The Story of Clearica


Clear, acne-free skin is our goal at Clearica. By marrying the best of nature with sophisticated plant science, researchers at our state-of-the-art laboratories develop acne solutions that actually work. You know it, we know it, so here’s our story…



How It All Begins

Let’s rewind to Mysore in the 1960s, where a young scientist is preparing for a long journey.

Dr Ven Subbiah travels from Mysore in India all the way to North Carolina in the US for further studies. He eventually settles there, devoting many decades of his life to researching plant material and microbes.

Then, in 2011, Dr Subbiah takes a big step: he sets up a biotechnology company named PhytoPharmacon, Inc (PPI) in Garner, North Carolina. Through PPI, Dr Subbiah plans to explore the world of natural ingredients and build a library of plant extracts for the medical food segment.

So far so good. But as it turns out, PPI’s research goals cannot be hemmed in so tight. With new possibilities emerging at every step, the researchers at PPI start to broaden their focus and expand their investigations to cover more than just medical foods. They are now eyeing the general food, pharmaceutical, and personal care segments as well.


A Library of Plants

Right from the start, Dr Subbiah and his team at PPI demonstrate their

commitment to building a plant library. They keep at it year after year, extracting phytochemicals (plant chemicals) from not tens, not hundreds, but thousands of plants.

The research is far from easy and requires painstaking effort at every stage. For example, every time that they start work on a new plant, the researchers must prepare a series of botanical samples for study. Individual samples are then subjected to one of 10 different solvents.

Each solvent has a different polarity, which means it reacts differently with the corresponding plant sample. The best-case scenario is that by using 10 different solvents, the researchers can extract 10 distinct and powerful phytochemicals from a single plant source.

The research and development process at PPI is elaborate and time-intensive. It is also well worth the effort:

  • By 2018, PPI develops a vast library of around 4,500 plant extracts.
  • Some 2,500 plant extracts are fractionated to form 25,000 botanical fractions.
  • Dr Subbiah and PPI acquire a series of patents over the years.

With the research in North Carolina proceeding apace, Dr Subbiah sets up a subsidiary company named PhytoMyco in his hometown Mysore and installs a state-of-the-art laboratory on the premises. PPI shifts the development and testing of key ingredients for industrial applications to the new Mysore lab.


Research for the Real World

While the laboratories buzz with activity, Dr Subbiah gets busy marketing the phytochemicals developed at PPI to potential clients from the corporate world. He presents flavour enhancers to beverage companies and plant-based preservatives to cereal manufacturers.

Meanwhile, phytochemical compounds are also investigated for their potential use in medicine: Can these substances stabilise blood sugar levels? Will they help with weight management?

A few phytochemicals are found to improve skin health and texture. These could power the skincare segment, but PPI isn’t in the business of formulating new products. Under Dr Subbiah’s leadership, the company is focused on selling plug-and-play solutions to other companies.

Things carry on like this until 2018, the year that Dr Subbiah passes away. His death leaves a big gap at PPI.


Clearica’s Founders Make Their Move

With Dr Subbiah no more, PPI is at a crossroads. The company is without a leader who can go out and market its pioneering plant research—and that’s a problem. Eventually, the company management reaches a decision: they will sell PPI and divest the research. The time has come for Anuj and Archana Rathi, soon-to-be founders of Clearica, to enter the scene.

Both Anuj and Archana did their higher studies in the US. Over the span of their careers, the duo has amassed considerable experience in the world of cosmetics and skincare: they’ve supplied raw material to skincare brands; they’ve marketed products for salons; they possess a 360-degree understanding of how the skincare market operates.

By the late 2010s, when things are starting to change in the skincare market, Anuj and Archana quickly recognise that a shift is underway. Businesses in the beauty, cosmetics, and skincare segments are falling out of love with synthetic ingredients, and so are customers. Natural ingredients are outpacing synthetic ones, and plant-based products are having a moment.

