The first time I heard about Dr. Barbara Sturm was when the vampire facial was making its Internet rounds after Kim K.W. smeared her own blood all over her face. Basically, blood plasma-infused skincare was everywhere, and Dr. Sturm was made famous for being a pioneer of the movement and formulating bespoke moisturizing creams made with it. After a little digging, though, I found out she had an entire celebrity-approved skincare collection sans the blood. We’re talking celebrities who literally glow, like Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Irina Shayk, Kate Moss, and Angela Bassett.
That, along with the minimalist, Instagrammable white and black packaging, convinced me to give the line a road-test in my own routine. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I did.
Dr. Sturm, who is a specialist in aesthetic medicine and molecular cosmetics, created the collection under her philosophy that your skincare products should heal your skin, and to do that task, it should be free of fragrance, mineral oils, and preservatives. "Skin cells must be nourished and protected,” she told us. "So I formulate my products using only ingredients that have been shown in clinical trials to have a potent effect in combating aging, inflammation and oxidation, while providing cellular renewal, deep hydration, and fundamental nutrition.
The collection consists of 13 products and another line specifically made for darker skin tone that she created in collaboration with Angela Bassett.
It’s well-rounded yet concise with three different serums, an eye cream, two different face creams, a cleanser, innovative SPF drops, a facial scrub, and a few more buys like a mask she first formulated with Cher (yes, the Cher) in her kitchen.
"I began with the idea that less is more, and of the less, use only the very best,” she says of the curated line. "Fundamentally, you need to clean, exfoliate, hydrate and protect your skin. The first products I launched were a cleanser, a scrub, a cream with base ingredients similar to my blood plasma cream, and hyaluronic serum for topical use, which wasn’t common then, since this was a primary ingredient that I was injecting into the skin. The eye cream was created after receiving a number of patient requests for one. To create the Super Anti-Aging Serum I loaded the hyaluronic serum with anti-aging ingredients, because I believe serums serve as excellent transportation vehicles for anti-aging ingredients.”
It was the serums that made me fall in love with the brand. While pricey, I found them incredibly effective at hydrating and soothing my sensitive, reactionary skin. The Calming Serum ($250; bloomingdales.com), by far my favorite for my rosy complexion, is a milky thin liquid that melts into your skin and is designed to take down redness and inflammation, as well as reduce burning and reactions by strengthening the skin's defense mechanisms.
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"I love the calming serum so much," she told me when I admitted I use it every day and night. "It was originally created for use in my clinic post-treatment to reduce redness and calm down the skin. My patients were begging me to produce it for home use because they loved it so much too. Now, the calming serum works wonders against rosacea, redness, and irritation. You can visually observe a calming result in 30 seconds. If you apply the serum and look into the mirror, you will see the redness fading—I love that. It is also great to use after-sun, against mosquito bites, as a healing serum for my kids’ scars, and post-waxing and shaving. You can also use it to give a beautiful glow to dry legs before going out."
This has been a revolutionary step to my routine and has definitely eased the sensitivities I've been dealing with over the past few months. That's what makes the pricetag easy to justify.
My other personal favorite is the Eye Cream ($140; bloomingdales.com), which is a thin and cooling gel that uses a complex to depuff and soothe and omega lipids to moisturize. Of course, there's the highly-anticipated Sun Drops, which is a serum-y SPF that you can use to boost your moisturizer with sun protection and will be available in the U.S. soon.
Science-based skincare that's pretty to look at, celebrities adore, and actually works? Now that's a dream come true.