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When it comes to men’s sexual health, it can be a little difficult to discuss. Okay, fine, it’s rarely discussed. That’s where the fellas over at Pure for Men come in. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, they offer various products from fiber supplements to bidets to skincare products…and more.
If you’re on TikTok or Instagram, you may have noticed their ads focused on men’s wellness and personal care. I had a chance to sit down with the team and learn more about the company and the men behind the products.
I met with Lawrence and Fabian the co-founders and CEO and CMO respectively, as well as team members Chris and Ryan to discuss the men’s wellness products and why they decided to create the line.
Read on for the full interview with the guys at Pure for Men.
How did you get your start in the supplement business?
Pure for Men founders Naaman Esquivel, Lawrence Johnson, and Fabian Prado (L to R)
Photo courtesy of Pure for Men
Lawrence: We considered ourselves serial entrepreneurs during our high school years by selling anything from candy to music CDs. When we were sophomores in college, we came up with the idea that anal sex needed to be clean and worry-free. Google was less than 5 years old at the time and didn’t have a lot of tips on how to stay clean. We were trying to figure out how porn stars were able to have anal sex with no issues.
One piece of advice we were given was to get more fiber in your diet. Back in 2003, we didn’t know much about marketing or promotion and there certainly wasn’t anything marketed to gay men in terms of sexual health and preparation.
We eventually created an early version of the Pure for Men website and sold one product which was a trial packet of a fiber supplement. Nothing really happened so we moved on into the world of start-ups in the tech industry. We learned all about start-ups, incubators, and how to market and promote products. We then applied our start-up knowledge and revisited the fiber product. A fiber recipe was developed and tested and we came up with a proprietary blend of soluble and insoluble fibers to help flush out your system and stay ready.
Once the formula was set, Fabian started marketing and promoting the product on social media. The fiber supplement quickly became a hit.
How do you approach the stigma of identifying as a top, bottom, or versatile?
Fabian: We were new to the market and in 2015, there was a stigma about talking about gay sex and being a bottom when it came to the gay community. There was a lot of bottom shaming. We had to rely on sex workers to launch and promote the product because they had a large social media following and because viewers knew what their job was and what positions they were in the videos. It was easy for them to engage with their followers and get them to share information about the product. After a time the taboo and stigma of being a bottom faded away. We came up with the slogans “Stay Ready” and “Bottom with Confidence” as more of an empowerment to the gay community and wear it with a badge of honor.
All of a sudden, there was user-generated content with people posting images of themselves holding the product saying “I stay ready.” The brand is about confidence and sex but it also makes you feel good. You’re regular, you feel lighter, and not bloated. It’s not just for bottoms, it’s also for anyone looking for a plant-based product that is safe for everyday use. I
Lawrence: When we first kicked this off, there were no content restrictions on social media and they decided to make a big splash. One of their first ads was “clean sheets, zero stains” and we were spotlighting the problem people wanted to be solved. Once the algorithms were updated, they needed to be more tongue-in-cheek.
Is the majority of your customer base gay or queer men?
Fabian: Yes, we launched Pure for Men in the beginning and we had some feedback from the trans community stating they could also benefit from the product so we developed and created Pure for Her. Also, at the same time, gay men talk to their best girlfriends and by word of mouth, a lot of straight women use the product too. Our market has always been anyone under the LGBTQ+ umbrella but straight people also benefit from the product.
What is the Reset supplement?
Joe: I tried the Reset supplement and it works. Maybe a little too well. My husband is diabetic and the medicine messes with his body. It makes him bloated, constipated, and uncomfortable. I gave him the detox pills and told him to use them. They worked great for him too.
Fabian: There are people that we have worked with where certain medications make them feel nauseous and woozy. There is an HIV medication that makes people feel nauseous and if you take Pure for Men, it will help make it feel better. If you suffer from diarrhea, it can help and that’s why we say it’s not just for bottoms. It’s for anyone and just makes you feel better. Fun fact: only 18% of men get enough fiber in their diet and the majority of men are walking around not getting enough fiber in their diet.
