prime day 2023

What Strategist Readers Are Buying on Prime Day: Snail Mucin and Smart Plugs

Illustration: The Strategist

Every month, in our column “Your Shopping Cart,” we break out the top products that our readers bought in droves. We think of it as the TL;DR of The Strategist. And since so many of you shopped on the first day of Amazon Prime Day, we thought now would be a good time to highlight some of the most popular deals your fellow Strategist readers have been picking up. That way, you too can take advantage of these deals before they expire later today. After all, if your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to as well.

Our top-selling product is an old favorite: CosRx’s Advanced Snail Mucin Essence. It’s the only product that appears in the original Google Doc that our beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton sent to all of her friends in 2017 and her updated list in 2023. Rio says it’s “a tried-and-true skin-care product that helps with my dry skin, acne, fine lines, and pretty much anything in between.” The price on this essence rarely gets down to $15, so now’s the time to grab a bottle or two.

If you look back at the best sellers from last year’s Prime Day, Crest teeth-whitening strips just barely cracked the top ten — and this year, they’re the second-most-purchased product among our readers. The active ingredient in these dentist-recommended whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide, which brightens your teeth without wearing down the enamel, and they’re thin enough that you can easily talk while wearing them.

$15 for 3

Although it’s easy to get wide-eyed at the big-ticket items that are on sale for Prime Day, real deal watchers are aware that some of the best discounts are on everyday essentials — but clearly you all knew that, because this three-pack of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap is one of our top sellers. (If you also need to pick up trash bags, laundry detergent, and protein powder, we’ve rounded up all that boring stuff here.)

Our beauty writer Tembe Denton-Hurst scrolled through all of the Prime Day beauty deals to curate a collection of her favorites — and this Laneige lip mask is one of her personal favorites, despite all of the hype around it. “Its main ingredient is deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid, along with butters and oils that keep your mouth moisturized for hours,” she says. Turns out it’s one of your favorites to stock up on this Prime Day, too.

Our tech writer Jordan McMahon found dozens of Prime Day tech deals on lots of things that are rarely on sale — like Apple Watches, Apple AirPods, and Sony noise-canceling headphones. But the gadget that you’re buying in droves is this (relatively unsexy) smart plug. What’s cool is that you can toggle an on-off switch with just your voice, making any device a smart device for just $13.

Indoor-garden kits from Aerogarden are often on sale, but this is the best discount we’ve ever seen on the Harvest, which has space for six plants but is still slim enough to fit on a kitchen countertop.

When it comes to skincare, vitamin C is “one of those actually necessary ingredients,” according to our beauty writer Tembe. It’s effective at fading dark marks, diminishing fine lines, and fighting free radicals. It’s also notoriously expensive, so it’s always a good move to stock up when it’s on sale — and this Sunday Riley face oil is one of the best for calming inflammation and protecting skin from environmental stressors, at a price that’s much lower than you usually see from Sunday Riley.


This mini-fan was one of our top sellers in June, so we were delighted to see it on sale for Prime Day — especially because you can start using it as soon as it arrives. (We learned about it from a contributor, who said it kept her cool on 101-degree days in Milan.)

This survival-expert-approved, marker-size water filter might not be an obvious pick for Prime Day, but it’s a good thing to have on hand if you’re planning on taking any camping or hiking trips this summer.

If you’ve spent any time on TikTok, you’ve probably seen someone using this green upholstery cleaner to suck out all the gunk from an old armchair or a red-wine stain from a plush carpet. And for Prime Day, this little machine — that comes recommended by both vintage-furniture resellers and dog and cat owners — is just $86, which is as cheap as it’s been since 2020.

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 on Prime Day