Culture-Inspired Skincare Products

What does resin from a tree native to Southeast Asia and luxury skincare have in common? Answer: Yasmin Khan and the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business.

Khan has been developing her company, Khalm Skincare, and bringing her Pakistani culture to the United States through the Master of Business Creation program at the U. It all began with one simple, natural ingredient: oud, a resin that is created by the agarwood tree when the tree fights infection.

While growing up in Karachi, Pakistan, oud was everywhere; the scent of oud incense floated down the corridors of Khan’s home and was prominent in every temple she visited.

“It stayed with me as an adult when I moved to the United States,” Khan said. “Oud was in my home scents. Oud was in my luxury perfumes. This vital ingredient was very important to me, and I had the opportunity to think about, ‘Could this be in skincare?’”

At the time, Khan was heavily interested in luxury skincare, believing that the best products came from France as they were EU-regulated and therefore considered to contain low toxins that could disrupt the immune and endocrine systems. Still, she found something lacking.

“I wanted something from my homeland, ingredients from my homeland in my daily skincare routine,” Khan said.

So what’s the value of oud? According to Khan, there are many. Not only does oud have aromatherapy benefits, but it also is an antioxidant and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities, making it perfect for a skincare routine — namely, perfect for Khan’s brand.

More articles like this in ‘Student Innovation @ the U!’

Find this article and a lot more in the 2021 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers, and entrepreneurs.

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About the Author:

Alexis Perno Alexis is a freshman communications major specializing in journalism at the University of Utah. With three years of journalism experience and a lifetime of creative writing under her belt, writing has been a passion for as long as Alexis can remember. Alexis works as an editorial intern for SLUG Magazine while managing her personal poetry brand at and @labryspeaks on Instagram. Email her at

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