Lawrence: The Stay Ready fiber supplement should be a daily ritual. It’s like the gas going into your tank. The Reset is like an oil change. After the weekend, or Thanksgiving meals and you feel bloated and full, you need to hit the reset button. Incorporating the two into your diet will deliver a good experience if your a bottom or taking too much protein, or just want better movement.
Can we talk about the Bum Balm and Body Scrub?
Fabian: I love both products. The scrub is just for full-body exfoliation. People can suffer from butt acne or stretch marks. It helps to exfoliate and keep clean. Removes scents and you feel fresh and rejuvenated.
When it comes to the butt balm, it helps to keep it moisturized and deodorized, and clean throughout the day. Say you’re going out dancing and you’re going to be in a jock, this will help keep you from getting musty and stinky. It helps keep it fresh. We call it a bum balm but you can use it anywhere. You can use it on your hair, as a deodorant, and on your balls. It is made with food-grade material and it is safe to consume.
What are some of the other products in the line?
Fabian: The Vitamin C Serum is great. There is another product called Hydrating Gel Toner and works great. I’ve put it on my shoulders when I’ve had too much sun. It’s a cooling sensation and works really well.
The multivitamin gummies have an extra dose of biotin which is why we call it the Beauty Boost. Biotin is great for hair, nails, and skin. It tastes good too. The reason for the product is we wanted supplements that were more universal and not just considered for bottoms and sexual cleanliness. Every man needs a good multivitamin.
The bidet is a natural progression and you can never go back to life before a bidet. It’s life-changing. We rounded out our line with a bidet. The cool aspect is you can control the angle and the pressure of the water flow. We’re in the business of cleanliness and clean bums.
Lawrence: We took a weekend trip in Texas and one of the rooms had a bidet installed in it. After using it for a weekend, realize how much cleaner you can walk around. I couldn’t believe how I would go to the bathroom and wipe and go about my day. The bidet experience is just so much cleaner. You use it long enough, it’s harder to go without.
Our approach is to find out how we can make what people are buying better, more convenient, or more affordable. If you’re a friend or family member of mine, you’re getting a bidet as a gift.
What made you decide to use the name Pure for Men? There seems there would be some controversy as far as gender identity. What do you do about DEI?
Lawrence: We’ve had heavy discussions about topics such as representations of race and the models in our social media posts. As gay men’s products went, there were blue-eyed blonde-haired unrealistically amazing bodies with a lot of unobtainable features that were not reflective of our customer base, the country, or the world as a whole. Thankfully as a result of our discussions, we always yield to what’s right. We reflect the world we want to see through the ads we create. The company name dates itself. The imagery we came up with was clean, fresh, pure. The name Pure for Men basically manifested itself. It was natural sounding.
Over time, our first hiccup wasn’t just the trans community saying hey, I am a woman and I want to use your product but I don’t feel right having a bottle of Pure for Men in my cabinet. It was also women who are straight, or not, that liked our product but the pills were like horse pills so we created a smaller version of the same formula so they are easier to swallow. That is how we learned to adjust to the world that’s coming. We’ve done surveys and roundtable discussions on how we can improve our products without being unrecognizable to existing customers but also be mindful of new ones.
Fabian: I think there’s also the side that men will see the product and feel that ‘this is a product for me.’ We don’t want to alienate the community that got us to where we are but at the same time, we need to adjust and acknowledge there is a broader community within that we need to recognize.
We all know what water-based lube is, but can you tell me about the coconut lube?
Lawrence: The coconut lube is all vegan and it's amazing. I am a lifelong silicone lube user but it can get your sheets messy. Silicone lube has a better sensation and experience than water-based. The coconut lube is so great, I haven’t used silicone in such a long time. This coconut lube is the best of both worlds. It tastes amazing, smells great, and there’s no friction. It’s the best.
What’s Next for Pure for Men and Team?
Fabian: We do have some projects in the works that we’re really excited about and are along the lines of cleanliness, but not necessarily supplements.
