Ever heard it’s never too late to change your mind and follow a new path in life? If you ever thought this does not hold true or just doesn’t apply to you, we’re here to tell you that it does! Sabbatical Beauty owner and founder Adeline Koh shares with us how she went from an english professor to the owner of a skincare company. And if you’re feeling like it’s time for a change in career? Here is some inspiration to get you started.
Adeline has always been self-aware when it comes to botanical ingredients and skincare. She was born in Singapore, a country known for its tropical climate, but later moved to Michigan for graduate school. Adeline told us, after she moved, “my skin freaked out and got pretty bad and nothing really solved it.” She goes on to tell us, “I found Korean beauty around 2014 and I liked it a lot because it had a lot of resonance for me with all the Asian botanical ingredients.” However, her skin only slightly improved and she couldn’t afford to go to a dermatologist, “I started making my own products when I went on sabbatical”. Soon enough all her friends and family were asking for products, so she started an online company and eventually quit her job to focus on the company full time, and in 2016 Sabbatical Beauty was founded.
Starting a company is no small feat, and the beauty industry is extremely competitive. Adeline says, “I had to learn and make a lot of mistakes about how to manage people and how to make [my] company profitable.” Managing a successful company is not only about finding the right ingredients or making products that are likely to sell. It’s more about finding the right people to add value to your company’s culture. However, Adeline’s drive is what makes her and Sabbatical Beauty successful.
Having a background in academia truly helped with running and growing her company. But imagine having to jump from a field of english to chemistry! Thankfully, she was able to pivot easily due to her STEM background from her education in Singapore.
There are many crossovers within fields and Adeline makes a great comparison between chemistry and cooking. The formulas in products can also be looked at as an art; for example, if you think of it like cooking: There are items that are used across the board. She says that every brand uses more or less the same ingredients, but how you combine them, there’s an art to it. Adeline says, “I’m interested in making something that is beautiful and intentional” if you take a glimpse at her products you will see the natural botanical ingredients are not only a part of the ingredients but the overall presentation.
If you want to be successful in anything you 100% need to stand out, and Sabbatical Beauty stands out from other skincare companies, and especially from other brands because of the higher usage of asian botanical ingredients in the products. “I was frustrated because for a lot of products they would say they have, for example, ginseng in it, but gingsein would be at the very bottom of the ingredient list.” When Adeline set off to make her own products, she made sure the ingredients were filled with quality botanical ingredients.
Another fun aspect about the brand aside from using a high percentage of natural and quality ingredients is that Sabbatical Beauty also incorporates a spiritual aspect. Adeline tells Zoe Elle that she tries to “marry science and the more energy-related fields in how [she brings] together [ingredients].”
If you come across this beauty brand, you will notice the word Gua Sha, a term we recently learned ourselves. Gua Sha is a healing modality that uses a flat surface to break up the knots on your face to relieve tension and boost blood circulation! Knots often represent a blockage or illness and a facial massage with the Gua Sha, when done well, can leave you feeling soo good. When you break up the stuck energy in your body, your energy can flow more freely through your system and who wouldn’t want that!
Sabbatical Beauty is making products that resemble Asian skincare rather than western. Asian skincare is different because it infuses more botanical ingredients than traditional western skincare. Western skincare doesn’t always get to the root of the problem. There are so many products that are geared towards getting rid of the surface layer—Immediate but not long-lasting results and we want lasting results!!
Since we are talking about the long run let’s talk about anti-aging. Show of hands, who is looking to help slow down the aging process? (*quickly raises hand*), well Sabbatical Beauty has so many goodies to help with this process. The Asian Powerhouse Serum is filled with botanical ingredients like ginseng, which is great for anti-aging and anti-inflammatory and turmeric which helps to even your skin tone. There are so many great products to help with your areas of concern (pores, aging, dryness, etc). This company has an array of options, so customers are never limited. Diversity is key to any business.
Sabbatical Beauty wants to provide products to support your skin, but also remind everyone to love their skin more. Their focus is more on “you look great, let’s help you love yourself even more”. Adeline assures us that with Sabbatical Beauty’s products, “your skin will always look like you are always on sabbatical”.