that help protect against skin-damaging free radicals.” Light and nongreasy, it’s ideal for those with acne-prone skin because it contains niacinamide, a vitamin B3 derivative with anti-inflammatory properties that can fight breakouts. Off the best-seller list since last summer, it got a boost from a big sale earlier this month.

Holding down the ninth-place spot for the second consecutive week, this pillow is a bona fide Strategist favorite. We first discovered it when testing out a wide selection of pillows designed for side sleepers, and concluded that the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the most comfortable and supportive of them all: “Unlike other pillows that mistake plushness or fluffiness for support, the WEF didn’t sink as soon as I rested my head. Instead, it had a firm, satisfying spring — it’s a different sensation, but one I took to right away. And even though I didn’t do any measuring, my head felt more propped up from the mattress and sheets than with any other pillow.”

Like the Daily Rituals dress up above, this one is simple, office-ready, and perfect for summer. Writer Alice Gregory bought it in black (now sold out), and says it’s “cheap, flattering, but not overly exposing (bonus points for vanity sizing), made of a natural fiber, machine-washable, [and] fine looking.” It’s not special enough to save for a special occasion, so it’s ideal for everyday wear. Note: It’s also available in white and navy with embroidery.

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.

What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Toothbrushes and Dresses