Transdermal Meaning: Understanding the Benefits of Transdermal Absorption

If you’ve ever heard the term “transdermal,” you may be wondering what it means. In essence, it refers to the process of absorbing nutrients, vitamins, or other substances through the skin.

This method is widely used in the medical field to deliver medication to the body, but it’s also used in the supplement industry. In this article, we’ll dive into the meaning of transdermal and the benefits of using this method for supplement absorption.

meaning of transdermal

Meaning of Transdermal

Transdermal refers to the process of delivering substances through the skin and into the bloodstream. This can be done through a variety of methods, including creams, patches, and gels. The skin is an incredibly efficient organ, and it’s capable of absorbing nutrients and other substances quickly and effectively. It’s not uncommon for the skin to be better at absorbing some substances than the stomach, due to the nature of bypassing the digestive system.

Transdermal Mechanism

The skin has multiple layers, and it’s the outermost layer, the stratum corneum, that is primarily responsible for absorbing substances. This layer is made up of dead skin cells that are tightly packed together, forming a barrier that protects the body from the environment.

However, this barrier is also porous, which means that substances can pass through it and into the body.
When a transdermal substance is applied to the skin, it penetrates the stratum corneum and enters the underlying layers.

From there, it can be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported throughout the body. This mechanism is incredibly efficient, and it allows for the rapid absorption of nutrients and other substances.

transdermal meaning

Benefits of Transdermal Absorption

There are numerous benefits to using transdermal absorption for supplements. For one, it bypasses the digestive system, which means that the nutrients don’t have to be broken down and processed before they can be used by the body. This can lead to faster and more effective absorption, which can be especially beneficial for people with digestive issues.

Another benefit of transdermal absorption is that it allows for targeted delivery. For example, if you’re using a transdermal cream for joint pain, you can apply it directly to the affected area.

This can lead to faster and more effective pain relief, without the side effects that can come with oral medications & supplements.

Transdermal Magnesium

One of the most popular transdermal supplements is magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions, including muscle function, nerve function, and energy production. While many people take magnesium supplements orally, transdermal magnesium is becoming increasingly popular.

So, can you absorb magnesium through the skin?

The answer is yes.

When you apply magnesium to the skin through something like magnesium oil spray, it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can be used by the body. This makes transdermal magnesium an effective way to boost your magnesium levels, especially if you have trouble tolerating oral magnesium supplements.

Transdermal Bathing

One of the easiest ways to use transdermal absorption is through bathing.

By adding certain substances to your bathwater, you can absorb nutrients through your skin while you relax. One popular option is epsom salts, which are made from magnesium sulfate. When added to bathwater, epsom salts can help soothe sore muscles, reduce inflammation, and promote relaxation.

To enhance the benefits of your transdermal bath, you can also add essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus. Lavender epsom salts can help promote relaxation and improve sleep, while eucalyptus bath salts can help clear the sinuses and ease respiratory niggles.

Another option is to use magnesium flakes, which dissolve quickly in water and can help boost your magnesium levels.

transdermal bathing

If you don’t have time for a bath, you can also use epsom salt shower gels. These are designed to be used in the shower, and it allows you to experience the benefits of transdermal absorption without having to take a bath.

In addition to promoting relaxation and reducing inflammation, transdermal bathing can also be beneficial for athletes and people who engage in regular physical activity.

By soaking in a transdermal bath after a workout, you can help your muscles recover more quickly and reduce the symptoms of injury.

Lavender Epsom Salts

One popular option for transdermal bathing is lavender epsom salts. Lavender is known for its relaxing and calming properties, and when combined with epsom salts, it can help promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Epsom salts are also believed to help detoxify the body and promote healthy skin. Not only is this method good for calming the mind after a long day within your self-care routine, it is also good for relaxing the body.

Eucalyptus Bath Salts

Another popular option is eucalyptus bath salts. Eucalyptus is known for its respiratory benefits, and when combined with epsom salts, it can help clear the sinuses and ease any small respiratory issues.

Eucalyptus bath salts are also believed to help soothe sore muscles and reduce inflammation around the body.

transdermal magnesium flakes

Magnesium Flakes

Magnesium flakes are another option for transdermal absorption. These flakes dissolve quickly in water and can be added to bathwater or used to make a foot soak.

Magnesium flakes are believed to help boost magnesium levels in the body, which can be beneficial for a variety of health & wellbeing purposes.

You can see the full differences between Epsom Salt vs Magnesium Flakes for more information.


Transdermal absorption is a highly effective method for delivering supplements and other substances to the body.

By applying nutrients directly to the skin, you can bypass the digestive system and experience faster and more targeted absorption.

It might not be for everyone though, as this method can be more time consuming. So, if you’re someone who is often in a fast moving busy lifestyle, you might always opt for capsules for whatever supplement you need to take.

There are often only some supplements that are oral only, due to the high amounts of substance that you need to take that wouldn’t be suitable for the skin to absorb.

In other cases, there are supplements that are transdermal patches that are alternatives to capsules, that take longer to be absorbed by the body like calming patches or sleep patches.

It’s always best to speak to your doctor before you take any supplementation, due to how they affect people differently from person to person. It would be best to also speak to your doctor to determine the best delivery method for your supplementation to fit your lifestyle.

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