Hers is a wellness company that’s dedicated to providing women with a more convenient and affordable approach to all-around health. The company offers products such as prescription medication, beauty supplies, and supplements that support a wide variety of women’s health areas.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Hers and learn more about the company and the products it has to offer. Additionally, we’ll discuss our own experience using its 3 Step Clear Skin System and review what we liked and didn’t like about each of the 3 products included.
Hers Products and Services
Hers offers women an extensive selection of health products and services within the areas of primary care, skin and hair health, supplements, and more.
One of the company’s major services includes telehealth medical visits where women can access primary health care providers through a digital platform, rather than have to see a doctor in person for basic needs like prescription refills. Consultations with doctors through this service only cost $39 and women are able to seek advice and care for over 30 common primary care conditions.
In addition to its health care services, Hers also offers beauty products that address both skin and hair health needs. Some of its most popular products within these categories include hair loss prevention and treatment kits, biotin gummies, shampoo and conditioner, acne treatment, facial cleanser, and facial moisturizer.
How Hers Works
Women who are interested in products and services offered by Hers will need to complete the following steps before having their orders shipped directly to them:
- First, create an online profile on Hers and set up an account. Women will need to include their medical history, any current health issues or concerns, as well as include a picture of their driver’s license along with a picture of their face.
- After submitting all required documents, Hers will process the information and connect each woman to a healthcare provider to further address their specific health needs.
- Once the health care provider has a better understanding of their client’s unique needs, they’ll discuss all possible forms of future treatment and answer any questions that clients may have regarding treatment options.
- After clients have been properly diagnosed, their healthcare provider will decide upon the prescription and health products that are necessary for their treatment and have them shipped directly to their client’s home.
- After receiving their product(s), women will continue to have access to their health care provider through their online account so that they can make any necessary updates to their prescription or request more information if needed. Additionally, women can also postpone their product’s automatic renewal or cancel their subscription to certain products through the online platform as well.
How is Hers Controlled for Quality?
Hers ensures the highest quality possible by using the following methods:
- All Hers doctors are licensed to practice medicine in the US and are board-certified in family medicine, gynecology, and dermatology.
- All personal medical data is 256 bit SSL/TLS encrypted in motion and at rest and fulfills SOC2 security requirements.
- Each prescription treatment plan requires medical review by a doctor prior.
- All medications prescribed have been FDA approved at specific doses.
My Experience with Hers
We decided to try out Hers for ourselves! Here’s a look into my personal experience with the custom acne treatment plan prescribed to me by Hers.
Taking The Acne Quiz
In order to use Hers products, I first had to set up an online account and take the acne quiz. During the quiz I was asked 14 questions about my health and medical history.
Here are some of the questions I was asked along with the comments I left for my health care provider:
I was initially asked about my goals for my skin health. I selected that I wanted to clear up my pores, improve skin texture, and reduce redness.
One of the questions asked me about my skin’s dryness. Since I’m a year-round swimmer and constantly exposed to chlorine in the pool my skin tends to be drier than most people’s so I listed that my skin was on the drier side.
I also made sure to leave my healthcare provider a quick note about my dry skin and the fact that I swim year-round.
Additionally, Hers wanted to know more about my current medications and supplement use. I do not take any medications currently, however, I made sure to provide my healthcare provider with a list of all of the supplements that I use on a daily basis.
My Prescribed Routine
After further consultation with my healthcare provider, I was prescribed The Clear Skin System treatment. This method of treatment included an all-in-one approach to skincare and came with prescription-strength acne medicine, facial cleanser, and facial moisturizer.
Let’s now take a closer look into each of the products I was prescribed as part of my skincare routine.
Step 1: The Deep Sea Cleanser
This product was included as part of the 1st step of my skincare routine. Deep Sea Cleanser serves as a preparation product for the skin prior to using the acne medication and is designed to remove any dirt or oil from the skin as well as moisturize it.
Its major ingredients and their specific roles include:
- Red Seaweed Extract (Chondrus Crispus Extract) – Included to minimize water loss and create a protective shield. Also contains antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, anti-lipedemic, anti-microbial, and anti-allergic properties.
- Rosehip Seed (Rosa Moschata Seed Oil) – Included to hydrate the skin and leave it feeling smooth and soft. Also contains essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins C, E, B, and A.
