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What Readers Are Buying: Olive Oil, Children’s Books, and Night Cream

Photo-Illustration: retailers

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.

After a July that saw tower-fans and paddling pools filling our most-bought, August saw a glut of gifts for little ones, such as musical toys, board books, and a star projector. Several legacy items continue their dominance, too — like a foaming cleanser and gel-texture moisturiser that’s perfect for warmer weather. One new entry is a status-y olive oil that would make an excellent gift, while one of our best-selling items, an expert-recommended mister, has fallen from its perch.

This cooling gel moisturiser has now spent 17 months in the top ten, and August marks the ninth month overall that it has claimed the number one spot. Readers bought it in droves in August (staff writer Chris Mandle, noticing the price slashed to just £6 this month, bought several jars himself). The light and cooling moisturiser comes recommended by experts for dry-skin types, the rosacea prone, and pregnant women.

Second place goes to CeraVe’s foaming cleanser, which is up one place from July, totalling 14 months in our most-bought. The gentle cleanser was first featured in our roundup of the best face washes for oily skin, and it is suitable for all skin types. Dr. Ifeoma Ejikeme, founder and director of the Adonia Medical Clinic recommends it especially for pregnant women. “CeraVe Foaming Cleanser is good for normal to oily skin, and the addition of ceramides means it pulls moisture back into the skin,” she explained. As a mum of three (her youngest is just 4 months old), she found that her skin was quite dry during pregnancy, and so she gravitated toward products that could offer hydration while still battling the hormonal oiliness. “The ceramides in this are really hydrating and moisturising, which I found I needed far more than usual during pregnancy, and the niacinamide is a wonderful antioxidant,” she added.

Last month, Mario Badescu’s seaweed night cream debuted in our top ten at number two; it’s held strong this month, dropping one place. Contributor Vicky Spratt wrote about the cream for Dupes Week, calling it the perfect dupe for her £130 Creme de la Mer, which had become an essential tool when soothing her “untreatable acne.” She wrote, “I woke up looking fresh and dewy. It kept my spots at bay. I still had a ‘rich-person glow,’ but I was no longer spending like one.”

This easy-to-assemble baby piano is now on its fifth month in our most-bought. Experts recommended it to us as a great gift for 1-year-olds thanks to the magic-touch technology, and it also has a dial for controlling the volume, should little ones enjoy it a little too much.

These squidgy, chewable stacking blocks dropped out of our most-bought last month, but they’ve returned in August. Natasha Crookes, director of public affairs and communications at the British Toy and Hobby Association, recommended interlinking tactile cubes for little ones at this age, but also said that soft toys are an important consideration, since 1-year-olds are still very much in the teething zone.

This relaxing star projector debuted in our most-bought back in June, and has returned for a second month in August. It is cordless and easy to transport, so you can keep your child’s bedtime routine consistent when you’re away from home.

This customisable book has fallen one more place from last month to seventh place. It was featured in our look at the best gifts for 1-year-olds and came recommended by Siobhan Freegard, founder of, who said children love hearing stories about themselves, so this is a fun way to make story time more personal.

Making its debut in our top ten most-bought items is this classic book from the Funny Bones series. Freegard says that when choosing a gift for a little one, asking the child’s parents if they can remember what books they enjoyed reading when they were little will bring memories flooding back, and make storytime more enjoyable for grown-ups. This fun tale by the Ahlbergs is a firm favourite with contributor Ellen Wallwork’s 1-year-old, who often picks up the story of the “dark dark house” and plonks himself on a knee to be read to.

Along with the Neutrogena gel moisturiser, Flairosol’s mister has been a best-selling item on the Strategist UK, having been in our top ten for 16 months . However, the last two months have seen it slide from the upper echelons of our list toward the bottom. Nevertheless, the bottle comes recommended by experts for misting your plants (and if you want plants to mist, read our beginner guide here).

Our second new entry this month is an olive oil that would make an excellent gift, whether you’re buying for a parent, friend, or partner (Strategist writer Chris Mandle likes gifting interesting-looking bottles to friends instead of wine or gin). This bottle by Belazu came recommended by Joshua Pattison, founder of Bill & Beak in Camden Market, who told us it was one of his go-to oils for “dressing dishes and dipping ridiculous amounts of bread into.”

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: Olive Oil, Books, and Night Cream