It’s too cliche to say, “I hate going to the doctor.”
Does anybody enjoy it?
The last time I went, I had to get a malaria shot for an upcoming trip to Africa. In the doctor’s office, I let it slip that I was extremely nervous about the trip. One, because I was a teacher leading a group of 14 teenagers on a trip to Africa; and two, because plane flights make me quiver and shake like a dog dropping a deuce.
She gave me a pill—a beta-blocker—something that would help me keep my wits but would ease the tension of the flight. And it worked: I was as cool as a cucumber, even when the plane slightly vibrated.
I thought to myself, “that’d be awesome if I could get that same thing before every flight.”
Now, several years later, I found that you can through an online telehealth platform.
One of the most popular online telehealth platforms is hims. While I don’t have any upcoming flights, I wanted to give the brand a try to see if their prescription service was really as easy as they made it seem.
Here’s what I learned.
What is hims?
hims got their start back in 2017 with an alternative model that’s become increasingly popular: telehealth that treats taboo conditions.
For instance, it used to be that guys struggling with erectile dysfunction (ED) had to sit in a doctor’s office and explain their difficulty—something a lot of dudes find embarrassing.
Same goes for hair-loss. While there’s no shame in trying to keep your hair-line where it is, many gents feel there’s a stigma against caring about the way you look.
hims offers the same medicines you can get from a physical visit to the doctor—whether that’s Viagra, Cialis (generic brands, too), Finasteride, or Minoxidil. But they do it via telehealth.
When you go to purchase whichever treatment, supplement, or medication you’d like, you have a virtual chat with an actual medical doctor. And if they determine that the prescription you’re looking for will help you, you’re good to go.
What’s next for hims?
With telehealth becoming more important, hims is adding a slew of extra features that look promising.
hims can act as a primary care doctor, and they’re building out their mental health support, too. While they only offer anonymous group therapy at the moment, they’ll soon be offering psychiatry and one-to-one therapy.
How does hims work?
hims is a telehealth company, so they work with a network of doctors to get you the treatment you want. When you add a treatment to your cart, you undergo an “evaluation,” which is a brief online chat with a real medical-doctor.
That doctor determines whether the treatment is appropriate, and if so, they pack it up and send it to you in discreet packaging.
So, if you want a prescription for Viagra, you can get it through hims. Not off-brand. Not something that’s “like” Viagra. But the genuine thing.
It’s the same as if you went into a physical doctor’s office. It’s just a lot easier.
I’ve never tried a telehealth system, so I picked up the hims anti-aging serum and goodnight wrinkle cream. A life of laughter and southern-California sunshine is showing as I approach 30, so I figured I’d give the hims skincare system a shot.
For legal reasons, I can’t share with you the screenshots of the conversation with my doctor. But, I can tell you this:
It was really easy.
The doctor asked me (all via a text-based chat box) what issues I was facing with my skin, had me send some pictures of my face, and boom—just like that, they approved me for a prescription skincare routine.
The process is very similar for those seeking treatment for hair-loss, ED, or performance anxiety.
It’s simple and typing out your medical issues is much easier than having the face-to-face conversation with your doctor.
Things to Consider Before Buying hims
I feel like I need to repeat this, so: I’m not a doctor and this isn’t medical advice.
But it is man-to-man talk.
When I got a beta-blocker for flight anxiety, I wasn’t treating the underlying cause. While the pill worked for that lengthy flight to Africa, it didn’t stop me from feeling anxiety for the next ten flights I went on.
Same goes for many other prescriptions here: while they’ll help right away, there’s no substitute for healthy living, exercise, and eating-well.
So before going with hims, ask yourself if you’ve tried the basics: working-out, drinking enough water, sleeping enough, and maintaining a proper diet.
hims Skincare Review
Anti-Aging Serum and Goodnight Wrinkle Cream
To get a feel for the ordering process, I tried out the hims prescription anti-aging serum and their non-prescription Goodnight wrinkle cream.
The active ingredients in the anti-aging serum are tretinoin and niacinamide. There are three different strengths available, and you can request whichever you think would help treat your skin the best.
I went with the moderate dosage as I’m still relatively young and wrinkle-free. But I have a wrinkly forehead and my wife has been reminding me I’m getting crows-feet and mouth lines.
She didn’t buy the whole “it makes me look distinguished” bit. Hence the anti-aging serum.
Tretinoin is a synthetic form of vitamin A and it’s used mainly to treat fine wrinkles, dark spots, and acne.
Vitamin A speeds your skin-cells through their life-cycle, so while you might have some irritation at the start of treatment, you’re encouraging faster skin growth. (Fun fact: Polar Bear liver is so incredibly high in vitamin A that after many early-century European explorers ate small bits, their skin sloughed off and they died. So that’s how that works).
The anti-aging serum also has Niacinamide, which has been found helpful for most skin-types. It helps encourage moisture-retention and is prescribed often for folks suffering from eczema. It can also help lighten up dark spots, smooth wrinkles, and encourage new cell-growth.
The Goodnight wrinkle cream is non-prescription and should be used after the anti-aging serum. It has caffeine and hyaluronic acid, which combine to reduce redness and keep your skin moisturized.
I’ve been using these products for the past 16 days and haven’t had any irritation. Treatments usually become noticeable after eight-to-twelve weeks, so I don’t have a stunning before and after photo yet.
My skin definitely feels better, and I’ve been getting compliments from my wife. I should have a better idea of how the medication worked in a month (I’ll come back and update with a before and after).
The Prescription Process
Getting my prescription anti-aging skincare set was much easier than I thought it’d be.