I used this product each night prior to applying my acne cream. I would apply one pump of the product onto my face and work it around in a circular motion into a lather. Following this, I would thoroughly rinse off the solution from my face prior to applying the acne cream.
Step 2: Custom Acne Face Cream
This product was the main portion of my acne treatment routine. It contained the following key ingredients:
- Tretinoin (0.02%) – Prescription-strength, synthetic version of vitamin A that’s stronger than retinol used to treat acne, sun-damaged skin, and fine wrinkles.
- Clindamycin Phosphate (1%) – First-line, topical antibiotic that fights off bacteria that leads to acne, most specifically Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria.
- Azelaic Acid (% unspecified) – A naturally occurring acid that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that aid the prevention of future outbreaks and remove acne-causing bacteria from your pores
- Zinc Pyrithione (0.25%) – Derived from the chemical element zinc and has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties that fight off acne caused by fungus or bacteria.
- Niacinamide (4%) – Vitamin B3 derivative that targets excess oil production, reduces dark spots, boosts firmness, improves skin texture, and reduces redness.
I applied this product to my skin each night before bed, right after cleansing my face with Deep Sea Cleanser. I would use 1 pump and then apply it to my skin in small portions.
Like many people, I experienced “the purge” the first 2 weeks into treatment, where my skin became more irritated than normal, however, this disappeared after the second week of use and my acne did start to resolve.
Step 3: Tidal Wave Moisturizer
This product was included as the 3rd and final step of my skincare routine. Tidal Wave Moisturizer contained the following key ingredients:
- Plant-Derived Squalene (*Squalane*): Squalane is one of the most common lipids produced by skin cells and squalene is its chemically stable derivative; Included to promote smoothness and provide moisture.
- Jojoba Seed Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil: Jojoba seed oil and apricot kernel oil are emollients, which help to hydrate and improve skin softness and smoothness.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is a humectant and is included to help the skin hold onto water as well as protect the skin barrier.
I used this product twice daily, once in the morning and once at night immediately following the use of my custom acne cream. I used dime-sized portions and placed them onto my face, cheeks, chin, and neck.
I noticed improvements within the first 3 weeks. Like many others, I experienced “the purge” side effects where my skin was slightly irritated, had a few minor breakout areas, and was itchy. This side effect went away fairly quickly after the first 2 weeks and my skin quality began to noticeably improve after the conclusion of the 3rd week and my acne was reduced.
Hers made sure to mention that sun exposure while using the acne cream may cause increased skin sensitivity and I definitely experienced this as I train outside daily. However, my increased redness and irritation increased and went away within the first 2 weeks.
What I Liked About Hers
One of the major features I liked about Hers was its incredibly fast turnaround time for communication with a healthcare provider for treatment. Additionally, I appreciated the ease of communication with my healthcare provider as well as the overall user-friendly nature of the online platform for viewing my prescription products, subscription options, and messages with my doctor.
I also liked that Hers took the time to better personalize its products through the use of the online quiz and comment boxes to include current medications, supplements, and other health issues or concerns specific to individuals.
Finally, I liked the overall effectiveness of my acne treatment plan and that the products I used were free of dyes and fragrances.
What I Didn’t Like About Hers
Although the appearance of my skin, in regards to acne and redness, seemed to improve after using all 3 products over the course of several weeks, I did not like several of the ingredients that were contained within the products as well as the overall lack of transparency on the Hers website regarding all of the ingredients contained in each product.
I discontinued my use of all products after 3 weeks following the research of all potential side effects and health consequences of these certain ingredients.
Some of the ingredients contained with these products have shown mixed results when it comes to toxicity in clinical studies. Additionally, they may not properly hydrate or cleanse the skin and they may be associated with toxic byproducts or have potential carcinogenic properties.
The following ingredients contained in Deep Sea Cleanser and Tidal Wave Moisturizer display clinically proven side effects and may lead to serious health concerns in some people:
Deep Sea Cleanser:
- Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate – The primary ingredient used to make this chemical is petroleum; May dry or aggravate skin; It leads to the illusion of moisturized skin but may clog pores, promote acne, or lead to premature skin aging.
