If 2019 is all about gender equality, it’s necessary to address how the standards of male beauty are changing. As women, we already know the controversy surrounding society’s idea of what makes us beautiful—and no, I’m sorry to report that we did not, in fact, wake up like this. These same standards, many people will tell you, do not apply to men. They are said to have it so much easier than women and we’re asked to imagine all the extra time and money we’d have if we shared their general attitude towards personal care.
However, just because men face less judgment about their appearance doesn’t mean they don’t suffer from the same confidence issues. Women are fortunate in that we’re able to vocalize, identify and seek out ways to overcome our appearance insecurities. Guys, on the other hand, have been shown to not feel as comfortable talking about their looks and also don’t have the plethora of resources available to them—with few cosmetic brands marketing themselves exclusively to men. So if you’re a guy who’s experiencing a break out or wants thicker hair or less fine lines and wrinkles, you’ll notice an abundance of options for her but nearly nothing for him.
Andrew Dudum knows this story all too well after having an embarrassing conversation with his younger sister one night, who boisterously pointed out his skin imperfections. She hijacked his credit card and had him invest in well-known (and rather expensive) women’s skincare products that he admittedly had no idea what to do with but she ensured would provide him with the help he needed. This moment led to an awakening of sorts for Dudum, who wasn’t all too pleased with the idea of walking into a Sephora to make his purchases. He invented his own personal care platform, Hims, an online grooming and wellness site for men only.
Compared to Goop or Glossier (but for men, and backed by doctors), Hims markets themselves as a “one-stop shop for accessing advice, medical care, and products for everything from hair loss and erectile dysfunction, to acne and other issues guys face.” The aim is at accessibility—making products affordable, as well as offering the same resources and advice as a women’s beauty site would.
They’re also hoping that Hims is the first step towards making healthcare, overall, more affordable and accessible by allowing Hims users the ability to communicate with board-certified physicians via their smartphone or computer. If you find yourself interested in one of their products that does require a prescription, Hims will match you with a doctor who has the ability to evaluate whether or not the treatment will be right for you and spare you the pharmacy lines.
For the customers who think that a bar of soap is the extent of their daily routine, Hims is quick to refute that those suds are not enough to help with things like aging and acne. Currently, guys can purchase products such as Goodnight Wrinkle Cream, The Acne Kit, Everyday Moisturizer and Morning Glow Serum that their wesbite calls “powerful and stupid simple” to use. If you’re a millennial male who’s not afraid to confront the topic of balding, Hims sells shampoo, conditioner and edible gummies with ingredients that help reduce hair loss, alongside a prescription and non-prescription hair kit.
Under the “well-being” tab, men can find flavorful vitamins that range from helping you to get a better night’s sleep to boosting your immune system, supporting heart health or strengthening hair, skin and nails. Most recently Hims rolled out Propranolol tablets—a beta-blocker that can control anxiety. They’re also not afraid to go there when it comes to sex, even offering a generic version of Viagra.
With the seemingly overnight success of Hims, the brand also launched Hers for women. The main difference being that Hers doesn’t tell women what they need (because we already know that) but takes the guesswork out of finding products that are reputable and effective. The work that Hims is doing benefits the majority of males who find talking about issues like acne, aging, sexual health and hair thinning too uncomfortable. That being said, Hims’ goal is to do away with the stigma surrounding men’s wellness and shine a light upon those aspects that give men fear or anxiety. It’s about helping men understand what they need and showing them it’s not weird to care.