What are Topicals? How Can They Work Better?

Topical products are products that are applied directly to the skin like a body butter, lotion, salve, gel, or cream. When applied to the affected area, the active ingredients in the topical products are absorbed into the skin and do not pass into the bloodstream. This is different from transdermal products, usually patches, that are specifically formulated to penetrate deeper and enter the bloodstream.

Because topicals do not pass into the blood stream, this means that the active ingredients act upon the skin cells, muscle cells, and nerve cells in that one specific area and have no direct effect on the brain. This also means that more active molecules are able to be absorbed directly at the location. With either inhaled or edible products, the active molecules are dispersed around the entire body. But with topicals, all of the molecules are applied and absorbed at the same location which can help them to have a stronger effect at that one specific area.

Our skin is the largest organ in the whole body and it is essential to protecting us from bacteria, parasites, and external stresses like the wind and water. Each of us has millions of receptors on our skin that can be activated by the ingredients in different topical products. And there are many different ways that skin health can contribute to the proper functioning of other organs and even brain activity!

There are many different additional non-active ingredients vendors add to their topical products, some of which contain preservatives and other synthetic chemicals that are meant to improve the texture or shelf life of the product. However, this can lead to negative reactions from people with sensitive skin and for this reason, we believe simple ingredients are best for topical products.

When it comes to dosing topicals, each one of us will have different needs. Apply the topical product thoroughly to the entire affected area and massage gently into the skin. If after 15 minutes the product has absorbed and there is no effect, you may want to apply another layer. This can be repeated as many times as necessary to reach the desired effect.

Some of us might find relief from just one application of topical products, but others might need more. Another tip to help absorption is to apply the topical when the skin is warm, and the pores are open like after a shower!

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