Normally, going to the doctor means sitting in a waiting room, filling out mysterious forms, realizing after an hour you’re in the wrong waiting room, filling out more forms, driving across town to a pharmacy, and then getting a bill for $300 a few months after the fact.
I didn’t have that experience with hims.
A few minutes after checking out with my prescription, a doctor sent me a message through the hims instant-messaging platform (also to my email). I answered a few questions, sent three pictures of my face, and was cleared for my prescription.
After talking with the folks at hims, they explained that this process was very similar to how they prescribe medication for hair loss, ED, and any of their other medical treatments.
You simply answer a few questions related to your issue which a medical professional will review and if your medical professional clears you for a prescription, your treatment gets shipped out right away.
Many prescriptions come with a certain amount of refills—for instance, my anti-aging serum can be refilled 11 times before I need to consult again with a doctor.
hims sets you up on an automatic subscription, so unless you cancel, they’ll ship your next dosage and charge you accordingly.
When I first ordered, I wasn’t aware I was on a subscription, so I was a bit shocked when I saw a second charge from them the month after I first bought my skincare routine.
Because my order was prescribed, it can’t be returned, so even though I wasn’t looking to re-up, I have to eat that cost. For me, that’s not so bad as the skincare routine is around $50 and it seems to work well.
For other medications, the price can be much more steep ($200-$400), which could deal a deadly blow to your budget.
After I found the second charge, I emailed customer service to cancel. They got back to me on the same day, and I just had to answer a simple questionnaire.
It would’ve been nice to get an email before being charged and shipped my second dosage, as I still have about half of each container left. And it would’ve been nice to find an easy-to-cancel button in my subscription portal rather than a “pause” button.
What do Other Reviewers Say About hims?
After taking a look through Trustpilot, the Better Business Bureau, and other review sites, all comments basically fit into two categories: commentary on the product, and commentary on the subscription model.
The general consensus on products is that they work as promised. A few people didn’t experience what they were looking for, but most folks were happy. And that makes sense—if Viagra or Sildenafil from the doctor’s office works for you, it works just as well coming from hims.
And there are the reviewers frustrated with the hims subscription model.
When you checkout your prescription, you’re automatically signed up for recurring payments. There is no ‘cancel’ button—only a ‘snooze’ that pauses your shipment and payment for a month, but restarts again after that.
Every negative review I read had something to do with the subscription process.
As you read above in my detailed review, I was charged and shipped more product without my knowledge. They allowed me to cancel after I emailed, but the product couldn’t be returned or refunded because it’s prescription.
My Thoughts Overall On hims
What I Like
Getting a prescription was super-easy and hardly took any time.
The checkout process was simple, and I could ensure I was getting exactly what I needed.
My skincare products seem to work, though I’ll need a few more weeks before I can really determine how effective they are.
The simple design and discreet packaging is nice.
What I Don’t Like
When you get your prescription, you’ve already signed up for an ongoing subscription. It’s not very clear that’s the case. You’ll be billed every month until you email and cancel.
There’s no easy ‘cancel’ button. There’s a ‘pause’ button, but it automatically starts again after a month.
Who is hims for?
hims is an excellent choice for guys looking for ED, hair-loss, or skincare treatments but don’t want to spend the time and effort setting up a doctor’s appointment. No insurance and no awkward face-to-face discussions needed.
If you’re looking for a discreet, easy, comfortable way to order prescription meds for ED, hair loss, or advanced skincare online, hims has the longest track-record.
I found the entire process simple and intuitive. And the packaging is bland which, in this case, is a great thing.
While I ordered the hims skincare routine, the process is nearly identical if you’re looking to treat ED or hair loss. After a quick online chat via text with a medical professional, your medication is on its way to you.
If you’re looking to just give your new medication a try, and you’re not sure if you want to stump up for a regular subscription, you need to email their customer service. While ordering is easy, cancelling your subscription takes a few extra steps. It would be nice to see more transparency here, as their current policy has mostly led to negative experiences for customers.
But when I emailed to cancel my skincare routine, they got back to me within the day and from there cancelling was easy. That said, I wasn’t aware I was in a subscription in the first place, and that’s a problem.
Still, there’s no other service that does telemedicine for men as well as hims. Their process is streamlined so you can get exactly what you need quickly.
Going to the doctor to get a prescription is a giant hassle. The only positive is that you know for a fact you’re getting the right stuff---whether it's for hair-loss, ED, skincare, or performance anxiety. hims is the premiere telehealth company for men and they make the process simple and easy.
How does hims work?
Order your medication online and hims will quickly pair you with a medical professional. After a brief online chat, your medical professional approves your prescription and hims ships the product to you directly in simple, non-branded packaging.
Does hims really work for ed?
hims carries Viagra, Cialis, Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Stendra—all of which are proven medications for ED. hims does not make the medication, they’re simply a service that allows you to easily get a prescription from a doctor and then ships your medicine to you.
Does hims work for hair loss?
Yes, hims have products that work for hair loss in most men. It takes several months to see progress, but significant results have been found in men who use the hair loss routine for four to six months.
Is hims trustworthy?
Yes, you can trust hims. They’re simply providing an easy service to help you get prescription medications. They don’t make any of these medications themselves, and you can find them elsewhere. hims just makes the process much easier.
Is hims FDA approved?
All hims prescription medications are FDA approved. Some medications are prescribed off-label such as treatments for premature ejaculation and performance anxiety.
How long does it take for hims to work?
For hair loss, you can expect regrowth in four to six months. For ED treatment, you can expect immediate results (according to the specific medication you take). For the skincare treatment, expect results in four to six weeks. As with any medication or supplement, results can vary. You should work closely with a medical professional to find what will work best for you when it comes to hair loss, erectile dysfunction and skin concerns.