your shopping cart

What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Scalp Brushes and Pimple Patches

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.

For the second time in a row, this dentist-recommended electric toothbrush takes the top spot. Our second-place finisher, though, is a blast from the past: a scalp-massaging brush last seen on our list two years ago. Next up is a set of colorful bath toys in third place, followed by an iPhone-charging lightning cable in fourth and an interactive board book for toddlers rounding out the top five. Our only newcomer this week, a wrinkle cream beloved by dermatologists, debuts in sixth place, and two recurring picks pop up in seventh and eighth: Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton’s favorite K-beauty sunscreen and a fancy lube. Thanks to a big Dermstore sale last month, these pimple patches, which have been off the list since last November, return in ninth place. Finally, a perennial favorite pillow for side sleepers closes out the list in tenth.

Making its sixth appearance on our list, this electric toothbrush is the top pick among dentists, as we discovered during Teeth Week earlier this summer. The pros like that it both rotates and oscillates (i.e., 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. It’s clear that Strategist readers care about their pearly whites: This is its second consecutive first-place finish.

This (very cheap) rubber brush was the only thing that helped writer Alison Freer get rid of her “turbocharged” dandruff. “Its flexible vinyl bristles give just the right amount of scrubbing pressure without scraping or scratching your head,” says Freer. “It works to break up any stubborn dandruff flakes and gets my scalp cleaner than my hands alone ever possibly could.” Plus, it feels like a scalp massage.

Up a bit from last time’s fifth-place finish, these fun bath toys enter the top three 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.”

We’ve written about 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.”


According to child-development experts, this interactive board book is one of the best gifts for 2-year-olds. Illustrated by 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.

When Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked dermatologists about which wrinkle creams actually work, this retinol night cream was a clear winner. The derms explained that it can “increase cellular turnover and encourage the formation of new skin as well as the production of collagen and elastin, all of which help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.” Because it’s more mild than its prescription cousin, retinoid, it’s also “gentle enough to use on more sensitive, wrinkly skin around the eyes.”

Rio Viera-Newton discovered this sunscreen a few months back, and it’s now a staple in her routine — and on our list, as it has reliably been in the top ten all summer. Rio loves that it’s packed with all-star ingredients like soothing centella asiatica, brightening niacinamide, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid. “The Purito,” she wrote, “almost immediately improved the texture, radiance, and moisture levels of my skin for the better.” She even raved, “it’s one of the best products I’ve ever tried in general, not just in the sunscreen category.”

This very elegant-looking lube is a certified Strategist reader favorite that has made our list 17 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.”

One of our readers’ all-time favorite products (they’ve been on the list a record 28 times, nine of those being first-place finishes), these pimple-erasing patches return to the list after a nearly yearlong hiatus. Since the first time Rio shared her skin-care routine with us, they’ve been her “holy grail” for clearing up whiteheads and extracted pimples. As she says, “Drop everything and buy them.”

If you’re thinking it’s time to replace your pillow, this longtime favorite of ours would be a solid pick. 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,” our reviewer, Jason Chen, wrote, “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.”

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: Scalp-Massaging Brushes