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There’s no shortage of guys who don’t have a great baseline for self-care—and that might be because they don’t know what one looks like. So even though there seems to be a new male-focused skincare or wellness brand launching every other day, it’s not a huge surprise that some of us aren’t sure where to start.
Enter Asystem (pronounced, well, a system), a new California-based operation designed to help men do two vital things: get all the vitamins and minerals they need, and start taking better care of their faces. The betterment brand—a term coined by co-founders Oli Walsh and Josh Levine—promises to make it easy for its customers to take small but significant steps toward looking and feeling better, inside and out.
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Does it work? Walsh and Levine let me try their TotalBody system to find out for myself. It includes 30 daily vitamin packs with five pills each (two multivitamin capsules, two boosters with ashwagandha and other plant-based ingredients and an omega-3 supplement), plus enough face wash, SPF and night cream to last for a month. There’s also a golf-style scorecard that prompts you to tick off whether you’ve taken the pills and put on sunscreen before you leave the house.
The pill packs, called Superhuman Supplements in Asystem parlance, definitely made me feel sharper and more focused while I was taking them—and loaded as they are with ashwagandha and B12, that’s not a surprise. The skincare products (or Performance Skincare, thank you) are smartly packaged–seeing three numbered bottles in a highly specific shade of green every time you open your medicine cabinet reinforces that you’re supposed to use these things together. It’s the kind of user experience that breeds commitment, and a reminder that thoughtful branding goes beyond aesthetics. The face wash has a gentle exfoliant, and all three of the products smell natural in a non-granola kind of way.
In sum, the products do work, because they’re packaged in a way that encourages you to use them consistently. This makes Asystem especially handy for guys who can’t remember to take their vitamins every day—or who don’t have well-established grooming routines already. And if you don’t put your subscription on auto-renew, you’ll quickly find out what you’re missing. A few days after my trial period ended, I could feel my body, brain and face missing all of Asystem’s carefully selected ingredients.