Lawrence: Our mission has always been to make sure our products are helpful to bodies in the long run.
Pure for Men available at CVS Pharmacies
Photo courtesy of Pure for Men
While it may seem a bit unnerving to chat with a group of men you just met about sex products, sexual health, and general health supplements overall, it’s a conversation that needs to happen, and it needs to happen more often. The LGBTQ+ community is doing a better job of discussing once-taboo topics and opening up about not only sexual health but mental health as well.
To find out more about the Pure for Men or the Pure for Her line, visit the Pure for Men website or check your nearest CVS store to see if they carry the line. If they don’t, ask them to immediately. You won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: Please note there are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase.
I tested all of the BYOMA skin care products to see how they stood up to my beauty and skincare routine. If you don't have a basic skincare routine, you should start. I've been obsessed with staying moisturized more than I have ever worried about any anti-aging skincare plan. I never thought about it really, I just didn't want to have dry skin or oily skin (depending on the season).
Even the best drugstore skincare products can be overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you need? There are so many options on the shelves that I just grab the most affordable skincare product and move on. As long as the moisturizer wasn't too heavy or thick, I'd be good. The problem is then I have a cabinet full of unused products and I need something that actually works.
Then, as I started reviewing beauty and grooming products, I realized there is actually some order to it. I started asking questions at my local beauty shop, I watched TikTok videos of skin care professionals. I realized that while I was moisturizing, I was missing a lot of other beneficial skincare products.
Here's a breakdown of each BYOMA Skin Care Product and how they stacked up.
BYOMA Creamy Jelly Cleanser
BYOMA Creamy Jelly Cleanser
The Creamy Jelly Cleanser sounds strange but when you squirt a couple of pumps in your hand, it makes sense. It’s a clear jelly substance that turns creamy and foamy as you wash your face. I found that two pumps are the perfect amount; any more is overkill and one didn’t seem like enough. The cleanser is lightweight, gentle, and alcohol and fragrance-free. Although it may be fragrance-free, it does have a fresh scent to it.
The ingredients for the jelly cleanser are Licorice Root and Green Tea. Licorice Root has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It's used to treat eczema and acne since it is a rich source of anti-oxidants. Green Tea in skin care is acting as an antibacterial property that treats acne and prevents pores from clogging. It also helps reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling.
BYOMA Balancing Face Mist
BYOMA Balancing Face Mist
When I first tested the Balancing Face Mist, I was a bit confused because it felt like water and I didn’t understand the purpose. I realized if your face (or skin for that matter) was feeling dried out, you give it a quick spritz and rehydrate without having to put on more lotion. The face mist is extremely lightweight and is perfect after getting out of the shower. You can spritz your face and while it’s air-drying, you can get started on blow drying your hair.
Ingredients include probiotics which have been known to reduce acne and manage dry skin and eczema. It also includes allantoin which helps with removing dead skin cells and brings brightness to dull or dry skin.
BYOMA Hydrating Serum
BYOMA Hydrating Serum
This hydrating serum is perfect for the morning routine because it rehydrates the skin and removes the sometimes red blotches on my face. It has a creamy smooth texture that works into your skin rather quickly. Since it’s light and smooth, it’s perfect for year-round use. It’s not too heavy for the summer.
The ingredients in the Hydrating Serum are squalane and glycerin. Squalane has been known to penetrate pores and improve skin at a cellular level and is light feeling on the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and redness. Glycerin helps with relieving dryness, refreshing the skin surface, and increasing skin hydration by retaining moisture.
BYOMA Clarifying Serum
BYOMA Clarifying Serum
This serum is clear and feels a little oily (all products are oil-free) but then as you work it in, the oiliness dissipates into the skin leaving it feeling fresh and clean. This clarifying serum is great if you feel your skin is on the verge of a breakout and even helps with oiliness and any redness. If your skin is prone to blemishes, this serum can help reduce clogged pores and keep your skin pimple and blackhead free.