Having sensed the growing market potential for plant-based formulas, Anuj and Archana make their move. They acquire PPI, and immediately shift the research and operations out of the US to India. Dr Subbiah’s laboratory in Mysore becomes the new research headquarters.


A Discovery for Acne Care

Even as Anuj and Archana breathe new life into the company, a powerful phytochemical is stepping into the spotlight. Owing to its antimicrobial properties, researchers had been developing the compound as a preservative for cereals. Things take a turn when investigations reveal a further benefit: the phytochemical’s high efficacy against acne vulgaris.

Following this discovery, Anuj and Archana start looking into the acne care

segment. They are surprised to find that the core ingredients in acne care have not changed in decades. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide still dominate the market, as ineffective now as they had been 30 years ago, back when Anuj and Archana were looking to solve their own acne issues.

The duo realises that the new acne-fighting phytochemical could be a game-changer in pimple care. In the days that follow, they begin to fine-tune their plans.

Back at the lab, as the investigation into the new phytochemical ramps up, other ingredients start to show skincare benefits. Some of these phytochemicals hydrate the skin, others make it plump, and still others control redness. Several of these plant chemicals are combined using our proprietary extraction process, resulting in something truly extraordinary in the world of acne care.


What the Future Holds

Clearica the company is launched in 2021 alongside its flagship product, Clearica Anti-Acne Cream. Already, the young company has declared its niche: skincare solutions that fight not only active acne but also acne recurrence, scars, and pigmentation. In 2022, a second product, Clearica Anti-Acne Cleanser, hits the market.

With deep roots in cutting-edge plant science and a massive library of botanical extracts to comb through for new and improved acne care solutions, the future looks bright for Anuj and Archana’s revolutionary new skincare venture.


The Clearica story has only just begun.

 Clearica over the Years
  • 1960s: Dr Ven Subbiah of Mysore travels to the US for further studies.
  • 2011: Dr Subbiah establishes PhytoPharmacon, Inc (PPI) in Garner, North Carolina.
  • 2011–18: Scientists at PPI extract phytochemicals from around 4,500 plants and build a vast library of plant extracts.
  • 2018: Dr Subbiah passes away.
  • 2018: Anuj and Archana Rathi acquire PPI, and shift the research and operations to India.
  • 2018–2021: A powerful phytochemical shows efficacy against acne vulgaris.
  • 2021: Clearica the company launches alongside its flagship product, Clearica Anti-Acne Cream.
  • 2022: The company’s second acne-control product, Clearica Anti-Acne Cleanser, hits the market.



Developing Acne-fighters at Clearica

All our acne-care products undergo extensive research and development before they are ready to go out into the world and ease your skin concerns. Join us for a quick tour of how it all comes together.

  • Research at the Clearica labs

A skincare product is only as good as its actives. Lucky for us, Clearica is spoilt for choice. Our Natural Product Library is one of the largest US-based plant extract libraries in the world and an absolute treasure chest of active ingredients.

When conceptualising a new acne-care formula, our researchers begin their

search for acne-fighting ingredients in our library of over 4,000 botanical sources. There are no shortcuts here though. The process of choosing the right plant sources can take many years of research and testing.

Finally, once the ingredients have been selected, they undergo our proprietary extraction process. This enhances their polyphenol content, ensuring better efficacy against the signs and symptoms of acne.


  • Sourcing actives the right way

After selecting the actives, we shift our focus to sourcing raw materials of the highest quality. Plant sources may need to be grown and harvested at fixed times of the year, using specific techniques, or in particular regions.

But there are uncertainties at every step. Natural disasters, pests, and unseasonal weather affect plant quality. Besides, there’s no way to mass-produce phytochemicals in a laboratory setting. The silver lining is the high potency of our plant chemicals—even a tiny amount gets the job done!

The potency of phytochemicals also enables us to upcycle ingredients. A case in point is guava leaf extract, one of our core actives. Guava plants are harvested for the fruit, and the leaves are just waste material. But not for Clearica! We use discarded guava leaves to source a phytochemical with strong antimicrobial and antioxidant powers.


  • Fine-tuning the extraction process

Each phytochemical calls for a different extraction method. Drawing out the key compounds from a plant source is both a science and an art.

To put it simply, phytochemical extraction is a bit like making tea or coffee. Just as you use hot water to extract flavour from tea leaves and coffee grounds, scientists at Clearica use solvents to extract phytochemicals from various plant sources. Of course, drawing out phytochemicals in the lab is a bit more complicated than brewing your morning cuppa.

Scientists at the Clearica labs use an in-house extraction procedure featuring a synergistic method that we call the PENTAPHYTO Process (patent pending). By employing the PENTAPHYTO method, our research team develops a phytochemical combo that packs more power than the sum of its parts.


  • Formulating acne products that work

Clearica’s plant library contains plant extracts that have been fractionated into sets of 25,000 semi-purified, activity-proven, and enriched phytochemicals.

Working with enriched fractions gives us an edge: Researchers at the Clearica labs save time because there’s no need to experiment with crude extracts. They can zero in on a wide range of phytochemical compounds from the enriched sources.

Thanks to the Natural Product Library, we have the resources to identify diverse phytochemicals that could drive acne care into the next era.


Meet Our Core Ingredients

Four powerhouse ingredients form the core of all Clearica products. These are:


Eucalyptus Leaf Extract to reduce acne lesions, redness, and irritation


Green Tea Extract with antimicrobial powers for fighting acne bacteria



Phragmites Kharka Extract to minimise and control inflammation



Guava Leaf Extract to stimulate collagen production and fight acne bacteria


This four-ingredient combination fights acne on multiple fronts:

  • Brings down inflammation around the acne site
  • Kills acne-causing bacteria and limits their spread
  • Prevents the formation of bacterial biofilm
  • Controls sebum secretion (and therefore clogged pores)
  • Rejuvenates the skin through antioxidant properties

What you get: a fuss-free formula that targets the entire acne ecosystem.


The Clearica Way

  • Unisex formulas: Skin has no gender, and pimples can happen to anyone. It’s why our anti-acne products feature the same core ingredients—that way nobody feels left out.
  • Plant science: By combining cutting-edge science with new botanical sources, Clearica develops safe and effective plant-based solutions for acne-prone skin.
  • Ethical sourcing: We use only those parts of the plant that grow above the ground. This approach limits yields, but Clearica has a firm no uprooting, no eco-harm policy.
  • Upcycled raw material: Our eucalyptus and guava extracts come from the discarded leaves of eucalyptus and guava plants. Waste material can be a great source of phytochemicals.
  • Sustainable packaging: Only the cap for our cream and the pump for our cleanser are plastic. Our containers are all aluminium and the secondary packaging is paper.
  • Products that work: There is no easy fix for acne and its symptoms. That’s why Clearica adopts a holistic approach—our products fight acne on multiple levels.


Skincare with Clearica

Our easy-to-use formulas take the fuss out of acne care. Here’s an easy way to incorporate Clearica into your twice-daily skincare regimen.

  1. Cleanser: Use the Clearica Anti-Acne Cleanser to wash away grease, grime, and dead skin cells without losing vital moisture. Our creamy cleanser is suitable for all skin types.
  2. Toner: Soak a cotton ball in your favourite toner and swipe briskly over cleansed skin. Toner restores the skin’s pH level, preparing your complexion for the next step.
  3. Treatment: Massage in a thin layer of Clearica Anti-Acne Cream. This lightweight cream will clarify your pores, limit the spread of acne, and soothe irritated skin.
  4. Moisturiser: When you’re done with steps 1, 2, and 3, apply a moisturiser that suits your skin. If it’s daytime, use a formula with SPF or a separate sunscreen for sun protection.

Try this four-step approach to beat blemishes and find your way to clear, acne-free skin. When you have Clearica by your side, problem skin is not a problem anymore.