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What Strategist Readers Bought in September: Under-Eye Cream and Crew-Neck T-shirts

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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

If you started a new routine this month or got back into the swing of a healthy old one, you joined many other Strategist readers who decided to treat September like the new January. Restorative products for skin, teeth, and sleep dominated the best-seller leaderboard, earning eight of the top-ten spots. And because many perfect white T-shirts were also purchased based on one actress and filmmaker’s advice, we’re counting wardrobe revamps as part of this collective reset — as well as self-care in the form of reduced screen time and better sleep, (allegedly) made possible by a tablet for which our tech writer ditched his TV.

What were our top sellers in September?

Below, our best sellers are listed in descending order by the number of items sold (rather than total sales):

The vacations don’t stop just because it’s fall, judging by how our favorite travel pillow, the U-shaped Trtl, has maintained its No. 1 position since August. But if armchair travel is more your speed, we simultaneously welcomed back a few R&R-related top performers, including the affordable Beckham Hotel Collection pillows, our top-rated dental guard from Oral-B, RoC’s retinol cream for crêpey under eyes, and a head-cradling Core pillow to alleviate neck pain.

The remaining best sellers also support the theme of personal care. Maelove’s beauty-vlogger-approved vitamin-C serum and Opalescence’s teeth-whitening trays both climbed higher on the list, but the newcomer was Hero Cosmetics’ hydrocolloid patch. A favorite of Dr. Amy Perlmutter of the New York Dermatology Group, each dot removes excess fluid and oil from blemishes while maintaining the skin’s optimum pH level and temperature, which in turn promotes healing, she says.

Of course, looking after your insides is just as crucial for wellness, which might be why Now Sports’ unflavored whey protein appeared in the No. 5 position while — cue ominous music — COVID test kits also joined the ranks.

How did Strategist readers delete dark spots?

Photo: Marcus McDonald

By applying our gold-standard vitamin-C serum. As seen in September’s most-read story, this formula from SkinCeuticals is approved by Wexler Dermatology’s Dr. Kenneth Howe, who says it has a light, nongreasy feel while delivering the maximum amount (a whopping 15 percent) of L-ascorbic acid. Despite the high concentration of pure vitamin C, it’s stable and easily penetrates the skin, says Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst, who has used it for years.

Which supplement packs protein but won’t gunk up the flavor of your smoothies?

Photo: Marcus McDonald

This unflavored powder from Now Sports, which contains 20 grams of whey protein isolate (derived from cow’s milk), takes on the taste of whatever it’s mixed with, personal trainer Kern Alexander says. For example, Strategist writer Jeremy Rellosa likes to add it to his yogurt-granola bowls and says he barely notices a difference beyond a slight texture change. But if you prefer to get yoked by eating dessert, Rellosa suggests the vanilla version, which he uses to make protein pancakes that … taste like normal pancakes.

Did one writer trade his bedroom TV for a tablet?

Photo: Jordan McMahon

Shockingly, yes. After removing the TV from his bedroom, Strategist tech writer Jordan McMahon quickly realized “the drama-infused chatter of Love Is Blind” helped lull him to sleep. As a replacement, McMahon brought in the Pixel Tablet from Google, which he says has a screen that’s sized perfectly for his nightstand and an easy-to-use touchscreen that makes fumbling for the remote obsolete. It also has a charging dock with a built-in speaker that allows it to double as a smart-home hub. McMahon says the Pixel is the device he didn’t know he needed “with more capabilities than a TV but that’s still tailored toward entertainment and light management rather than full productivity.”

What’s the white tee Elizabeth Banks wears to show off her muscles?

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Self-professed uniform-dresser Elizabeth Banks told us AYR’s Supercool tee is the only white T-shirt she brought along for a three-week trip to Europe because the cotton material is supersoft and the cap sleeves are tapered in just the right place to show off her gains. Banks, who owns four of these tops, says she also likes the high neck for added sun protection.

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 Readers Bought: Under-Eye Cream and Crew-Neck T-shirts