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB) – Health concerns associated with the impurities developed during its manufacturing may lead to allergic skin reaction, contact dermatitis and environmental toxicity. Additionally, rising rates of sensitization due to these products lead to this chemical being termed Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. Finally, The Environment Canada Domestic Substance List includes cocamidopropyl betaine on its list of suspected environmental toxins.
- Cocamide Monoisopropanolamine (MIPA) – Causes skin irritation along with serious eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
- Chondrus Crispus Extract (*Preserved with Phenoxyethanol*) – Phenoxyethanol is known to cause allergic-type reactions on the skin in some people and both Japan and The European Commission on Health and Food Safety limit its concentration in cosmetics to 1% or less.
- Geranium Oil (Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil) – Hers does not specifically list this ingredient along with the other active ingredients online prior to purchasing the product; Although it’s safe for most people to use, some people have reported experiencing major allergic reactions to this specific type of oil and Hers should have disclosed that this ingredient is included within this product as a key ingredient.
Tidal Wave Moisturizer:
- Polyacrylamide – Polyacrylamide is considered safe to use as long as it contains less than 0.01% acrylamide monomer, however, the presence of repeating molecules of acrylamide is strongly suspected to be carcinogenic and Safe Cosmetics Australia recommends avoiding products that contain polyacrylamide due to its ability to lead to adverse health reactions.
- C13-14 Isoparaffin – Paraffin is a derivative of petroleum and does not break down easily; It leads to the illusion of moisturized skin but actually clogs pores, promotes acne, and leads to premature skin aging.
- Laureth-7 – This ingredient doesn’t provide health benefits to the skin and is only safe to use in cosmetic products when it’s formulated to be non-irritating.
- Phenoxyethanol – Phenoxyethanol can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in predisposed individuals that have conditions such as eczema or sensitive skin; The European Commission on Health and Food Safety stated that this chemical is only safe to use in cosmetics when it’s concentration is below 1% and Japan has also restricted its use in cosmetics to 1% or less concentration; This ingredient originally starts off as phenol, which is toxic, and is similar in chemical structure to parabens.
- Ethylhexylglycerin – This chemical is linked to serious eye damage and mild skin irritation; It has been linked to dermal sensitization in several human studies.
Along with my concern for the inclusion of the above ingredients as a part of the acne treatment plan, I did not like that Hers failed to provide full disclosure on the specific ingredients of most of its products online. In order to find out more about each of the products offered by Hers you had to go to the FAQ section on supportforhims.com which only listed the following key ingredients for Deep Sea Cleanser and Tidal Wave Moisturizer:
- Deep Sea Cleanser: Rosehip Seed Oil, Glycerin, Red Seaweed Extract
- Tidal Wave Moisturizer: Plant-Derived Squalene (Squalane), Jojoba Seed Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Hyaluronic Acid
Although not listed on the product nor the main portion of the website, it’s extremely important to note that the FAQ section mentions the acne treatment cream is petrochemical derived, contains silicone, and is only 65% natural.
As you can see clearly, Hers left out the majority of the ingredients in its products as well as their source on the main portion of the website. In contrast, several other competing brands not only include each ingredient they use in their products but they also provide the specific reasons they use each ingredient in their products, even if it does not serve as an active or key ingredient.
Final Thoughts on Hers
Hers provides women with a variety of beauty and health products and helps ease the process of telemedicine. I decided to try out its custom acne treatment plan myself to see if it was effective. Although I believe the custom acne cream plan by Hers is relatively safe and effective if used for a short duration of time, such as over the course of a few months, I do not recommend using the products within the set for an extended period of time (6+ months) due to some of the ingredients they contain and the eventual antibiotic resistance that may occur.
Some of the ingredients contained within these products are first and foremost not disclosed prior to purchase and their use may lead to undesired side effects such as severe skin irritation or skin sensitization in some people. Additionally, some of the ingredients may be ineffective in the treatment of acne due to their chemical composition and the film they leave on the skin after use.
Altogether, the custom acne treatment by Hers is best used for the short term management of acne and related skin conditions but should not be used for an extended period of time. Women who are still experiencing issues with their acne after using the products for a few months should consult with a doctor or dermatologist in person in order to manage their condition the safest and most effective way possible.
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