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Topicals Encourages Users to Embrace Their Skin—Flaws & All

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Founded by Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, Topicals is a skincare brand that wants to transform the conversation around skin health. As women of color who struggle with visible skin conditions (like post-barbae folliculitis, hyperpigmentation, eczema & seborrheic dermatitis), the founders recognize the need for effective products that work on every type of skin and flareup.

Along with offering high-quality products, Topicals also celebrates those with “imperfect” complexions through their carefully curated Instagram account. By showcasing real people with real skin, the brand is breaking down the beauty industry’s misconception that we must always look perfect and any flaws must be kept secret.

Mental Health Advocacy

While trying to lower the stigma surrounding imperfect skin, Topicals also brings awareness to mental health issues that may be caused by one’s struggle with their appearance. According to the Topicals site, “Folks with skin conditions are 2-6 times more likely to experience anxiety and depression.”

In trying to decrease that number, Topicals donates 1% of all profits to organizations supporting mental health services. Before launching in early August, the brand donated $10k to Black Girl Therapy, Fearless Femme and Sad Girls Club. Since launching, Topicals has directed donations to the JED Foundation. JED protects emotional health and fights to prevent suicide among teens and young adults.

Backed by Science

On top of their advocacy work, Topicals’ products are bar none: they’re backed by science and dermatologist approved. In fact, the brand only uses highly researched ingredients and botanicals, and they’re constantly altering their formulas based on customer feedback and new clinical findings. Not to mention, all products are vegan and cruelty-free and never use synthetic fragrances or dyes.

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TOPICALS FADED SERUM (1.7OZ/$36 or $56 to bundle with Like Butter!): for spottie hotties – great for sun-damaged and scarred skin; this gel serum fades your most stubborn marks, scars, and spots so that you can kick back and let your worries fade away ✨ . WHAT IT DOES: ⏳Balances skin tone ☀️Brightens and revives tired skin 🍄Smoothes rough and textured skin . NOTES: *️⃣Gentle + effective, never stripping, never bleaching *️⃣Some of Faded’s ingredients are also helpful for skin barrier repair, 2-in-1 anyone? *️⃣Fragrance-free, dye-free, and vegan . Major ingredients: tranexamic acid, azelaic acid, niacinamide, kojic acid, licorice root, centella asiatica, and melatonin . Full ingredient list: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Tranexamic Acid, Shea Butter, Glyceral Stearate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Behenyl Alcohol, Alpha-Arbutin, Jojoba Seed Oil, Zinc Ricinoleate, Azelaic Acid, Glutathione, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Phytic Acid, Squalane, Palm Butter, Glycine, Soybean Sterols, Cetyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Licorice Root Extract, Melatonin, Turmeric Root Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Arginine, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Bisabolol, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin . *Some transparency: While coconut oil is known to be comodogenic, this is true when using pure coconut oil and/or when it makes up a large portion of the product. There is less than 0.1% coconut oil in Faded, and we did not observe any comodogenicity when testing on various skin types. Topicals is very open to customer feedback, so if you’re concerned, let us know! 💕

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Because they’re a fairly new brand, Topicals currently only offers a brightening & clearing gel called FADED and a hydrating mask called LIKE BUTTER. (There’s also a duo option that contains both products!). FADED is a gel serum that balances skin tone and smooths rough textures. Alternatively, LIKE BUTTER is a thick mask that restores dry skin, strengthens the moisture barrier and reduces inflammation.

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TOPICALS LIKE BUTTER HYDRATING MASK (1.7OZ/$32 or $56 to bundle with Faded!): for itchy gurls – great for dry, sensitive and/or eczema-prone skin; this thick, whipped mask is packed with powerful botanicals for skin so smooth it’s like butter 🧈 . WHAT IT DOES: 🌊 Restores dry, flaky skin 🧖‍♀️ Helps soothe sensitive and stressed-out skin 💚 Fortifies skin’s damaged moisture barrier . NOTES: *️⃣ Creamy + thick without feeling greasy or heavy *️⃣ Great for the face, but also amazing for eczema patches on the neck, elbows, chest, and rest of the body! *️⃣ Fragrance-free, dye-free, and vegan . Major ingredients: turmeric, centella asiatica, colloidal oatmeal, camellia sinensis (green tea), Chinese rhubarb root, ceramides and peptides . Full ingredient list: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Diheptyl Succinate, Squalane, Glyceryl Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Capryloyl Glycerin/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Shea Butter, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Cetearyl Glucoside, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Evening Primrose Oil, Rheum Palmatum Root Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Serine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Astragalus Membranaceus Extract, Valine, Proline, PCA, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ceramide EOP, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceramide NS, Ceramide NP, Ceramide AS, Ceramide AP, Cholesterol, Sucrose Distearate, Licorice Root Extract, Propylene Glycol, Threonine, Isoleucine, Turmeric Root Extract, Madecassoside, Palmitic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Histidine, Xanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Phenylalanine, Lauroyl Lysine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

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FADED is formulated for people who experience hyperpigmentation and erythema, and LIKE BUTTER is great for those with eczema-prone skin.

You can shop Topicals now at mytopicals.com or at Nordstrom. Be sure to follow the brand on Instagram for more product announcements and mental health resources.

Emily Lentz
Emily Lentz
Emily Lentz is a Los Angeles-based Features Editor, creating content and working towards providing an inclusive space for beauty professionals and consumers.