Given that June is Men's Health Month (and with Father's Day around the corner), it's quite the opportune time for dudes and dads to reassess their self-care routines. Here to be men's wellness wingman is Venice-based Asystem, a new brand offering skincare, supplements, and pain relief products to help men live their best lives from the inside and out.
Co-founded by fashion, skincare, and marketing industry veterans Oli Walsh and Josh LeVine, the science-backed self-care brand eschews the iron-pumping, Fabio-esque image of masculinity. After meeting through mutual friends "at the same place and at the right time professionally," the duo decided to join forces after seeing a void in the market for a men's wellness company that reflected men like them: Active, creative, health-minded, and socially conscious.
"I've felt that brands either work that old-school, French male model on a motorcycle in the rain, or it was the bodybuilder dude," says Walsh. "It just felt like there was an opportunity to create a brand that felt more like Nike meets Equinox meets Saturday surf meets Patagonia… the brands that we want to interact with and be a part of."
Asystem debuted in September with its Performance Skincare line comprised of a gentle twice-daily exfoliating cleanser, an SPF daily moisturizer, and an anti-aging night cream; and Superhuman Supplements, a 30-day supply of adaptogens, vitamins, and minerals for boosting energy, focus, and immunity. Both available as monthly subscriptions ($45 to $75) or as one-time orders ($55 to $85).
The skincare trio is packed with ingredients like PhytoCellTec Nunatak, a "rare flower that survived the last Ice Age in the Alps" that helps protect the skin; bamboo stem cells for exfoliating and boosting elasticity; natural kiwi and algae extracts; avocado oil for protecting the skin from environmental damage, and the patented swertia chirata extract for stimulating growth factor production and improving texture and plumpness. Each product is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and dyes, and adhere to European standards.
New to the lineup is Radical Relief, a range of natural pain management products that arrived in April that includes anti-inflammatory pills and a gel roll-on ($109 for the set). Designed to be an effective alternative to medication like Tylenol and Advil (which can damage the liver and kidney), the line combines powerful ingredients like Turmacin (the clinical version of turmeric), menthol, arnica, and U.S.-grown CBD to soothe and heal sore muscles, improve joint mobility, and reduce pain and inflammation. Even better: All proceeds from the collection during the month of June will be donated to Black Lives Matter (all the more reason to stock up).
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We sought out fatherhood advice from some of the most interesting and extraordinary Dads we know. ⠀ ⠀ We asked each one three simple questions about how their life has changed, what wisdom they will pass down and what world they hope their child will grow up in. ⠀ ⠀ Meet @drkev_hybrid, dad to Nolan, practicing chiropractor, and @myodetox Toronto Regional Director. Swipe for his answers. ⠀ ⠀ #SuperDad #OwnTheSystem⠀
Asystem also launched its new Superdad program that gives new fathers 50% off their first order when they share a photo of their new little one on Instagram and tag @asystem and #SuperDad. As fathers of three (Walsh) and two (LeVine), the brand's co-founders know a thing or two about the importance of taking care of themselves for their families.
Walsh and LeVine are well-suited to be ambassadors of Asystem, too. Previously co-founder of luxe denim label Frame, LeVine was a professional snowboarder until an injury forced him to retire. After going back to school and graduating from UC Santa Barbara, he founded the luxury unisex skincare brand Darby and went on to work at Lucky Brand.
Walsh cut his teeth in brand marketing world and previously co-founded the digital creative agency Wednesday, where he worked with luxury fashion houses and companies including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Moncler, Tory Burch, H&M, and Mr. Porter (which he helped launch).
The duo has seen a promising change in the men's lifestyle industry throughout the years.
"When I started [Darby], that was definitely too far ahead of the curve," says LeVine. The idea of wellness and self-care "is becoming more and more accepted [among men], there's less of a stigma around it. I think the idea of taking care of yourself, it doesn't sound so crazy anymore — it never should've sounded super crazy, but I think now's the time to do it and I think talking to our friends and the guys we sort of interact with, [Asystem] is a product they wanted."
Walsh adds: "What guys wanted was a very simplistic one, two, three-step way to take care of themselves. I think the barrier to entry into supplements or skincare for guys is usually not knowing where to start. It's super overwhelming. For us from a product standpoint, it was to take the choice out of it."
"Many men do nothing. Some take supplements, some use skincare, some use both," Walsh continues. "More are aware of this notion of, 'I should look after myself and actually, you know what, if I take two minutes a day to do this, I'm going to feel better. I'm going to look better. Well, everyone around me wins.' That's actually another reason to do it as well."
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To commemorate our launch, we celebrated with friends and family at the ASYSTEM BeachHouse in Venice, CA. ⠀ ⠀ In keeping with our Inside-Outside approach to Betterment, the night included a guided meditation by @michaeltrainer, reflexology sessions by @myodetox, and ended the night at around the corner at @dudleymarketvenice . ⠀ ⠀ #OwnTheSystem #asysTEAM
Before the pandemic brought in-person events to a standstill, Asystem regularly hosted fitness, mental health, and other happenings at its beachfront HQ in Venice. The events are part of its #BettermentProject, a holistic approach to men's wellness to help "push a lot of men out that comfort zone," says Walsh.
For now, the brand is continuing its social gatherings on Instagram; past events included at-home workouts with Nike master trainer Ryan Lauderdale and yoga expert Brandon Alexander, IG Live Q&As with experts like Dr. Rebecca Robbins (a.k.a. Harvard's professor of sleep), and cooking classes with chef Michael Chernow, to name a few.