The ingredients to be aware of here are Blue Tansy, PHA, and Zinc. Blue Tansy has been known to repair damaged skin by acting as an antioxidant. PHA helps with reversing sun damage, provides skin with more elasticity, and helps remove wrinkles. Zinc is an essential mineral that protects from UV rays, helps reduce scarring, and is an anti-inflammatory property that helps with acne; it can also stops cells from aging and dryness.
BYOMA Brightening Serum
BYOMA Brightening Serum
The Brightening Serum helps with hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone. Just like the Clarifying Serum, this has an oily texture but as soon as you work it into the skin, it leaves your skin smooth and soft.
One of the ingredients in this serum is Hyaluronic Acid which has been known to moisturize the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Another ingredient is niacinamide, which is a form of vitamin B-3 and can help build keratin and helps your skin grow a ceramide barrier that will help retain moisture.
BYOMA Moisturizing Gel-Cream
BYOMA Moisturizing Gel Cream
The Gel-Cream is my go-to for the summer months because it's a lightweight formula that doesn't make my face sweat (yes, it's a thing). It has a consistency of a white gel-like substance then as you work it into the skin, it fades into a smooth cream that leaves the skin feeling soft.
The ingredients here are Niacinamide and Green Tea. We already know niacinamide helps lipids create a moisture barrier and that Green Tea acts as an antibacterial property that helps reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling.
BYOMA Moisturizing Rich Cream
BYOMA Moisturizing Rich Cream
The Moisturing Rich Cream is a thicker formula than the gel cream which provides a heavier texture and works into the skin to provide a strong skin barrier. This cream works best for me during the winter months due to its thick texture however, if you are prone to dryness year-round, it may be the moisturizer for you.
The target ingredients here are Bakuchiol and Shea Extract. Bakuchiol is a vegan skin care product that is a very strong anti-oxidant. It prevents fine lines and wrinkles, reduces skin discolorations, and helps with elasticity and firmness. Shea Extract is found in a lot of skincare brands because of its skin softening properties. It also has been known to reduce swelling and has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
How Do You Use BYOMA Skin Care Products?
Each skincare brand has its own set of instructions on how to apply moisturizers and skin care products but they all agree on their order of them. Luckily, if you're unfamiliar with the process, BYOMA has listed the process for you.
- Protect (usually an SPF sunscreen)
Is It Worth the Price?
I think BYOMA products are well worth the price. Each product ranges in price between $11.99 and $15.99 and lasts quite a bit so you will definitely get your money's worth.
Should You Buy BYOMA Skin Care Products?
In my opinion, yes. The products are non-comedogenic, vegan, and free from oil, alcohol, and fragrance as well as cruelty-free. Every product I tested worked with my skin type which is great since I often suffer from sensitive skin such as redness, oily skin in the summer, and dry skin in the winter. These products cover all the bases and offer daily protection from the elements. If that isn't enough, the BYOMA founder Marck Elrick is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
The New Year has been and gone and we're still in the depths of Winter with Spring a long way off. So now is the time to spend a little something on gifts and products that help you reset and renew, if even in the smallest way. Here is our pick of helpful little wonders, for face, body, and home.
FACE & SKIN
There are beauty products, and then there are beauty products! Ever had that feeling that your favorite creme or serum just isn't quite right for YOU? It's time you tried doing it yourself—and it's easier than you think. Bellus All Natural Labs is the ultimate plant-based addition to your beauty routine with its Make Your Own Serum Kit. Simply scan a QR code and enter the interactive experience of creating your own luxury serums guided by Kristina Cimo, the head of Bellus All Natural Labs. These craft customized serums consisting of nature's finest oils such as apricot kernel, rosehip, passionfruit, and jojoba resulting in a personalized set of ointments that will breathe new life into your skin during the harshest winter months and beyond. And when you see your glowing results, tag @bellus_labs! Bellus All Natural Labs is an award-winning, clean skincare and beauty company that brings its private label production into the palm of your hand.
