The Splurge is our new weekly column dedicated to expensive beauty products that are actually worth it. This week, why we're rebuying Dr. Barbara Sturm's Hyaluronic Acid Serum—despite the $300 price tag. 

By Victoria Moorhouse
Jul 24, 2018 @ 10:00 am
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

I don't think skincare needs to be expensive in order to be effective. Affordable options on drugstore shelves have always worked better for my sensitive skin type—my facial cleanser costs $6, and the moisturizer I credit to saving my dry skin rings in at $33. After finding such success with cheaper options, spending an obscene amount of money on skincare products felt, well, ridiculous.

Then, I became acquainted with Dr. Barbara Sturm Skincare and her Hyaluronic Serum. It retails for—wait for it—$300. Despite its monster price tag, I love it anyways—so much so that I might even save up to keep buying it.

Of course, I didn't just try this budget-blowing product on a whim: Dr. Sturm's strict science-based skincare development philosophy was the initial reason I gave the brand a chance, despite the wildly expensive price tag. 

"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," Dr. Barbara Sturm had told me in an interview.

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Basically, she doesn't believe in filling products with mineral oils and fragrances and fillers that didn't do anything for the health and well-being of the skin cells. The serum, for instance, is made with short- and long-chained hyaluronic acid chains, which basically means it reaches different layers of your skin. The shorter chains help with the surface levels of hydration, while the long-chains are able to penetrate deeper. 

In addition to hydration, hyaluronic acid provides a plumping effect, and makes your skin look and feel firmer soon after applying. Dr. Sturm's Hyaluronic Serum also contains purslane. It's anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich properties soothe, nourish, and protect, making it an ideal ingredient for anyone with sensitive skin. 

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To try the serum, I applied the clear, water-like liquid after cleansing. I used about half a pipette — a small amount worked for my entire face. It absorbs within one minute, and my skin instantly felt firmer, especially around cheekbones and on my forehead. After the serum, I layered a daily moisturizer on top. I started to see a real difference in the moisture levels of my skin after using it twice daily for about a week. Because it's free of fragrance and other ingredients that trigger a response from my sensitive skin, I can use it without fear of red, splotchy patches popping up—in other words, the holy grail. 

Overall, I still hold by my statement that good skincare doesn't have to cost hundreds of dollars, but if a product performs like Dr. Sturm's, it's a bit easier to justify the splurge.