Does Care/of, the celebrity-endorsed vitamin service, live up to the hype?

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Does Care/of, the celebrity-endorsed vitamin service, live up to the hype?

This is the latest edition of our series, “Lifetime Subscriber.” From clothes to food to vitamins, we review popular subscription services and decide if they’re worth the price.

I don’t regularly take vitamins. The dozen untouched bottles in my pantry can tell you that. But after seeing numerous (and I mean numerous) celebrities posting ads for Care/of on social media, I was curious about whether the vitamin subscription service really worked. So I tried a month of the product all the influencers seemed to be obsessed with. Here’s how it went.

How does Care/of work?

Care/of is a personalized subscription service that delivers 30 packs of personalized vitamins to you each month.

“We use a research-backed algorithm to deliver recommendations tailored to your diet, lifestyle, and goals and we deliver everything right to your door,” said Care/of co-founder and CEO Craig Elbert.

To get your personalized subscription, you take an online quiz to learn which vitamins meet your health and dietary needs. You’re asked basic questions, like age and gender, as well as questions about your wellness goals. Get ready to talk about some pretty personal things like digestion and fitness level.

Some of my health goals included building more muscle, getting better sleep and staying awake during the day. Based on the quiz, Care/of recommended iron, vitamin D, ashwagandha (an herb said to help with stress), magnesium and digestive enzymes for me. They also suggested powdered caffeine to boost awareness and avoid that afternoon slump.

I was open to trying basically any sort of vitamin or dietary supplement. Others may not be quite as willing to try a pill with a name they can’t pronounce. You can swap out or remove any of the vitamins from your plan, so you aren’t locked into taking something you don’t want.

A week after taking the quiz, I got my vitamins. The packaging was remarkable. It came with a dispenser containing 30 packages with my name on them, and a smaller box with the caffeine sticks. The box came with clear instructions on how to use the products and all the information I needed on each vitamin. It felt more like a gift than a product.

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Care/of packaging comes with a dispenser containing 30 personalized vitamin packs. (Photo by Hanna Horvath)

How much does Care/of cost?

There is no flat cost for Care/of. Instead they charge you per supplement. Supplements start at $5 per month, but some cost as much as $19 per month. The powdered caffeine, branded as “Extra Batteries,” came in packs of five and cost $5. There were other add-ons too, like electrolyte packets and whey protein.

Based on my quiz, my total monthly Care/of subscription was $46 per month for the 30-pack of five vitamins and three packs of Extra Batteries.

Is Care/of worth it?

I started Care/of hoping to improve my health routine, and it did. Care/of makes taking vitamins fun and, believe it or not, cool. As silly as it sounds, opening a packet of vitamins with my name on it felt like a personalized routine created just for me.

Over the course of the month, I felt healthier and stronger. I had more motivation at the gym and more energy throughout the day. I also experienced positive mood changes. One of the ways I tracked my days was through a mood calendar. During the month I took vitamins, I reported happier, more productive days than the prior month.

If you’ve read my other subscription reviews, I am often wary of paying a monthly subscription fee. Care/of is no exception. While $30 a month doesn’t seem like much, that cost can add up.

It may be cheaper to buy the individual vitamins online. I searched each of the vitamins on Amazon and added up the per-pill cost of the most popular brands. I found it costs $10.30 less per month using Amazon than Care/of, though the pills won’t come in personalized pouches.

If you are considering taking vitamins but don’t know where to start, Care/of is definitely for you, if you’re willing to pay a bit extra for the personalized experience. Their website made it easy to understand which vitamins worked for me and why. The information was clear and digestible. And with all of the celebrity support, Care/of feels like a stylish way to improve your morning routine.

Final thoughts

My positive experience with taking vitamins should be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the beneficial health effects could easily be the placebo effect. I could be experiencing benefits that aren’t directly related to the vitamins.

While vitamins have grown increasingly popular, their health benefits have proven unclear in scientific studies. Some scientists even report high doses of vitamins can be harmful to your health, not to mention they aren’t subject to approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Make sure to consult your doctor before taking vitamins.

Want to read more from the Lifetime Subscriber series? Check out our review of Rent the Runway.

Image: Phillip Blackowl