your shopping cart

What Strategist Readers Bought in March: Vitamin-C Serums and Silicone Lids

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Welcome back to “Your Shopping Cart,” where we break out the top 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, you might like to as well.

Maybe it’s Daylight Saving Time, or maybe it’s Strategist readers wanting to toss their flat, drool-stained pillows. Either way, some sleep-related best sellers — night creams and an expert-approved dental guard — suggest that leveled-up bedtime routines have been on the brain. And as we saw last month, skin- and hair-care upgrades were as popular as ever, possibly in response to the transitional (and unpredictable) spring temps.

What were our top sellers in March?

Before we look more closely at which stories our best sellers came from, let’s rank them by number of items sold (rather than total cost):

Yet again, the ZimaSilk pillowcase, our best overall silk pillowcase, was crowned No. 1, maintaining the top spot for the seventh month in a row. It was followed by the Beckham Hotel pillows, which narrowly edged out the CeraVe cream — by one purchase, to be exact. The Oral-B dental guard, a consistent performer throughout the pandemic, appeared for the first time this year to suggest that teeth grinding (exacerbated by stress) may be on the rise once more.

More Strategist skin-care favorites rounded out this month’s list: EltaMD UV Clear, our best facial sunscreen that’s rich in antioxidants; RoC’s retinol, our best affordable under-eye cream that stimulates collagen production; Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost gel, which we recommend for mature skin, sunburned skin, and Accutane users; and Estée Lauder’s eye cream for hydrating and reducing crepiness.

The newcomer of the bunch is Dyna-Gro, our pick for the best houseplant fertilizer. Christopher Satch, a plant doctor at Horti and professor at the New York Botanical Garden, says it has a lower nitrogen content and contains calcium to reduce the risk of infection.

What are Strategist readers putting on their faces?

Photo: Marcus McDonald

A lot of SPF, apparently (as you should). Our “Best in Class” guide to facial sunscreen was the best-performing story in March. Our top-rated pick from that article, EltaMD’s UV Clear sunscreen, comes up again and again when we survey dermatologists on sun protection (for darker skin tones, aging skin, and teens, too). It’s fragrance free and offers both physical and chemical coverage, while the noncomedogenic formula feels lightweight. It also contains lactic acid, “which will gently exfoliate the skin and regulate sebum buildup” to keep breakouts at bay, says Dr. Dendy Engelman, a dermatologic surgeon at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue.

Photo: Marcus McDonald

For a side of brightening to go with their sunscreen, readers opted for our more affordable extra-strength vitamin-C serum from Vichy. It comes recommended by dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal, who says it’s effective for those looking for a higher concentration of the ingredient (at 15 percent). It also has hyaluronic acid to moisturize.

And what are they using in their hair?

Photo: Marcus McDonald

Our list of the best shampoos was a top story in January and February, and this month, readers continued to consult this roundup. The most purchased item, Malin + Goetz’s Moisturizing Shampoo, is our best all-around pick and comes recommended by Masami Hosono, creative director of Vacancy Project. They say it works well for all hair textures, “curly to straight, thick or thin,” and despite being sulfate free, it lathers and foams quite well.

Was there a space-saving replacement for pot lids?

Photo: The Strategist; Photo: Emma Wartzman

Indeed there was. In our top-performing ode, Strategist kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman reviewed these heat-safe silicone covers, which she found to be a tidier, easier-to-store alternative to pot-and-pan lids. “To use, you take one that’s slightly larger than the diameter of your cooking vessel and place it over the opening,” Wartzman says. “When you press down gently on the knob, air pressure creates a seal that’s just as tight as those of the lids I tossed.” She uses the two biggest sizes when cooking and the smaller ones to cover food in the fridge, rather than pulling out a storage container, she says.

What about a (celebrity-approved) oil roller inspired by a goddess?

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo:Casey Rodgers/AP Images for Planet Oat

Niche! Hilary Duff’s list of ten favorite things was the top-performing post in our “What I Can’t Live Without” series, and readers were particularly interested in this fragrance from a line of perfumes inspired by goddesses. Duff says the long-lasting roller ball is vanilla-scented with notes of almond oil. “When I wear it, I always get compliments and people asking me what perfume I have on,” she says.

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: Vitamin-C Serums and Silicone Lids