Last March, UCLA Newsroom profiled AJ Addae, a doctoral student in chemistry and the founder of SULA LABS, a research and development laboratory and creative space that develops cosmetics for people with darker skin tones.

Since then, Addae, the child of immigrants from Ghana, and her company have continued to work with a variety of independent and mainstream cosmetics lines to develop products — including brands carried at Sephora and Target. And last October, she was invited to speak to the U.N. Econonomic Commission for Africa’s forum of the Alliance of Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa about her research on chronic skin conditions and the efficacy of over-the-counter skin products for people of color.

As one of the trailblazers in the field, Addae hopes to open the doors for more people of color to pursue careers in clinical research and development.  

“There’s a whole area of people — Including people that look like me — that are left out of the research when it comes to validating the efficacy of these products that you see on shelves,” she says in the video above. “There is a lot of outreach to be done to young Black women to show them that you don’t have to just be on marketing campaigns — you can also be in the lab. Because your voice matters there too.”