One of the worst things about the pandemic is having to wear a mask (you must) but wearing glasses at the same time. Whether your glasses are sunnies, readers, or your regular specs, you will have found out by now that breathing through your mask fogs up your eyewear. Well here's a handy, pocket-sized solution: FogBlocker Eyeglass Anti-Fog Wet Wipes or choose the Anti-Fog Cloth for longlasting fog-free vision. This revolutionary plant-based cellulose wipes have been created by biotech scientists to safely coat your lenses for fog-free vision that lasts all day.
These little wipes reduces moisture buildup with the ultra-fine, natural microfiber cloth lasting for up to 500 uses that last all day. Can be safely used on all lens types, even coated, PPE plastic guards, and goggles.
BODY & MIND
Bluebird Botanicals is a supplier of varied and high quality CBD products that address most aspects of wellness. Bluebird Botanicals products are crafted by trained herbalists using organic Colorado hemp and premium botanicals. Founder & CEO Brandon Beatty says: "We made these products to help you feel your best every single day no matter what." Starting as a company that produced CBD oil, it has now grown into an entire line of foundational wellness products. These are great products for the time in which we live where building immunity and reducing stress might help keep you out of the path of serious illness. We tried the (delicious and potent!!) CBD Gummies, the Complete Concentrated CBD Oil (luxurious, great for ingestion and external use), and the Dynamic Immune CBD Soft Gels (these are great but do contain bovine gelatin and so are not for vegans). But there are so many products for various needs, including for your pets. All these products were effective in their own way—whether that was to calm, to heal, or to relax and restore. After a few weeks our skin and nervous system felt boosted.
HOME & HEARTH
There is no quicker way to bring a sense of luxury and harmony to your home than with a specially scented candle. Well, we have three top recommendations for you in terms of scent and aesthetic. For lovers of minimalist chic with fragrant aromas, RareLumiere candles emit the kind of scents that will have you imagining you've stepped into a European parfumerie. And indeed, each hand-poured creation is elegantly packaged with a corresponding handwritten note included in the box. My favorite scent was "Notting Hill." These elegant, slow-burn cotton-wick candles offer 55 hours of burn time for each candle.
Sea Witch Botanicals All-Natural Essentials Oil Candles are also richly-scented and hand-poured, but this brand is all-natural and scented exclusively with essential oils and plant-derived waxes. Their vegan candles contain no paraffin wax or fragrance oils. And the biggest difference to your usual candle: The wide wooden wicks give a beautiful glow, while the soy candle has a nice, even burn to the bottom. Our favorite scent was "Herbal Renewal" and it surely did renew us with its uplifting and relaxing scent of lavender.
Now who doesn't like a little something rustic, this time out of the wilds of Ohio? The Little Burlap Barn Vintage Mason Jar Candle will transform your humble home into a chic farmhouse with one little spark. Plus, their homey scents will conjure orchards, walks in the woods or a day of baking pies: think scents such as Cran-Apple Pumpkin, Crisp Candied Apple, Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll, and Autumn Breeze. These candles come poured into authentic vintage blue Ball jars with a vintage zinc screw-top lid (keep the lid for snuffing out the candle). Made with 100% soy wax, cotton/lead-free wick, the scent oil is phthalate-free.
In these germ-filled times it's so important to keep your home clean and wipe down all surfaces that comes in contact with the outside world. We were delighted to discover an effective and environmentally-friendly product that has multiple uses around the home, and is as easy to keep clean as it is to be used for cleaning! Pure Sky makes products perfect for fighting germs and grime. Their green cleaning methods make cleaning easy, quick, and stress-free. What a relief to not be tearing through reams of paper towels or cluttering up the kitchen sink with multiple cloths and sponges. This is our favorite product and we're not surprised it's a bestseller: Pure Sky Magic Deep Clean Cleaning Cloth. Works like magic! Simply add water and instantly remove 99 percent of bacteria on your floors and home and car surfaces. It’s designed of patented state-of-the-art composite ultra microfibers, consisting of multifilament yarns that are made of more than 1,000 strands per yarn. It can be used wet or dry, plus it conveniently attaches to the Pure Sky mop pole with clip wings. For more information, visit https://persik.com.
