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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: A Whole Lot of Moisturizer

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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 as well.

As we welcome the first chilly days of fall, we see a shift in our best-seller list from summer favorites like sunscreen and tick repellent to hydrating moisturizers meant to keep dry skin at bay. The top of the list doesn’t look much different from the past few weeks — this dentist-recommended electric toothbrush holds down first place for the fourth time in a row, and a wrinkle cream beloved by dermatologists rises up from sixth to second. The next four products, though, are all newcomers — and they’re all moisturizers. We’ve got a lightweight gel cream in third, an in-shower lotion in fourth, a gentle everyday moisturizer in fifth, and a rich night cream in sixth. Next up is a Strategist editor-favorite natural deodorant in seventh (that’s been off the list since April) and a perennially best-selling pillow for side-sleepers in eighth. Our ninth-place finisher is a smoothing hair oil recommended by Strategist writer Rio Viera-Newton (up from tenth last time), followed by a budget-friendly vitamin C serum in tenth.

This electric toothbrush is a favorite of both dentists and shoppers. Our readers are certainly fans, as it has appeared on our list eight times now, and this week marks its fourth first-place finish. The pros like that it both rotates and oscillates (vibrates) to clean teeth and remove plaque, and one Amazon reviewer raves: “This toothbrush leaves my teeth feeling like they’ve been power-washed.”

When Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked dermatologists which wrinkle creams actually work, this retinol night cream was a clear winner. The derms explain 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.” After two sixth-place finishes, it gets a bump to second place this week.

First up in our parade of moisturizers is this lightweight gel cream that experts recommend for dry and mature skin. The key ingredient is hyaluronic acid which, as one dermatologist explains, “acts like a sponge to pull in water to the outer skin layer to hydrate and plump, even improving the appearance of some fine lines.” Since it’s versatile enough to use on lots of different skin types, it’s not surprising to see this gel cream make its debut in the top three.

If you’re like writer Ashley Nkadi and hate putting on body lotion (she tells us, “I find the process of getting out of the shower, drying off, slicking on cold, greasy lotion, then waiting around for it to sink in completely unbearable”), you’ll want to check out this in-shower moisturizer that hydrates your skin without leaving it greasy. Nkadi explains that it’s “water-activated, so it is best used right at the end of a shower, before the drying process, when your skin is really wet and your pores are open.”

Another top pick for dry and aging skin, this thick cream (which can be used on both face and body) is also recommended by dermatologists for anyone dealing with the drying effects of taking Accutane. Experts love that it replenishes ceramides, natural lipids that are often missing in dry skin. They also like that it’s “fragrance-free, so it is suitable for those with sensitive skin and doesn’t feel greasy,” as well as budget-friendly.

The final moisturizer on our list, also from CeraVe, was rated the best overall night cream when we polled dermatologists. “This is an excellent moisturizer for when the weather starts getting cold and your skin starts losing more moisture,” according to one doctor we spoke with. So we’re not totally surprised to see it pop up on our list for the first time as the weather begins to change.

We’ve said before that this natural deodorant is the “Unofficial Deodorant of the Strategist Team,” as it’s a favorite of Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff and senior editor Simone Kitchens. We were tipped off by Aubrey Plaza, who heard about it from Judy Greer. How does it work? One dermatologist explains: “The vegetable glycerin can help to absorb excess moisture, minimizing the feeling of wetness, and aloe can have a cooling effect on the skin, which can help to reduce the feeling of heat buildup that can occur with sweating.” A five-time best seller, it makes the list this week for the first time since April.

If you’re thinking it’s time to replace your pillow, this long-time favorite of ours (it’s made the best-seller list 21 times now) would be a solid replacement 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, 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.”

Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton first heard about this smoothing hair oil from Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho, but she initially balked at its steep price. But when a“shiny-haired friend” also recommended it to her, Rio decided to take the plunge and she wasn’t disappointed: “This is the best hair oil I’ve ever tried in my life,” she says. “The texture is thick, which makes it really easy to work it into your hair evenly … immediately, my hair is smoothed, feels softer and more hydrated, and looks extra, extra shiny.” After making its debut in tenth place last week, the oil inches up to ninth.

A standout skin-care ingredient, vitamin C is credited with everything from diminishing fine lines and wrinkles to fading acne scars and brightening skin. While the well-known (and very expensive) Skinceuticals version is deemed the “gold-standard vitamin C serum,” when Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked dermatologists which ones they like, she discovered this surprisingly affordable alternative. Pariso writes, “In addition to skin brightening L-ascorbic and ferulic acids, the serum also has a soothing botanical blend of aloe, grape, magnolia, and orange peel to give the skin an added dose of nourishment.” The serum shot onto our best seller list back in July, and hasn’t returned until now.

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: A Lot of Moisturizer