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What Strategist Readers are Buying: Heel Sleeves and Baby Books

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.

A handful of returning favorites from last time kick off our list this week, with some shuffling in the order. A dentist-recommended electric toothbrush inches up from second place to first, while our former top finisher, a K-beauty sunscreen beloved by Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton slips down to third place. An iPhone-charging lightning cable leaps from sixth to second, and another Rio pick, these moisturizing heel sleeves, holds steady in fourth. Next up are two products for little ones — colorful bath toys (last seen on the list in April) in fifth place, and an interactive board book for toddlers debuting in sixth. The rest of the list is composed of longtime best sellers making their return after a few weeks — or months — off. This fancy lube (in seventh place) is back for the first time since June, while our eighth and ninth place finishers (a pillow for side-sleepers and hair-loss treatment kit for men, respectively) were last spotted in July. Finally, we have a Rio-recommended snail mucin serum hitting the list for the first time since January.

For our recent Teeth Week — when we investigated everything from natural toothpastes to teething toys for puppies — we asked dentists to recommend the best electric toothbrushes, and this one came out on top. The pros like that it both rotates and oscillates (vibrates) — 44,000 times per minute — to clean teeth and remove plaque, and that its round brush head can make contact with all sides of the teeth. Lots of our readers must have heeded their advice, as this is the toothbrush’s fifth consecutive appearance on the list — but its first time at number one.

Writer Alison Freer loves the extra-long version of this Anker iPhone-charging cable, and these standard-length ones get glowing reviews on Amazon. Shoppers appreciate that they’re Apple MFi certified while costing a lot less than an Apple brand cable. One reviewer writes, “Anker cables are just as good as the originals and they charge without any problems. If you’re looking to save some money, but still get a great product then Anker is the way to go.”

Rio discovered this sunscreen a few months back, and it’s now a staple in her routine — and on our list, where it has now appeared for an eighth time. Rio loves that it’s packed with all-star ingredients like soothing centella asiatica, brightening niacinamide, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid. “The Purito,” she writes, “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.”

Rio recently got real with us about her summer foot-care routine, sharing the products she uses on her “perpetually dry and cracked” heels. After applying moisturizing cream, she’ll wear these half-socks — which are “infused with vitamin E, rose oil, and jojoba oil” — overnight, and says her heels look better after just a few days of consistently wearing them to bed. Lots of you seemingly picked up a pair to keep your feet in peak sandal shape and, for the second time in a row, they earn the fourth-place spot.

After appearing on our list for the first time back in April (in first place, no less), this set of bath toys returned this week. For the uninitiated, the pipe toys attach by suction to the side of the bathtub and have different moving parts that little ones can activate in the water. The set came recommended by child-development expert Sarah MacLaughlin as a perfect gift for a 1-year-old. “The idea that there are moving parts goes right along with that curiosity of the in, out, up, and down,” says MacLaughlin. “Moving parts are pretty attractive to a 1-year-old, which is why you’ll find them going after everything in your home that’s not a toy.”

Also popular for little ones, this interactive board book is one of the best gifts for 2-year-olds, according to child-development experts. From artist Hervé Tullet, it features colorful “buttons” to let toddlers learn about cause and effect. “Each page offers an exciting new proposition and encourages interactive play,” we wrote in our gift guide.

This very elegant-looking lube is a certified Strategist reader favorite that’s made our list 16 times since last summer. We first learned about it from Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg, who says it’s “one of the highest-quality silicone lubes out there.” Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of “Sex With Emily” on SiriusXM, is impressed that it has only two ingredients: “pure silicone with a trace of Vitamin E.”

Although it was off the list for a few weeks, this pillow has appeared on our list 18 times — the second most of any product. We discovered it when we tested 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.”

Making its fourth appearance on the list, this kit (which is designed to prevent men’s hair loss, and to help hair grow back) includes two powerful ingredients, oral finasteride and topical minoxidil. Experts told us that using both in tandem is like a “full-court press” against hair loss. As dermatologists explain, “finasteride inhibits an enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that causes hair loss in men [and] can actually help hair grow back,” while “minoxidil is better at slowing down or preventing more loss.”

A longtime must-have in Rio’s skin-care routine for tackling “dryness, acne, fine lines, or dull skin,” this snail essence has been on our list in the past, and catapulted back onto it this time thanks to a 25 percent off discount during Dermstore’s anniversary sale. That sale ends soon, but for around $20, it’s still a bargain for what Rio calls “a truly skin-changing product, with seriously devoted followers.”

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: Heel Sleeves, Baby Books