by Sara Aranda
During the 2017 Outdoor Retailer Summer Show, Sara & Emma (BivyTales) were fortunate to attend a Media Preview as journalists for Alpinist. During this event, a handful of brands had the opportunity to meet with the attending media to discuss their newest products and apparel. BLDG Active stood out from the rest, as their hospital-grade medical products were affordable, designed for the masses, and were a simple solution to wound management in the backcountry, abroad, and even in your own home.
“Heal faster. Go Farther.”
“The sports we love take a toll on our body,” BLDG Active members were quoted saying in a recent Transworld Business article, “and there’s been little innovation in over the counter medical products. Neosporin was invented over 50 years ago.” Thus, BLDG Active took the initiative and considers themselves to be “a forward thinking brand that’s focused on bringing cutting edge medical technologies out of the hospital and directly to athletes.” Thus they have created a whole new category in the outdoor retail space.
“This is truly a labor of love for us, so we aim to build a brand that’s authentic [to and for] the sports we live for.”
Their biggest highlight as a new brand has been a preliminary incorporation of their skin care products into the World Surf League Fiji and Tahiti events this 2017 season.
The story behind BLDG Active involves two friends and eventual co-founders Justin Gardner and Jason Baldessari. Gardner had a 15-year career in medical biotech, specific to the niche field of Regenerative Medicine, when he and Baldessari left for a surf trip to the Maldives in 2016. Regenerative Medicine is the application of “principles of molecular biology to tissue regeneration,” in which researchers look for ways to “accelerate the healing process in cells,” Gardner expressed in the BLDG founding story.
What makes their wound and skin care products so powerful is already found in the very nature of our own bodies. Gardner had come across research regarding a molecule called hypochlorous, something that is naturally produced by neutrophil, a type of white blood cell, Gardner describes, “[which helps] the body fight off bacteria and heal faster.”
Hypochlorous (HOCL), Gardner asserts, “is a genuine game changer. When formulated correctly, HOCL can kill 99.9% of all bacteria within 15 seconds of contact.” This gives an instant advantage to our bodies in its natural healing process.
“HOCL is 100% natural, 100% non-toxic, antibiotic free, petroleum free, painless and completely safe for use even around the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.”
The breakdown, BLDG Active explains, is that “when skin damage occurs, the body responds by sending white blood cells,” and thus, HOCL is produced to help fight bacteria and heal. Topically treating wounds with products containing HOCL only reciprocates the way the body heals itself internally.
Hospital, wound care specialists, burn units, and trauma centers are all starting to use HOCL, BLDG Active claims, “and [they] have reported fantastic results, quickly making this a [new] standard.”
“HOCL is an ideal wound care agent with powerful microbicidal, antibiofilm and wound healing potency.”
-Wounds Medical Journal
The ultimate inspiration for BLDG Active to spearhead their way into combining medicine and adventure sports is of course an already preexisting love for the outdoors. Gardner has been an avid traveler, surfer, snowboarder, and all-around adventurer. So when he and Baldessari went off on their 2016 surf trip to the Indian Ocean, Gardner brought along a bottle of HOCL to “help fight infection from reef cuts.” The issue with reefs, he explains is that “the reef does not just cut the skin, it also leaves behind bacteria. When left unattended, these wounds can cause major issues, including Staph infections.”
For surfers, treating these types of wounds has traditionally been a chore for a few reasons. BLDG Active elaborates:
First, the wound must be cleansed, which is usually pretty painful. Many surfers use lime juice, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, all of which cause intense stinging.
Second, in addition to stinging, these cleansers often do as much harm as good. Sure, they kill a lot of the bad bacteria, but they also decimate the healthy cells in the area, often resulting in open wounds that refuse to heal.
Finally, these bottles are bulky and a pain to travel with.
Thus, enter the BLDG Active 3 oz. bottle of HOCL. A simple application kills the bacteria and prevents infection. Furthermore, there is no sting and healthy cells are not ultimately affected. The body heals faster and of course you’re that much happier for it.
But the magic doesn’t stop there. This molecule also treats skin inflammations “like sunburns, insect bites, rashes, chafing and other skin irritations.” BLDG Active has noted that people are using the product for all sorts of abrasions and irritants, not only on cuts and scrapes, that result from all avenues of sport, travel, and adventure.
The big picture is that one 3 oz. bottle of BLDG Active skin care will replace hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and antibiotic creams. It also eliminates a need for aloe vera, other sunburn treatment lotions, and anti-itch creams.
“Needless to say, many bottles of HOCL were used on that boat, helping [us] realize that the product has the potential to do much more than simply treat cuts and scrapes; it is actually a comprehensive solution for everyday skin damage beyond the clinical setting. Until now, however, HOCL has not been commercially available and its use has been largely limited to hospitals and doctors’ offices.”
Jason Baldessari’s background in adventure sports special events and skate park development also provided a launch pad for Gardner’s newfound interest. Therefore, through Gardner’s background in medical biotech, their love of the outdoors, and a strong desire to help others and the environment, BLDG Active was born. BLDG Active’s mission is “to build a bridge between science and sport,” which has already become a reality with their ACTIVE Skin Repair product line.
“Here at the office, we joke that it’s the ‘WD40’ of skin repair.”
Produced in California, their newly launched skin & wound care products are made in “a state-of- the-art, FDA-approved cleanroom facility.” In addition, unlike other petroleum-based products, BLDG Active’s products are safe for the environment. They are a company that is 1% For The Planet, requiring them to donate 1% of sales to environmental organizations.
“We believe if you love something, you have a duty to protect it, and we’re proud to create environmentally friendly products. We [also] believe it is not only a cost of doing business, but also a company ethos to help protect the playgrounds that we all love.”
Providing people from all walks of life “with medical-grade technologies to help better their lives and health,” their mission has also become one of “taking heed of the inevitable impact we all create, and finding ways to forge a more sustainable future for generations of athletes and adventurers to come.”
BLDG Active will continue their research in order to push the boundaries of this relationship between adventure sport and medicine. “There’s a lot of mind-blowing science out there,” they state, “that we plan to make accessible to the action sports world in the very near future.”
…To learn more, visit the BLDG Active website.