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What Readers Are Buying: Vitamin C Serums, White Tees, and Hand Cream

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

Welcome to “Your Shopping Cart,” wherein we break out the top ten products that you, devoted Strategist UK readers, bought in droves. Think of this as the TL;DR of the Strategist UK: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to as well.

This month saw two new entries in the Strategist top ten: a best-in-class vitamin C serum and a white T-shirt with a “chic Parisian cut”. Our readers also bought a maple-scented hand cream, moisturisers both thick and thin, and an editor’s favourite olive oil.

CeraVe Moisturising Cream

Though it’s been the second-most-bought product among Strategist readers throughout all of 2022, CeraVe’s thick moisturising cream has taken the top spot this month — the first time since October 2021. While several moisturisers find their way into Strategist readers’ baskets, this one comes recommended by contributor Daniela Morosini, who says it’s better than some of the luxe options she has tried over the years. Experts told us this is suitable for dry to very dry (and even cracked) skin thanks to a high-lipid content. In fact, one dermatologist told us that no matter the reason for your dry skin — whether it’s dry in winter, dry year-round, or dry because of aging — this is a universally good choice.

Though it’s fallen to second place for the first time this year, the Flairosol mister shows no signs of slowing down. April marked the inexpensive spray bottle’s 24th month in our most-bought list. (Staff writer Chris Mandle bought one this month and admits, begrudgingly, “It’s quite a game-changer”.) Compared to regular misters, this spray bottle has an elongated spray mode, which lasts a full second. It allows for greater control over where the water droplets go, which is important as misting should be done around the plant, not over the leaves. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s also popular in hair salons.

Last month, Neutrogena’s light gel-like moisturiser was at number eight, and given that it recently fell out of our top ten altogether, we wondered if people might have gone off it. We were wrong; it’s back at third place this month, perhaps as an alternative to the thicker moisturisers that readers like in the winter months. It featured in our story on the best moisturisers for oily skin thanks in part to the oil- and alcohol-free formula. However, it’s also something of an all-rounder — it’s been recommended to us for dry skin types, the rosacea prone, and even pregnant women.

This inexpensive hand cream from Garnier featured in our most-bought once before, way back in March 2020, in the early days of the pandemic. It now makes a second appearance after we called it the best hand cream in our extensive deep-dive. Author Sarah Breen said it had been a lifesaver when excessive hand-washing and anti-bacterial gels left her hands feeling red and sore. She also enjoyed the slightly sweet scent, which comes from the cream’s maple-leaf extract. When we were looking for the best in class hand creams, we considered things like hydrating properties and fast absorption (not to mention cost). And this inexpensive cream won out. You can see the other creams that made our edit (including oil-free, splurge-worthy, and cruelty-free options) here.

This best-in-class electric toothbrush is spending its third month in our most-bought list. We named it the best overall in our exhaustive look at the best toothbrushes after pulling in recommendations from dental experts and comparing notes on everything from battery life to Bluetooth compatibility. This toothbrush is notable for its lithium-ion battery, usually found in more expensive models, which allows it to go more than two weeks without a charge.

This is the seventh month we’ve featured Belazu’s olive oil, which we recently named a best-in-class product. Staff writer Chris Mandle has recently become a convert, noting that the pleasing bananalike aroma and buttery finish make it ideal if you dislike peppery oils that catch in the back of your throat. (But if you are someone who wants an olive oil with a bit of a kick, you can see the other options that made our top five here.)

This is the 12th month overall that Olaplex’s hair perfector has made it into our most-bought and the first time in 2022. As well as coming recommended by stylists, author Shon Faye told us it’s been a “life-saver” as she has grown her hair out from her shorter, pandemic-era bleach-blonde look. “I have come to enjoy the ritual of slicking it over my hair and leaving it for so many hours that my hair and the product dries out as it repairs the bonds in the structure of my hair. Then I relish the satisfaction of getting to wash it out and letting it air-dry into a boosted shine.”

Though it isn’t as popular as those by Neutrogena and CeraVe, La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Mat moisturiser has been in our most-bought more than nine times, most notably during 2020, but it returns this month at eighth place. It was first brought to our attention by Hadley King, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. King says it uses “Sebulyse technology” to target excess oil, “the brand’s proprietary new anti-sebum ingredient” (sebum being the substance secreted by your body’s oil-producing glands). It features in our look at expert-approved moisturisers for oily skin along with a couple of other Strategist favourites.

Photo: retailer

Our first of two new entries this month is a vitamin C serum we recently declared best in class. Writer Rachael Griffiths spoke to experts about the essential criteria to look for, sleuthed skin-care studies, and called in the opinions of reviewers to sift through the myriad options out there. This made the top spot for several reasons, not least of all the airtight pump, which helps stop the product from oxidising (oxidisation causes vitamin C serums to becoming unusable). Perhaps most interestingly, beauty journalist Rhea Cartwright said the serum is known as an “insider secret” dupe for the cult (and five-times-more-expensive) Skinceuticals serum.

Our second new entry this month is an expert-approved white T-shirt. When writer Chris Mandle quizzed stylish men to find out where they got their white tees from, COS was the most rhapsodised about, coming recommended by Drakes Diary editor Finlay Renwick and Taymoor Atighetchi, CEO of Papier. Both men said it was a slim-fitting tee, perfect for layering under a chore coat or blazer, and inexpensive enough to bulk buy. (Speaking of which, COS sell multipacks that are slightly better value for money if you’re thinking of a wardrobe restock.)

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors 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 White T-shirts