Skin Science

Meet the Black Innovators in Skin Health QuickFire Challenge Awardee

by Jana K. Hoffman
June 10, 2021

Earlier this year, Neutrogena® joined Johnson & Johnson Innovation to launch the Black Innovators in Skin Health QuickFire Challenge. You might remember us excitedly asking you to submit innovative ideas to help address racial disparities within skincare and make it more inclusive.

We asked, and you brought the heat. There was truly no shortage of brilliant ideas. After months of pitches and panel discussions, we can finally reveal our finalists and awardee.

But first, this is what we were initially looking for:

  • Unique (and doable) ideas that aim to address inclusivity and have a potential impact on human health.
  • Solutions that aim to improve skin health, specifically for the Black community.
  • Skincare areas including acne and post-acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, scalp care, sun protection and beauty.

OK, without further ado. Let’s meet the finalists, shall we?!



Finalist: K’ept Health

Challenge finalist K’ept Health believes “skincare is healthcare.” According to a letter published by Dr. Roni Caryn Rabin in a report for the New York Times, more than 50 percent of dermatologists just don’t know how to treat skin of color, and less than 40 percent of dermatologists practice integrative dermatology. This is where K’ept Health, founded by Sheena Franklin, saw an opportunity.

K’ept Health aims to offer a culturally competent and holistic digital dermatology experience for all skin tones and conditions. It all happens on a mobile app powered by inclusive AI. And it’s always available 24/7. You’ll find everything from telemedicine visits with highly vetted dermatologists to private messaging with medical estheticians for 360 treatment plans as well as skin analyses with customized recommendations.



Finalist: Nuekie

Challenge finalist Nuekie provides “innovative skincare for people of color.” Founded by cosmetic chemist Eunice Cofie-Obeng, who spent 17 years researching and developing solutions for skin of color, Nuekie offers a line of skincare products that aim to address skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, dryness, acne and the signs of aging.

These potential skincare solutions harness the power of African medicinal plants to even skin tone while reducing irritation. Nuekie understands that skin isn’t one-size-fits-all. Unique skin needs (and deserves) specialized treatment. The mission of Nuekie is to improve the skin health of people of color.



Awardee: EADEM

We’re thrilled to announce that EADEM has been named the awardee of the Black Innovators in Skin Health QuickFire Challenge! EADEM is a clean beauty brand centered around women of color that’s pioneering “Smart Melanin Beauty.” Their products combine science-backed ingredients and heritage botanicals with the aim to effectively and gently care for skin of color. You know we love us a good science-backed product!

EADEM was designed by women of color for women of color. The company was founded by Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover. EADEM focuses on hyperpigmentation, which is the number one skin concern among women of color. According to EADEM, melanin plays a big role in how the skin functions. It reacts differently to inflammation, UV light, hydration and even active skincare ingredients.

EADEM is here with the aim to bring game-changing innovation to the skincare industry. Their flagship product Milk Marvel: Dark Spot Serum is a first-of-its-kind serum that’s powered by Smart Melanin™ complex and formulated to fade hyperpigmentation in skin of color without changing the skin’s natural tone. The intended result? Clinically proven dewier, brighter skin.

As the awardee of this QuickFire Challenge, EADEM will receive $50,000 in grant funding to help support the growth of their brand. The team will also gain access to the global Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JLABS network and mentorship*. This means top skin health experts within the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies will offer guidance and support as they pursue this incredible journey.

Honestly, we’re beaming ear-to-ear with gratitude and excitement. Thank you to everyone who submitted their ground-breaking ideas. This definitely won’t be the last time we launch a QuickFire Challenge so stay tuned for the next one. In the meantime, be sure to check out what our top three contenders have to offer. You might just find a new fave product to add to your skincare routine.



* Subject to executing an award agreement

Skin Science

I’m a writer, rescue dog owner, tattoo collector and traveler who shamelessly has an 8-step skincare routine.

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