She’s behind the wildly popular vampire facial; counts Angela Bassett, Gigi Hadid, Kourtney Kardashian and Cher as her loyal clients; and is the founder of an eponymous skincare line with a cult following. Dr Barbara Sturm, known for her non-invasive approach in skincare, believes in ageing gracefully and takes a natural yet highly scientific approach to beauty. A trained orthopaedic doctor, the Dusseldorf-based 40-something became a globally renowned skincare guru when she launched her cult brand based on molecular cosmetics. For her, the real secret behind ageless skin is fighting inflammation. “Stop all the aggression, stop all the acid peels and lasers. You are just breaking [your skin’s] barrier functions and making things worse,” says Sturm, whose eponymous beauty range is all about using ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, healing and moisturising.
Tailored for women of all ages, her serums are the most sought after—her celebrity favourite hyaluronic ampoules are iconic and make an appearance on many celebrity top shelves. Another superstar, her MC1 cream is a bespoke product that uses the patient’s own blood. And she even has a mini molecular line for babies and kids. When Dr Sturm found evidence that pointed to a link between an increased amount of melanocytes in darker skins and skin inflammation, she created a range for darker skins and women of colour—“This is the reason why darker skins can have trouble with hyperpigmentation,” she says. She shared her simple commandments to ageing well during her recent trip to Dubai, where she was part of Mall of the Emirates’ Fashion Live line-up.
1. Sleep, sleep, sleep: Always make sure you get enough sleep and go to bed early sometimes. Make getting enough sleep a habit.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet: Eating right is really where it all begins. Most of skin ageing happens when there’s inflammation in the body.
3. Don’t be aggressive: Use products that are healing. And stay away from lasers and acid peels. Treat skin gently and don’t go overboard with harsh products. Take sun protection seriously.
4. Always hydrate: Inside out. Drink enough water and topically use products that draw moisture into your skin. Use a hyaluronic serum religiously in the morning and evening before applying moisturiser.
5. Safeguard against pollution: Use products that defend against pollution. My Anti-Pollution Drops protect the skin by forming a ‘biomimetic shield’ against environmental stressors. It also promotes the skin’s natural barrier function, and combats the oxidation and inflammation caused by pollutants such as the air and blue light radiation from our computers and phones.
6. Go outside: Exercise outdoors, be in nature. It is good for the mind and skin to spend some time in and connect with the nature.
7. Heal skin from the inside out: Use supplements to support skin and overall health, and to overcome deficiencies in the body.
8. Design dedicated skincare routines: Your skin’s needs change from time to time, so it’s important to have special routines for when there’s a change in season, or you’re travelling and spending lot of time on long haul flights. Your skincare products should always change to adapt to your environment.