In Conversation with the ASYSTEM Founders on Revolutionized Grooming
Oli Walsh (former CMO of Aritzia) and Josh Levine (founder of Frame Denim) launched ASYSTEM as an inclusive alternative to men’s grooming. After stepping down from their day-jobs, they committed to simplifying men’s wellness while simultaneously offering clean, quality products. “We felt there is an opportunity to create a brand through a community-first approach—something we don’t currently see happening in a way which is both inclusive and aspirational,” says Walsh. As a result, ASYSTEM offers an array of science-backed betterment products that help men be their best. We spoke to the founders to find out more about the products.
EH: How do you define “Betterment?”
Oli: To us, betterment is the notion that when you are at your best, everyone around you wins. We think this resonates with men more deeply than current perceptions around wellness, and are excited to be pioneering this new sector.
EH: What role does community play within the ASYSTEM eco-system?
Josh: We believe that in today’s digital world, a sense of community is more important than ever before. And on this front, men, in particular, are underserved. It still takes a lot for us to openly share our concerns and vulnerabilities. But the truth is that the best way to navigate the challenges of life is through this dialogue with other people who you respect and who have been there, done that. Our goal is to create ASYSTEM into a community where men can have this dialogue – both digitally and in person.
To do that we are starting by building the type of tribe, and crafting the type of experiences that we personally want to be a part of. Our BeachHouse HQ and the event programming we will host there is a key element of that, and we are excited to build this in a variety of ways as we grow.
EH: What are the essentials of men’s skincare?
Josh: We don’t think of ASYSTEM simply in the context of a skincare brand or a supplement brand. We are a Betterment brand that creates products to help men look, feel and perform their best—so they can be their best self. In turn, they can give their best selves to those around them—and everyone wins! We strongly felt that this brand perspective and product line-up was completely lacking in the market. That was the need we decided to address.
As to skincare specifically, we wanted to develop a basic system that all men could integrate into their lives. We believe that men think in systems and like to keep things simple and easy. We developed a 1-2-3 program consisting of three essential products – a gentle exfoliating cleanser, a daily defense SPF 30 moisturizer, and an overnight rebuilding cream. We took a “Best of Science, Best of Nature” approach to the formulations and made sure we kept out the nasties (like preservatives or fragrance) that are present in most products and kept our formulations clean—developed to the standards of the European Union. Couple that with clinically backed ingredients with natural origin stories, and we believe we have created a state-of-the-art offering that takes less than a minute a day to use.
EH: Why did you focus on these particular products? What was the reason for not including a toner, which is common in the trio for skincare?
Josh: To begin, we have created two key products: Superhuman Supplements and Performance Skincare. We’ve combined the two to create the first Inside—Outside program that we call TotalBody. It’s designed to optimize men from the inside out, in the easiest way possible.
The truth is, you can no longer depend on getting all your nutrients from food—no matter how healthy you eat. Our Superhuman Supplements deliver everything you need to optimize your body’s function in five capsules. Containing optimized levels of vitamins, minerals and clinically proven supplements in bioavailable forms, each pill pack is designed to boost energy, stamina, recovery, focus and sex drive.
Our Performance Skincare is formulated specifically for men’s skin from powerful clinical ingredients. It is made up of three products— Twice Daily Invigorating Cleanser, Daily Defense Moisturizer + SPF 30, Overnight Rebuilding Cream— which work together to firm, smooth and make you look healthier. The result is a 1-minute a day, 1-2-3 skincare system which covers the essential steps—and delivers results.
Why did we not include a toner? We wanted to radically simplify things for men! Truthfully for many men, it is still a big step for them to use any skincare products, so we wanted to create the simplest system to create the biggest impact. With regular use the results will truly be firmer skin, fewer wrinkles and a healthier look, all without a toner
EH: Why did you favor a subscription-based model?
Oli: Consistency is the key to success in so many things in life – and especially when it comes to health and wellness. There are rarely short cuts. This means that subscription makes a lot of sense — it helps you stay consistent and achieve the desired results.
EH: What are the ingredients used in products? Are they clean and vegan? What is the packaging? Is it recyclable?
Oli: We took a “Best of Science, Best of Nature” approach to our formulations; combining tried and true natural ingredients alongside innovative ingredients backed with clinical-data, all chosen to meet the highest standards for identity, potency, quality, and purity.
Our Superhuman Supplements deliver everything you need to optimize your body’s function in five capsules. Containing optimized levels of vitamins, minerals and clinically proven supplements in bioavailable forms, each pill pack is designed to boost energy, stamina, recovery, focus and sex drive.
Our Performance Skincare is formulated specifically for men’s skin from powerful clinical ingredients. We kept out the nasties (like preservatives or fragrance) that are present in most products and kept our formulations clean—developed to the standards of the European Union. Couple that with clinically backed ingredients with natural origin stories, and we believe we have created a state-of-the-art offering that takes less than a minute a day to use.
In regards to packaging, we carefully considered solutions to ensure it protects product integrity, whilst minimizing packaging and using recycled materials wherever possible. All of our packaging is BPA free, any boxes are made of FSC certified paper or cardboard, and all plastics are recyclable. We fully appreciate that we are far from perfect, but we view sustainability as a journey, not a destination, and are dedicated to an approach of continuous improvement.
EH: What other kinds of products would you like to further look into?
Our plan is to create products that address issues such as Pain Management, Sleep and Recovery, Anxiety, Depression or Sexual well-being. These are real problems men face on a daily basis and they need real solutions. We feel that our brand is truly unique in the men’s health and wellness space and are really excited about what is in store!