At the helm of Acaderma is Shuting Hu, a cosmetic scientist on a mission to create nontoxic beauty that’s backed by science and made for every skin tone and type. Hu has some particular advice for those who are Asian and in need of a skincare routine that really serves them. “Most Asian skin types fall under the three to four skin types on the Fitzpatrick scale,” she says. “One thing about Asian skin that most people might not know is that three to four skin types are more vulnerable to environmental factors such as UV radiation and visible light and are very prone to hyperpigmentation and melasma. These environmental aggressors will generate free radicals and chronic inflammation. When the skin is in a chronic state of inflammation, it can cause post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which leads to small dark spots, patches of inflammation, and acne scarring. Thankfully, the industry is opening up to more and more beauty and skincare brands that address these issues and develop products designed to rebuild, protect, and nourish the skin barrier.”
If you are prone to any of these things, Hu suggests looking for ingredients like grape-seed extract, ceramides, green tea extract, and resveratrol. “Green tea or grape-seed extracts are rich in phenolic acids, anthocyanins, flavonoids, or oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs),” she says. “Because Asian skin tones are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation and sun damage, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory actives will help to protect your skin by fighting off free radicals and repairing damaged cells.” As a scientist first, Hu also believes that the potential to harness the power of botanicals has still gone largely untapped, and she wants to see the industry move in this direction. She also calls for more transparency. “I would love to see the beauty industry focus more on the ingredients and science behind the production process. I also hope to see more women step up on this side of the industry and become entrepreneurs streamlining change within the beauty and wellness space,” she adds.