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
Updated Jul 24, 2018 @ 10:00 am
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The Splurge: Sturm Serum
Credit: Courtesy

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.

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.

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.