Acaderma, a newly-launched indie brand, is founded on academic research that leverages the science behind little-known healing botanicals, which it calls next-generation naturals.

Acaderma’s name and positioning — academic research meets skin care solutions — points to the brand’s mission to gain a deeper understanding of the science behind the healing properties of botanicals.

“Acaderma’s goal is to be recognized for delivering scientific integrity directly to consumers via a collection of meticulously crafted and highly effective skin care products founded on the principle of using academic research to discover the science behind the healing properties of botanicals,” said Founder and CEO, Dr. Shuting Hu. Shuting is a 30-year-old cosmetic scientist who has been awarded by The International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists. She is also a former cohort of Sephora Accelerate, the retailer’s annual program that spotlights female entrepreneurs.

The brand’s product portfolio, currently five serums, includes ingredients and patented skin care technologies it has validated scientifically, both clinically and molecularly. The technology in Acaderma’s newest serum, for example, called Invisible Shield Defense Serum, is extracted from sesame seeds. The special ingredient in this serum – small, fat-soluble molecules SesaHelio –penetrates the dermal layer, in conjunction with peony extract, summer snowflake extract and resveratrol to treat skin.

“We directly control and oversee the sourcing, processing, testing and formulation design of our exclusive ingredients, from plant to bottle. We understand how the ingredient works and the biology of skin, and we conduct clinical trials to ensure the efficacy,” said Shuting.

Another example is the proprietary ingredient Seh-Haw EX, used in The Oasis Barrier Booster, Acaderma’s best seller. It includes extract from kinkeliba, a plant that grows in the sub-Saharan region of West Africa. Research led by Shuting and Professor James Simon of Rutgers University  identified its soothing benefits to the skin due to polyphenols and polysaccharides, similar to aloe vera. “Our proprietary extraction and chromatography technology allows us to maximize the activity and efficacy of Kinkeliba extract Seh-Haw EX, while no chemical solvents are used in the whole extraction and purification process to avoid environmental pollution,” said Shuting.

Shuting refers to Acaderma’s consumers as skintellectuals. “They are science-savvy, mindful consumers who are passionate about finding healthy, natural alternatives to skin care. Skintellectuals not only want clean beauty products, but they want transparency from brands and effective products, and we’re committed to providing that.”

Many brands on the market use misleading language that can easily confuse consumers. By recognizing that the study of skin is a science, and learning the intricacies of how skin functions, we’re trying to better educate consumers when selecting the right products for their skin,” she said.

Acaderma’s products are sold on its e-commerce site, as well as select dermatology clinics. The brand is also working with a local African NGO to establish a sustainable green material development platform.

“We seek to use traditional plants in new ways, to give them new purpose and economic value. The African local NGO works very hard to provide education of farming skills to local women, and help them get long-term and stable economic income,” she said.

Shuting’s proudest achievement thus far?

“Bringing cutting-edge technologies we developed in academia into a final product on the market, not just in a scientific paper,” she said.