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What Readers Are Buying: Earplugs, Moisturiser, and Chef-Approved Knives

Photo-Illustration: retailers

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

This month features just two new items in our top ten — a pair of ear plugs that one author (and earplug connoisseur) says are the best out there, and a jaunty green paring knife recommended by chefs. As for the rest? You might recognise them; our readers’ favourite moisturiser is back at number one, and the spray bottle, board game, and hair mask that have been best-sellers have all held strong from last month.

After being knocked off the top spot in July, Neutrogena’s light, cooling gel moisturiser is back at number one in August. This makes it the sixth consecutive month it has featured in the top ten, and the fourth month it has been number one overall. This moisturiser contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which help lock in moisture, while still feeling airy and lightweight. Experts told us gel-based moisturisers are particularly useful in summer, which might explain why this product remains so popular.

This matte moisturiser has gone up six places since last month to number two — the highest place it has charted. 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).

Up one place from last month, CeraVe’s foaming cleanser has clearly gained a few new fans. It first featured in our roundup of the best face washes for oily skin, where it was deemed the best overall by a number of our experts. Dr. Michelle Park, of Washington Square Dermatology, says it’s a gentle product that’s suitable for all skin types.

Another regular in our most-bought, this spray bottle has been a non-mover since last month, though its been on the list for six months now. Lisa Muñoz, interior plant designer and founder of Leaf and June, says this bottle is “typically something you’d see in salons,” but it’s her favourite mister for plants. “It’s small and lightweight, even when full of water, and it creates a gentle, steady mist.”

5. Caper
£20

Caper, which has not moved since last month, combines a drafting card game with a whodunit-style murder mystery, and was featured in our Recommended by Experts story on the best games for two players. The game allows players to hire and equip a crew of thieves, who then attempt to plunder famous sites across Europe. [Editor’s note: This product is low in stock].

This hair-repairing mask from Olaplex first featured in our story on the best hair masks, according to experts. It’s gone up one place from last month, when it was number seven. Stylist Ash Fritzler said she’s seen the transformation this formula can bring to her clients with once-a-week use. “It’s so versatile, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who feels like their hair is compromised in any way,” she said.

Photo: Christopher Mandle

The grippy glasses tips that staff writer Chris Mandle bought to keep his glasses and his face mask on his face have fallen four places. “As soon as I started walking down the street, I’d feel my frames inching closer to the tip of my nose — and twice they fell off my face completely in Sainsburys.” He bought these after someone on Twitter suggested them, and they’re now so comfy he keeps them on his frames 24/7 (even if they look a bit dorky).

Last month, this was our most-purchased item — an anti-fog spray that came recommended by an eye expert. It’s since fallen eight places. James Dawson, a dispensing optician councillor at the Association of Optometrists, told us that these sprays, work by preventing condensation forming on surfaces, making them ideal for anyone whose glasses steam up when they’re wearing a fabric face mask.

“I spent years hunting for the perfect earplugs. It turns out they’re under £5,” wrote author Sophia Money-Coutts. She’s been wearing earplugs for 22 years, so knew she struck gold when she tried this pair, recommended by a then-colleague at Tatler. “Quies plugs are made from smooth memory foam and shaped like small bullets, pointed at one end for a better fit,” she said. “Once compressed and poked in, they adapt to your ear shape and remain lodged all night, comfortably muffling the world outside.”

Our second new entry is this paring knife by Victorinox, which featured in our story on the best chef’s knives (five of our experts chose it as a home-kitchen essential). One of those was Arbinder Dugal, Masterchef semifinalist and founder of Dalston’s Attawa. “It’s great for day-to-day use,” he says. “But it’s especially good when you need to get down to the nitty-gritty, such as the fine chopping of garlic and green chile.”

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 Strategist Readers Are Buying This Month