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What Strategist Readers Bought in June: Handheld Steamers and Classic Sneakers

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

Welcome back to “Your Shopping Cart,” where we break out the top ten products that you, devoted Strategist readers, 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.

Summer is in full swing, and our June best-seller list reveals that Strategist readers are shopping accordingly. In addition to the ever-present masks, we’ve seen folks stock up on two widely beloved sunscreens as well as an iconic pair of Nike kicks that’ll go with everything from sundresses to denim shorts. Father’s Day purchases propelled two new products’ inclusion in this roundup: a heated massage cushion to relax with after an adventure-filled day and an all-in-one grilling tool perfect for backyard barbecues. And one Strategist writer’s ode to a small but mighty handheld steamer inspired many of you to add a little crispness and polish to your summer ’fits, no clunky iron necessary.

$12 for 10

The Powecom KN95 mask persists as the reigning champ, remaining secure in its No. 1 spot from last month. Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo named it the best KN95 mask in our list of the best disposable face masks and says she has worn hers “on the subway, to the office, at museums, on Metro-North, at the airport, and to countless doctor’s appointments.” Since it creates a tight-fitting seal around her face, it makes her glasses “fog less than other masks” she has tried.

As temperatures started to climb, this Neutrogena sunscreen jumped from sixth place in May to second place in June. We named it the best overall sunscreen because it was recommended by six experts on our panel of dermatologists, aestheticians, and cosmetic surgeons. Its accessible price point and wide availability let you “stock up and not worry about generously slathering it on every two hours.” It also comes in a stick and a spray-on, which dermatologist Dr. Sapna Palep recommends for the sake of convenience when covering your whole body or attempting to apply it to squirmy kids.

The Neutrogena sunscreen knocked this EltaMD favorite down one place from last month, but it’s still our top pick for the best facial sunscreen. It’s a longtime Strategist choice because its combined mineral and chemical formula “provides both chemical and physical blockers for the skin and contains actives like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and lactic acid, which are great for acne-prone skin while conserving moisture,” according to aesthetician and founder of Skin by ASK Andrew Kelly. That means you won’t have to worry about this sunscreen breaking you out; in fact, it can actually help combat acne flare-ups.

Photo: Retailer

These Uniqlo socks were crowned the best overall men’s socks by former Strategist tech writer Jordan Bowman. “They feel good — snug but not too tight — and last for years,” Bowman wrote. Plus, they come in over 40 colors and their classic crew-height silhouette makes them “versatile for many different outfits and activities,” according to Phillip Wong, co-founder and creative director of Hawthorne. They’re guaranteed to look stylish paired with anything from sneakers to oxfords.

$24 for 10

Another fixture of the best-seller list, these BOTN KF94 masks are one of the best to reach for if you’re planning on flying this summer. They’re an excellent alternative to KN95 masks if you find their fit too tight or restrictive because these open up envelope-style and sit slightly off the face, giving you more room to talk and breathe. They feature nifty adjustable ear loops, so if they sit a bit too loosely on your face, all you have to do is “pull on the little front loops to adjust the tightness around your ears and cheeks,” Corsillo explains.

Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla used to struggle with unpredictable and unreliable clothing steamers — until she decided to test this Conair model that Uma Thurman’s stylist, Kate Young, uses. The result? “It gives you a red-carpet-immaculate finish every time,” Pardilla says. Despite its diminutive size and 15-minute run time, its “steaming power rivals that of the highly efficient Jiffy-esque standing steamers,” and it can unwrinkle just about any fabric, “from fussy chiffon to wilty linen,” according to Pardilla. When you hit the eponymous “turbo” setting, it releases even faster puffs of steam “that leave pieces looking like they’ve just returned from the dry cleaners.”

Photo: retailer

Apparently, a lot of Strategist readers’ dads suffer from stuffy noses, as this Ponaris nasal emollient was one of the most shopped items in our guide to the best Father’s Day gifts. Strategist contributor Chantel Tattoli waxed poetic about this NASA-approved product back in 2020, writing that it “worked wonders immediately.” The all-natural formula consists of “oils of eucalyptus, pine, peppermint, and cajeput blended with a cottonseed oil base and some iodine.” With just a couple of drops, your nose “feels quenching and cooling,” Tattoli adds. “The smell transports me to an herbal forest.” Ponaris is now her go-to remedy whenever allergies strike.

From $110

If you’re looking for a classic white summer sneaker, it’s impossible to go wrong with Nike’s beloved Air Force 1’s. They’re the first product listed in our guide to shopping at Nike and probably the most recommended sneaker on the Strategist website, adored by celebrities and cool teens alike. The most recent stylish star to champion them is Gen Z singer and actress Sabrina Carpenter, who declared that they “go with everything. I wear them with sundresses, skirts, and little T-shirts, and other times I wear them with cargo pants and a hoodie.” She owns four or five pairs, each sporting a different design, including rhinestones, lightning bolts, or butterflies.

Making its first appearance in this roundup, the Snailax heated massage cushion was featured in our Father’s Day gift guide. An electric massager is a great stand-in when you’re all knotted up but don’t have the time or the budget for regular professional treatments. When it’s draped over your favorite recliner or office chair, the cushion’s deep-kneading massage nodes will work out the kinks in your back and shoulders while the heating function helps relax your tense muscles.

Finally, this barbecue multitool is also making its debut on the best-seller list. We hope foodie dads loved receiving such a handy little gadget just in time for grilling season. It’s equipped with seven functions, including tongs for flipping, a fork for piercing, and a bottle opener for cracking open a refreshing beverage. It’s one of the only tools you’ll need to char sausages and vegetables all summer long.

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 Readers Are Buying: Steamers and Sneakers