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About Us

Adeline formulating in the Sabbatical Beauty lab.


sabbatical wins best of philly 2021About Sabbatical

Sabbatical Beauty was started by Adeline Koh, Ph.D., who entered the beauty product scene from academia, where she taught the humanities and technology. She started Sabbatical Beauty while on academic sabbatical because she was frustrated with the beauty products on the market. Many generic products loudly proclaim their "active" ingredients on their packaging, but these actives only make up a tiny percentage of ingredients. Inspired by the DIY beauty scene, she decided to start making her own skincare, and shared her results with her friends. Resoundingly her friends reported that her products achieved amazing results very quickly: diminishing redness, helping acne, filling in fine lines and wrinkles.

After a lot of thought and experimentation, she decided that she wanted to share Sabbatical Beauty with others as well. Sabbatical Beauty's goal is to share with its users the experience of being on sabbatical: happy, relaxed and refreshed.

Why Sabbatical

Sabbatical Beauty products are small-batch handcrafted and not made in a commercial lab. They are filled with much more active ingredients than are in regular commercial products, and they work fast. This quick effect is due to the high concentration of actives. Many of the products are influenced from trends in Korean beauty, such as Camellia Japonica oil, a traditional beauty oil in East Asia used to calm and soothe skin and fill in wrinkles and fine lines.

If you're feeling a little disillusioned by big brand beauty products, try a little sample of Sabbatical Beauty and see if it changes your mind about skincare.

Community & Political Organization

Because Adeline created Sabbatical Beauty coming from her career as a race & gender studies professor, she understands beauty as something deeply rooted in politics and inequality. For this reason, Sabbatical Beauty has always actively donated to causes to curb right wing extremism and advocated for progressive organizations that work to create a more just and equitable society. 

This has included past   political skincare collections, donations to national organizations like Swing Left, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, the National Abortion Federation, and active partnerships and fundraising for local nonprofit organizations like the Bethesda Project and SEAMAAC. 

We believe that the roots of beauty and skincare are deeply political, because how we treat our bodies corresponds to how we show up in this world both for ourselves and others. Read more in Adeline’s blog post  here.

Adeline's Disclaimer 

(Please note: I'm not an aesthetician, nor a cosmetic chemist. I just like to do a lot of research as I'm an academic. I'm simply a skincare maker and huge fan who's formulated a lot of different products for a lot of different skin types, and I've seen the results first-hand in testing and years of customers who have reported impressive skin changes because of my line.)