Today marks the launch of Topicals (MyTopicals.com), a revolutionary new skincare company that seeks to transform the way consumers feel about their skin by making the treatment of stigmatized skin conditions synonymous with the luxury and fun of self-care. Available online, Topicals products are also featured now through October at Pop-In@Nordstrom inside select Nordstrom locations and online at Nordstrom.com.
Founded by two dynamic young women of color, 23-year-olds Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, Topicals was born out of necessity. One in four Americans live with chronic skin conditions. Costly doctor visits and prescriptions are often avoided because one just “learns to live with it.” As women of color who lived conditions like severe eczema and post-barbae folliculitis, both Olamide and Claudia grew up settling for products that didn’t really serve them or represent how the condition appeared on their skin. They joined together to create effective and luxurious products that are carefully formulated to tackle skin conditions like eczema, hyperpigmentation, psoriasis, and more — but don’t break the bank.
“This is an industry that has not evolved and has used many of the same formulations over the last 30 years,” says Olamide Olowe, Topicals CEO and Co-founder. “Having lived with a serious skin condition myself, I found there were limited treatment options available, and none of the brands looked like me. I could use an over-the-counter product that didn’t address my specific needs as a Black woman with darker skin, or spend thousands on pricey prescriptions. With all of the amazing beauty products out there, I still didn’t find one that helped me with my flare-ups. I knew we could do better.”
“With my background in clinical research and dermatology, I saw firsthand the lack of access to care that existed for these types of skin conditions,” says Claudia Teng, Topicals Chief Product Officer, and Co-founder. “For me, I knew there was a serious opportunity to create something affordable, and that not only educated a broad amount of people but also made their treatment experience more enjoyable. Our mission is to make chronic skincare management synonymous with the fun and luxury of self-care, taking the focus off of perfect skin and helping our community have funner flare-ups.”
The founders of Topicals are focused on creating an inclusive community around real, positive, and authentic discussions about their skin. And since chronic skin conditions often lead to serious mental health issues because of the stigma, shame, and embarrassment often felt by those with them, Topicals is donating 1% of profits to various mental health organizations. Prior to launch, Topicals donated over $10,000 to and partnered with Sad Girls Club, Therapy for Black Girls, and Fearless Femme 100, and are partnering with the JED Foundation at launch.
Among the supporters and investors in Topicals are several high-profile Black women, including Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John, entrepreneur and DJ Hannah Bronfman, and the Emmy-nominated stars of the hit show “Insecure” Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji. The initial investment round, led by Lerer Hippeau, also saw participation from Humble Lukanga and Mucker Capital as well as the CEOs of Warby Parker, Allbirds, Casper, Harry’s, Bombas, and Red Antler.
Topicals is launching with two signature products: Like Butter, a hydrating mask for dry, distressed, and eczema-prone skin, and Faded, a serum for discoloration and dark spots. Each and every ingredient is clinically backed, and the power-packed formulas have been tested on all skin tones. In addition, Topicals products are vegan, fragrance-free, made for all shades in mind, and carefully crafted to be eco-friendly with recyclable tubes and packaging.
Like Butter (1.7 oz) – $32
A whipped, hydrating mask that moisturizes and soothes sensitive, dry, stressed out, and eczema-prone skin.
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf: antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory; reduces itch and redness
- Madecassoside (Centella Asiatica): accelerates wound healing, fortifies skin barrier through collagen and fibronectin production, anti-inflammatory
- Colloidal Oatmeal: helps to soothe itch and irritation
- Chinese Rhubarb Root: decreases levels of hyperactive immune cells, antimicrobial
- Ginseng Root: anti-inflammatory; reduces itching, inflammation, and swelling
- Turmeric: anti-inflammatory, shortens wound-healing time, improves collagen deposition
Faded (1.7 oz) – $36
A gel serum that combats dark spots and discoloration from sun damage, scarring, and inflammation.
- Tranexamic Acid: prevents melanocyte tyrosinase activation, and excess vascular development (which can cause melasma)
- Kojic Acid: inhibits melanocyte tyrosinase function
- Azelaic Acid: prevents tyrosine conversion to melanin; scavenges free radicals
- Licorice Root: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, melanin-degrading, and tyrosinase-inhibiting capability
- Centella Asiatica: anti-inflammatory, scavenges free radicals
- Niacinamide: limits melanocyte stimulation, scavenges free radicals
- Melatonin: anti-inflammatory, inhibits melanocyte activity