Bring the spa to you at home with these transformative beauty products that also make great gifts. From the inexpensive and everyday item to salon-level quality, go into your holidays feeling refreshed and renewed.
Shower Steamers by Cleverfy
Start or end your day with a shower that transports you into another mode or mood. These magical fizzing aromatic discs come in a variety of scents courtesy of delicious essential oils with all natural ingredients, offering you a dose of hydrotherapy at home.
Just drop one into the shower (they also work in the tub) and they release a magical and potent steam that will help relax, soothe, invigorate or energize you, depending on which scent you have chosen.
Made and embedded with real flower petals these luxe fizzies help ease stress and anxiety and boost feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. This Amazon best-seller is also female-created and vegan and cruelty-free!
While you're in the shower, get into a complete hair care routine with women-owned brand Strandz Unlimited. We are so impressed by this product! Forget your usual supermarket shampoo and conditioner. This is an investment in healthy and happy hair!
Strandz Unlimited has been developed by hairstylist Tonya Fairley on her quest to give other women more manageability and less fuss with products that actually work—and don't take up too much shelf room.
Start with the Hydro-Curlz Moisture Cleanser - Moisture-infused cleanser that cleans the hair thoroughly while leaving the scalp refreshed and moisturized. A perfect hair companion for all hair types.
Continue with the Hydro-Curlz Curl Creme to add shine, moisture, and definition to your hair. A versatile product that can be used as a traditional styling creme for a quick wash and go, as a moisture creme for safe straightening, or a refresher creme for next-day curls.
The Hydro-Curlz Moisture Conditioner is a hydrating and moisturizing formula that strengthens hair. From curls to coils, this conditioner helps ease the detangling process, leaving your hair soft and manageable.
And for styling before you head out for your dream date, use just a dab of the Curl Gele, a hydrating and Defining Gel (no crunch or flakes) to tame any frizzies and keep your curls bouncing.
We were so impressed by this product. Clearly, a lot of thought has gone into it, right down to the signature purple packaging and the soft hair towel which comes in handy when applying the finishing product.
Finish your bathing routine with a deodorant that is woman made and owned as well as being safe and sustainable. Freedom is a line of aluminum-free organic deodorants and body sprays that are safe to use. Increasingly, reports have emerged that many women's beauty products and everyday items kept in the bathroom cabinet are linked to toxicity and a higher incidence of cancer. You’ll feel safe using Freedom, especially if cancer runs in your family, if you are immunocompromised or chemo patients who must be super careful what they put on their bodies. Plus, the brand generously gives back to organizations that are working hard towards helping individuals and families battling cancer.
Not only that: Freedom works just as well, if not better than all the other familiar commercial brands—if you have any worries that "natural" products don't do the job as effectively as chemicals. Well, this one does. And our favorite scent is Magic Lavender, with its heavenly and relaxing aroma.
Olura Glow + Sculpt Skincare System
We are excited about this product! And not just as a beauty product, but as an investment that really does pay off. If you're still feeling a little shy about venturing out to a salon to get a facial or noninvasive beauty procedure, save your money and invest in Olura and do it yourself with similar results. Olura has created an easy to use system for at-home facials with a three-part approach: a skincare specialist; customized skin products; easy-to-use ultrasonic device. Founded by beauty industry veterans (including a female plastic surgeon!), Olura puts the latest facials techniques into your capable hands.
The Glow + Sculpt Skincare System works as a subscription membership that includes the trademarked Eno, an ultrasonic device that gently exfoliates your face with one end; and with the other end, massages the customized boosters, serums and moisturizers into your skin. To get the right mix of products you can consult with an Olura skincare specialist depending on your skin type, your skin's needs such as firming or hydrating or calming. If you don't feel like stepping into a beautician's office, this whole system can be delivered to your door for a fraction of the cost. We noticed a difference from our very first use, and the regimen is gentle enough to do every day.