Wellness Patches: The Self-Care Staple Everyone’s Talking About

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Wellness is entering its future tech phase, and we’re so here for it. Imagine a world where sleep, muscle aches and even your mood can be improved by adhering a simple patch whenever you need one. Through your skin, that patch would deliver the essential nutrients or compounds needed to give your relief. Sound like science fiction? Well, the wellness patch is already a force to be reckoned with and the market is expected to rise to over $8 billion in the next few years.

“In the past few years, we have seen a surge in the popularity of patches that enhance our wellness or provide skin-care benefits,” says New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. “I think they are appealing to people because they are quick and easy to use. You simply stick on a patch, forget about it, and enjoy the benefits.”

But what exactly are these promising patches?

What Is a Wellness Patch?

Transdermal patches have been around for a while. If you’ve ever seen someone try to quit smoking, you might be familiar with the nicotine patch, the best-selling transdermal patch in the U.S.. Invented in the 80s by Dr. Frank T Etscorn III, the nicotine patch is one of the most common ways to try and quit smoking.

The wellness patch comes from the basic framework of a nicotine patch, but uses different active compounds to achieve a different effect. These days we have patches that release everything from estrogen to caffeine, and users love them for the controlled dose and the ability to remove the patch whenever they want.

Do Wellness Patches Work?

We know that transdermal patches are effective for providing us with certain compounds, like nicotine or scopolamine to treat motion sickness. That said, each wellness patch has to overcome a pretty big barrier: the skin.

Some patches employ microneedling in order to effectively commute the ingredients to our bloodstreams, but most wellness patches don’t use this method. Instead, they rely on ingredients that are clinically proven to provide results. Conducting a study on pain relief patches, for example, showed that topical patches were so effective that most participants were able to stop using oral pain medications to treat their muscle pain.

“In the study, 60.5% of the TG were using concomitant oral pain medications “a lot less”, and 90.8% were very/extremely satisfied with the patch,” says study lead and faculty of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management at University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Jeffery Gudin, MD. “The study aimed to evaluate patients who had been prescribed an OTC topical pain-relieving patch, the Salonpas® Pain Relieving Patch (Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Company, Inc, Japan) containing methyl salicylate 10%, menthol 6%, and camphor 3.1% from their physician or clinician”

Sleep patches, another common example of a wellness patch, employ the common sleep aid melatonin to help you achieve your beauty sleep.

“Once it is applied to your skin, the patch releases melatonin into your body through the dermis, or skin,” explains Sarah Shoen, writer with the Sleep Foundation. “Unlike most melatonin supplements, which deliver the melatonin quickly to help you fall asleep faster, melatonin patches are formulated with an extended-release system designed to help you stay asleep longer.”

While transdermal patches have been approved by the FDA, it’s important to remember that not all wellness patches are created equal. Not all mood-boosting solutions have been clinically tested to show real efficacy, and the science still has a long way to go before we can say for sure that focus, mood-boosting or calming patches really do what they say they do.

Wellness Patches to Try

1 / 6

VICI – Nervous Wreck Topical Patch ($31 for 30)

Formulated with Ashwagandha and lemon balm, this wellness patch works on time-released technology to deliver stress relief over 8-10 hours. Easy to use and with a money-back guarantee, this patch offers anxiety support that by passes your digestive system to get you calmer faster.

BUY NOW – $31

2 / 6

Violet Grey Ross J Barr Patch Pack ($60)

Developed by acupuncturist Ross J Barr, these patches are designed to be placed on key acupuncture points to deliver therapeutic ingredients like menthol for pain, safflower for calming and wild jujube for sleep. Each patch also delivers aromatherapy to enhance the experience.

You can even use the calming patches directly on your temples when suffering a headache.

BUY NOW – $60

3 / 6

The Good Patch B12 Awake ($25 for 20)

Backed by third party clinical testing, the Good Patch is a collection of wellness patches for every need. Awake, packed with b12, caffeine and green tea extract, this patch is dermatologist tested to keep your skin irritation-free and lasts up to 12 hours.

BUY NOW – $25

4 / 6

The Patch Remedy Menopause ($24)

Symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings got you down? The Patch Remedy’s Menopause patch is the no-nausea answer that maximizes the bioavailability of the ingredients used. That means the black cohosh, which works as a phytoestrogen to alleviate hot flashes, doesn’t have to go through digestive system before it starts working.

These patches are also latex free!

BUY NOW – $24

5 / 6

Fleur Marché Focus, Plz Botanical Patch ($26 for 8)

Containing caffeine, L-Theanine, lion’s mane, this botanically-powered patch is all about getting you feeling focused, fast. L-theanine, an amino acid, works quickly to improve concentration without causing drowsiness. They’re also tested for potency to make sure you can really feel the difference.

BUY NOW – $26

6 / 6

CORA Heat Relief Patches ($15)

It’s not a wellness patch round-up if we don’t include the tried-and-true heat patch. Perfect for relieving menstrual cramps, this activated-carbon thermal patch gets up to a toasty 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This patch adheres to the outside of your underwear to target the source of your cramps without irritating your skin.

Cora is also a B-corp that provides health education and menstrual supplies in India, Kenya and the United States.

BUY NOW – $15

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