Asian-inspired Sabbatical Beauty Skincare line aims to change how we define beauty

ByHeather Grubola and Nydia Han WPVI logo
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Local Asian-inspired skincare line aims to change how we define beauty
Where chemistry meets passion, that's what a local skincare line called Sabbatical Beauty is all about.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Where chemistry meets passion, that is what a local skincare line called Sabbatical Beauty is all about.

Founder Adeline Koh is bringing Asian-inspired skincare to Philadelphia and along with it, an effort to change how we define beauty.

Koh was born and raised in Singapore. She came to the United States when she was 21 years old for graduate school and moved from tropical Singapore to cold and dry Michigan.

"And my skin completely freaked out and that's actually the start of my skincare journey," she says.

The journey led to Koh's kitchen where the then-English professor tried to level up Korean products she liked.

"And I did all this on academic sabbatical, which is why it's called Sabbatical Beauty," she explains.

Koh started her small-batch beauty brand in 2016, formulating every product herself. Her new brand his six figures the first year and she left academia to run it full time.

"You'll see goji berries, you'll see I use a lot of rose and lavender hydrosols as well," she says.

Sabbatical Beauty promises high-concentrations of quality and sometimes unusual ingredients - things like snail, sake, donkey milk, and royal jelly that comes from honeybees.

"All the traditional Asian things is what I'm trying to bring to Philly with American skincare," says Koh.

Every product is handmade at the Bok Building in South Philadelphia. Elle Magazine has even rated the Vacuum Cleansing Oil one of the best in the country.

"So this is the Asian Powerhouse serum and I refer to this as my grandmother's soup on my face," says Koh.

Sabbatical Beauty products begin at $75 for a full-size and Koh says you get what you pay for.

"I don't want to sell you a hope and a dream and a lie. I want to sell you something that's effective and it's really going to improve your relationship to who you are in your own skin," she says.

And this is a beauty line with a message that's more than skin deep.

"Diversity is extremely important to my brand. If you take a look at a website, you're going to see that the majority of the models that we choose are real people of all different ethnicities. I think emphasizing darker skin tones is important," she said. "I think, trying to pay attention to different age groups, looking at older skin as also beautiful is really important to me."

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