Barbara Sturm on skincare, vulva sculpting and the new London summit


When it comes to the successful skincare brands of the last decade, few have risen as high as Dr Barbara Sturm’s eponymous label. Pioneering the doctor-founded beauty brand trend (as well as the likes of Augustinus Bader and Dennis Gross), Sturm’s line began as a whisper among Hollywood’s A-listers in the 2000s and is now, thanks to word of mouth and a powerful digital strategy , white bottles stand in the bathrooms of the most discerning people, including Hailey Bieber, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Victoria Beckham, Angela Bassett and Bella Hadid.

A physician trained in sports medicine, Sturm has a holistic, anti-inflammatory approach to skin health. “Inflammation is a necessary immune response in our body,” he says in a video call from his chalet in the Swiss mountain resort of Gstaad, “but if it gets too high, we start getting autoimmune disease, chronic diseases, and we age…to keep it under control.”

To do this, she advocates a mostly plant-based diet, regular exercise, avoiding the midday sun, reducing stress as much as possible, and aiming for the holy grail of eight hours of sleep. Puritan coming? Maybe. But Dr., who exercises every day and is in bed at 10 pm most nights. Sturm is the best advertisement for this regimen. A 50-year-old mother of two daughters (Charly, 26 and Pepper, eight) with a busy international travel schedule has a typically teenage glow. She has been getting botox since she was 30, but her looks are very natural.

Barbara Sturm

“I think injectables have a place,” says Sturm, who thinks he started at a very young age now. “It’s about how you do it – to look beautiful and refreshed.” She believes that a gently pricked face can have mental health benefits, “because if your face doesn’t look the way you feel it can cause a lot of depression and it’s so easy to fix! All of a sudden you can feel how your face looks!”

Less keen on exfoliation acids and retinols, which are a very popular part of most brands’ offerings. “I think in big cities people are so busy that there’s often the urge to make quick fixes… The problem is, you can easily cause damage by destroying your skin barrier function and microbiome, causing inflammation, dryness, and sensitivity of all kinds,” she says. sturm “I can always tell if someone is using retinol.”

Barbara Sturm

Dr Sturm will host the first in-person health summit tomorrow and Saturday at The Stables, Covent Garden. Its width is set to be Goop-like, minus the £1,000 ticket. “I love what Gwyneth has done with Goop, but it’s a really different approach. I’m a medical doctor, I come from a scientific background.” While Sturm’s products aren’t cheap – the hyaluronic acid serum is £250 for a 100ml pop and the Glow Drops are £115 – there will be plenty of offerings on the ground floor at the event that won’t cost a penny. arcade games with product prizes.The first floor will feature nine ticketed masterclasses, workshops and panel discussions, with tickets costing between £20-80 and can be used on merchandise.

Where Gwyneth’s jade eggs are, Sturm has a vagina clay sculpture workshop in partnership with The Lady Garden Foundation. After a talk on gynecological health, London-based artist Poppy Sheppard will help attendees create their own artistic interpretation of a colored clay vulva drawing. The idea arose after Sturm launched a range of intimate care in April 2021 and discovered that many women were unaware of their anatomy. “Women aren’t taught about their own bodies… Many didn’t really know the difference between a vagina and a vulva, what it looked like,” says Sturm. “I think it’s nice to talk about what we can do better if we understand our bodies better?”

Barbara Sturm

For Newby Hands, Global Beauty Director at Net-a-Porter, it’s this realistic approach that makes Sturm so appealing and successful: “Barbara has always been very connected to women and what they want for skincare, and this woman — the approach to women is so powerful.” “His brand is ultimately about great products that look good and are fun to use, created by a passionate founder who truly embodies his brand.”

Sturm’s anti-inflammatory approach to the skin has its roots in his medical career in orthopedics, where he pioneered the “Kobe Procedure” (as with Kobe Bryant), in which a patient’s blood cells are re-injected into the joints to reduce inflammation and slow the aging process. Turning this into the field of aesthetics, Sturm developed the MC1 cream (a moisturizer containing the patient’s blood plasma) in 2002 and opened a medical clinic in Düsseldorf in 2006. launches the bloodless Molecular Cosmetics skincare line focused on healing and hydration.

She has since opened spas in eight locations (including her second clinic on Mount Street in London, offering injectables), adding supplements, teas and hair care to its range, and collaborating with fashion brands like Aquazzura and Perfect Moment. The business, valued at approximately $150 million by the FT, has seen revenues increase 10x over the past four years. But while some beauty brands were acquired by giant corporations, Sturm remained independent.

“With her appetite for innovation, dedication to clinical research, and belief in the power of word of mouth, Sturm’s remarkable evolution from a whispered insider secret to global skincare dominance has been sneaky and very confident,” says Rose Beer, Beauty Director for ES Magazine.

So I ask what’s next for skin supremacy? “More spas, more peaks, more skincare… It’s all a lot of work!” he says, laughing. Indeed, it is clear that this glowing German is determined to help us do and feel our best. “People can make their own choices,” he says, “but if they have more information, they can make better choices.”

Dr. Barbara Sturm Haus: Anti-Inflammatory Workshop, The Stables WC2H 9LH, January 27-28,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *