One-On-One With Founder Of Celebrity-Favorite Luxury Skincare Line Dr. Barbara Sturm

Photo Credit: Jung Kim

It’s getting increasingly hard to decipher what seems like a foreign language in the skincare space, between the thousands of 20+ letter ingredients, the countless brands entering the industry making one unbelievable claim after another and the numerous celebrity Instagram sponsorships. So when Dr. Barbara Sturm came along with her simple, yet effective product line that was organically endorsed by a slew of A-listers like Emma Roberts, Karolina Kurkova, Maria Sharapova, Jaime King, Gigi Hadid, Stephanie Shepard and Hailey Baldwin Beiber (among several others), needless to say, I was excited. The German-made line is unique in that it combines powerful natural and molecular-based ingredients for unparalleled effective and clean skincare products that actually work. Here, I sit down with the #SturmGLOW guru to talk about her celebrity clientele, her products and what’s next for Dr. Barbara Sturm.

Tell me about your skincare line, in your words.

My Dr. Barbara Sturm skin care line is a total re-think of skin care at a moment in time that people want to put science rather than marketing on their faces.

You have quite a celebrity following. What is it about your product offering that you think attracts your A-list clientele?

Two things. First, they were introduced to my skincare creations because many celebrities around the world are my patients. And second, people whose face is their business will only put something on that face that is proven to work. They see success with my products and this builds an intense loyalty.

How did you get your start in this industry and where does your passion come from?

I started in anti-inflammatory orthopedic medicine. I translated some of our early, innovative research into aesthetics in 2002. My passion, and my inspiration, comes from my mother who was a pharmacist and grandmother who was a chemist. And my products are always first inspired by and designed for my immediate family, before I offer them to the public. The kids line for example – I created this for my 4 year old daughter Pepper and she was its only customer for the first year.

What is the ideal everyday skincare regimen?

If I had to generalize, the best skin care regime should be quick and uncomplicated, effectively combat rather than contribute to inflammation, and hydrate and nourish your skin without any aggressive ingredients.

For someone who has never used your products, which product(s) would you recommend they start with and why? 

I would start with my Cleanser, Hyaluronic Serum, and Face Cream. These are the fundamental products of a skin care regime, and you would see an improvement in the quality of your skin and the function of your skin matrix immediately.

What are your skincare tips for our readers in our primary markets of Miami, Los Angeles and New York? 

There are some overlapping issues across Miami, Los Angeles and New York, but also some unique ones. Los Angeles is the most inflammatory of the three places, because your skin is bombarded daily with both air pollution and UV. You need to protect your skin with both a good sunscreen (I love my Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops) and my Anti-Pollution Drops, as well as protect your skin barrier function by avoiding the use of aggressive acids and using protective hyaluronic acid and ingredients like Purslane. I also produce an adaptogen-based Anti-Pollution Food supplement, that helps the body deal with physical and chemical stress and supports the skin barrier function.

Miami has less air pollution, but the intense sun requires effective protection.  The humid air means you need a lighter moisturizer, and indeed for many a Hyaluronic Serum could suffice as moisturizer without a lipid-rich product. My Face Mask provides relief and healing after sun exposure, and drenches the skin in moisture lost at the beach.

New York has four true seasons and the skin care approach needs to be adjusted for the cold and warm months. Richer products during the cold season, and lighter during the warm months. And Eye Cream to combat dark circles comes in handy spending time in the city that never sleeps. And all three require the same fundamental approach to skin care: nourish, hydrate, combat inflammation and keep the cells healthy and functioning.

What are your thoughts of cosmetic, non-invasive skin procedures, such as Botox, fillers and lasers? 

Regarding Botox and filler, I perform these treatments, including on myself, and in the right hands and not overdone they are very effective. These injections require both art and science. I do not use harsh lasers nor anything that increases inflammation.

What are the must-haves from your product line? 

I only create must haves! For my own skin, I couldn’t live without my Hyaluronic Serum in the morning, Super Anti-Aging Serum in the evening, Calming Serum, Face Mask and Glow Drops. I wouldn’t use any other sun screen besides my Sun Drops. But I use every product in the line, and as with my children, I don’t choose favorites.

Tell me about what makes your new lip balm so special, and why we should be taking better care of our lips in general?

The Lip Balm oddly took me more attempts, and time, to get right than any other product. 43 versions were formulated in the three years it took to create. It needed to be healing, moisturizing, have just the right texture and just give you the x factor on your lips. I think we nailed it at last. I just didn’t make enough, but we will make more! Lips are sensitive, and when the skin health of your lips is poor, we can see it and feel it.  Lips needs to be moisturized, anti-oxidated, and nurtured. Instead, they are often left unprotected, or have products slathered on them containing harsh and inflammatory ingredients.

I’m seeing the Anti-Pollution Drops all over social media. Why is it an important part of the skincare regimen?

Pollution is a massive and growing problem, and pollution wreaks havoc on our skin and bodies. And pollution is mobile, so there is no escaping it, especially in urban areas and huge geographic swaths of the world. When pollution hits unprotected skin, the first thing it does is break down the skin’s own natural barrier function. So, pollution protection starts with support for the skin barrier function. Pollution also directly causes disease and dysfunction, so a screen to catch and trap pollution before it attacks exposed skin is as necessary as sun protection. Finally, the most underappreciated form of pollution is HEV – blue light pollution from our mobile phones and devices that has been shown to penetrate the skin more deeply than UVA and UVB and cause premature aging and other skin dysfunction. We need to protect ourselves against pollution inside and out.

Who is the Brightening Line for and how does it benefit this skin type?

The brightening line is designed for ameliorating yellowing or dark skin discolorations. This line gives the complexion a more even glow thanks to shimmer particles. Extract of Cress Sprouts reduces melanin synthesis and lipofuscin formation. This makes the complexion appear visibly brighter and reduces existing pigmentation. Hyaluronic Acid provides intensive moisture and Ginseng Extract supports the skin’s own protection against UV-induced environmental stress. Other active ingredients provide a calming effect for glowing, more even-looking skin. The serum refines skin tone and texture using natural brightening ingredients.

What’s next for the Dr. Sturm brand in the U.S.? 

My husband says that I am like Willy Wonka, always inventing new candy. I have quite a few new inventions coming out later in 2019 – bringing new molecules and compounds over from medicine into the cosmetic sphere, and a new device that I have been working on.

Photo Credit: Anthony Deeying

For more high-end skincare and beauty content, please visit click here to visit the Haute Beauty site. All images courtesy of Dr. Barbara Sturm, unless otherwise stated.