sunday circular

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Cameras to Cleansers

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trawling the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including the film camera beloved by a Derry Girls star, a non-sticky sunscreen, and budget-friendly office chair.

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A film camera from behind the scenes of Derry Girls

“Before I became an actor, I wanted to be a photographer,” says actor Dylan Llewllyn. Inspired by his Derry Girls co-star, Louisa Holland (who plays Orla), Llewllyn decided to start shooting on film with a Pentax 35-mm. camera, which he calls a great beginner camera. “I like the idea of showing people what it’s like on set,” says Llewllyn (who says he’s been inspired by BTS shoots by the likes of Jeff Bridges). “When I get the pictures developed, I like to share them with the people in them, and I have them stored in albums too.”

A gently foaming cleanser

If you’re looking for a cleanser to help get your oily skin under control, dermatologist Joshua Zeichner recommends one that foams. According to Zeichner, foaming washes “more effectively remove oil as compared to cleansing lotions or balms.” The cleanser that he recommends to his patients comes from Neutrogena. The product is noncomedogenic (meaning it won’t clog up your pores, or exacerbate any breakouts), and has “hydrophobically modified polymers,” which “effectively cleanse and remove dirt and oil without disrupting the outer skin layer.” So, the face wash is also suitable for sensitive skin, for a cleanse that’s thorough yet gentle.

A skin-quenching suncream

To prevent hyperpigmentation, protect skin from UV damage, and keep it healthy overall, a good quality sunscreen is key. This is especially true for Strat UK editor Ailbhe Malone, who has a very low tolerance for the sun (she sometimes gets blisters in direct sunlight). Malone’s suncream of choice is from Biore Sarasara — it has an SPF rating of 50+. “This sunscreen has the same gel quality as the Glossier, but it’s intensely hydrating, as well as being protective in the sun,” explains Malone. “It leaves my skin looking dewy, but not feeling sticky.” Whilst Malone has pale skin, she did check reviews to see if the cream leaves a white cast on darker skin: a review from Skincare With Reg on Instagram reports that it doesn’t.

A burn-soothing bath soak

If you didn’t manage to apply your sunscreen in time, fear not: We reached out to dermatologists to find how best to treat sunburn. According to many of the experts we spoke to, one of the first things that you should do following getting a sunburn is take a cool shower. A cold shower is “refreshing on sunburned skin, and won’t make your skin dry or cause further irritation,” says Green. If, however, you’re more of a bath person, Kim Zimmerman, of Rescue Spa in Philadelphia, suggests soaking with St. John’s Wort Bath. It’s a favourite topical treatment for burns amongst the American herbal-healing community. The soak contains sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a baking soda) and cornstarch, which Zimmerman calls a “a way-back-when DIY remedy for sunburn.”

An actor-approved tee

Photo: retailer

When we compiled our list of the best white T-shirts for men, we had to include the J.Crew option that actor Russell Tovey told us about. “I find them perfect. They’re deceptively simple, they wash well, and they’re an amazing fit. To me, there’s nothing better than a plain T-shirt that just works — the more you wash it, the more you wear it, the more faded it gets, the nicer it is.” The T-shirt is available in sizes X-Small to XX-Large (and even a variety of colours to add to your collection, if the white one is a hit).

A budget-friendly office chair


When Strat UK writer Chris Mandle researched the very best office chairs, he alighted upon a budget-friendly gem. Mandle’s friend Bobby Palmer, author and Strategist contributor, says he was so fond of this £60 Yaheetech chair, he bought a second one for his fiancée. “It really is perfect for me. It’s very supportive in the lower back,” explains Palmer. “I can sit and write for hours without back pain, which is good for me, as someone who is allergic to taking screen breaks.” The chair has an adjustable, mesh back and seat, great lumbar support, and it’s also available in six colours, from black to purple.

And a custom skin-care subscription

After enduring a cystic spot for four years, writer Naomi Attwood discovered Skin + Me, and decided to majorly overhaul her skincare routine. To get started, Attwood completed a detailed questionnaire, took some high-definition, makeup-free pictures of her face, and subscribed to the £24.99 rolling-monthly charge (cancellable whenever). “My answers were evaluated by an in-house pharmacist prescriber specialised in dermatology, working to a prescribing protocol designed by the brand’s full-time consulting dermatologists,” she explains. Attwood shortly received her bespoke prescription in the post (for her this was a blend of blemish-clearing niacinamide and azelaic acid). “Results weren’t instant, but within weeks, something was definitely happening,” she reports. “I didn’t initially notice my long-term spot shrinking, but one momentous day, I realised it was no longer there. It hasn’t come back since.”

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.

7 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Cameras to Cleansers