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What Strategist Readers Bought in April: Moisturizer, Masks, and Mascara

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, where 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.

With masks and personal-care products taking up virtually every spot on this list, it seems that Strategist readers are balancing COVID consciousness with the increased awareness that more socializing means once again putting more thought into our appearances. April best sellers include plenty of moisturizers and dental tools (the Oral-B mouth guard simply will not be dethroned), while two of the top-three positions are occupied by picks from our roundup of best masks to wear on airplanes. This could point to an uptick in warmer-weather travel that might also explain the appearance below of sunscreen — which we expect to see more of as summer approaches.

$12 for 10

This KN95 mask returns to first place (where it also reigned in February) after a brief slip to fourth last month. Evidently, people are still masking up, even with changing guidelines for airplanewear, as COVID rates that were at a 90-day low in early March have climbed upward since, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fourth-grade teacher Jacob Cohen has tried many masks and stands by this one as his favorite for work because it fits more snugly than other KN95s and doesn’t move when he’s talking.

Making its first-ever appearance on the best-seller list is feng you jing medicated oil, which Strategist writer Kitty Guo calls an “easy cure-all for minor afflictions.” Guo recommends this emerald-hued elixir for its tremendous versatility; it can ease the discomfort of everything from bug bites to motion sickness. As mosquito season ramps up, keep in mind that feng you jing can be used as an insect repellent.

$24 for 10

Rising an impressive seven places from last month are these BOTN KF94 masks that we included in our roundup of the best masks to wear on an airplane. For those who find KN95s uncomfortable, KF94s sit slightly off the face, which may suit some wearers better. Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo notes that the KF94’s comparative lightness makes it a more comfortable spring/summer mask when muggy weather can make thicker face coverings feel like you’re breathing inside a sauna.


Eye creams and lofty price tags usually go hand in hand, but this dermatologist-approved option was named the best less expensive choice in our review of the best eye creams. The formula contains retinol to stimulate collagen production, strengthen the skin’s foundation, and minimize the appearance of lines. While retinol can cause sensitivity, this cream uses a gentler derivative of vitamin A, so you can ease it into your routine without the fear of irritation.

Named the best overall pick in our in-depth review of mascaras, this $5 cult favorite was mentioned by experts over and over again. Not only is it cheap, but it also creates a false-eyelash effect, according to Strategist contributor Jinnie Lee, who says this mascara managed to “dramatically plump and intensify my lashes in every single way — it lengthens, volumizes, lifts, and curls each tiny hair.”

The retinoid-curious among us may want to look into this Best in Class wrinkle cream that’s making its 12th appearance on the best-seller list (including last month’s). Deemed the best drugstore option by multiple experts, this retinol-based formula works for those who prefer a milder active, according to dermatologist Carlos A. Charles, founder of New York City–based Derma di Colore. (You might recognize it as part of the same RoC range as the eye cream mentioned above.)


Dropping six spots from last month is this cream from CeraVe, which we’ve judged to be the best moisturizer available at the drugstore and for mature skin. Its combination of good-for-skin ingredients such as glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid makes it an effective skin hydrator and plumper that provides “around-the-clock moisture,” according to Dr. Sapna Palep of Spring Street Dermatology.

One of our steadiest performers is this microwavable, dental-expert-recommended mouth guard that has appeared on the best-seller list for three months running. The molding process takes only a few minutes, and while the guard is thin enough to remain comfortable, Dr. Rashmi Ambewadikar of Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry says it doesn’t lack in sturdiness.

This sunscreen has the unique position of being crowned in two of our reviews of the best sunscreens. Patricia Wexler of Wexler Dermatology recommends it to her patients because it doesn’t feel greasy, unlike traditional sunscreen, and the antioxidant-rich formula helps protect against skin-damaging free radicals. It also keeps breakouts at bay thanks to lactic acid that gently exfoliates skin and regulates sebum buildup, which makes it a smart choice to slather on your back or chest if you suffer from body acne.


“They are the holy grail of Waterpiks and flossers,” says Brooklyn-based dentist Dr. Elliot Eskenazi of this model that took the “best overall” title in our review of the best water flossers. Choose from ten different pressure settings, and take advantage of a 22-ounce tank that provides a full 90 seconds of run time. The capacity of this flosser means it’s slightly bulkier than other options, but it also has “the strongest engine on the market,” according to Dr. Irina Sinensky, founder of Dental House.

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 Bought in April: Mascara and Masks