As far as we know, there’s almost no such thing as effortless beauty. From facial treatments that leave your complexion dewy and luminous to the perfect winged eyeliner, experts reveal their most-trusted, insider hacks for CR‘s series, Beauty Secrets.
German skincare expert Dr. Barbara Sturm has literally put a lot of blood into her work. As an orthopedic doctor, she contributed to developing the Kobe Procedure–named after the late Kobe Bryant, who sustained a basketball-related knee injury–where the patient’s own blood cells were used to produce proteins that reduce inflammation and stimulate healing. From there, Dr. Sturm explored how the science from her clinical research could be applied to aesthetic procedures, which eventually led to her now-famous MC1 cream and the creation of the viral vampire facial–both of which use a patient’s own blood as part of the treatment. Dr. Sturm continues to make an impact in her work through her Düsseldorf, Germany aesthetic medical clinic, where she practices anti-aging treatments and procedures; best-selling Molecular Cosmetics skincare line, which she launched in 2014; and New York City boutique and spa, which opened just last year.
Her science-driven approach to skincare delivers healthy, glowy results, which has made her a favorite among models and celebrities, including CR’s cover stars Cher and Kim Kardashian West. Not to mention the list of beauty industry insiders who swear by her products–several of our previous Beauty Secrets subjects have given her Hyaluronic Serum a shoutout.
Here, Dr. Sturm speaks to CR about her skincare routine that lets her skip the makeup, her take on beauty trends, and how to manage breakouts.
What is your skincare routine?
“Like everyone, I live my life on the go, so I need my skincare routine to be simple. For starters, I rarely wear makeup, and generally replace it or enhance minimal makeup with my Glow Drops. A few days a week, I apply my hydrating Face Mask first thing in the morning, while drinking my latte and responding to overnight emails. Twice a week, I’ll either use the Facial Scrub or Enzyme Cleanser in the shower on my face and body to remove dead skin cells, boost circulation and encourage skin renewal. The rest of the time I use my Foam Cleanser. Immediately after showering (which is important to avoid osmosis/transepidermal water loss), I apply my Balancing Toner, then Hyaluronic Serum and Anti-Pollution Drops, Face Cream and Eye Cream. Not counting the Face Mask, my entire routine takes only one to two minutes.”
What advice do you have for people who can’t regularly see a skin professional or dermatologist?
“I began my career as an anti-aging orthopedic doctor and translated my inventions, practice and science into skin. So although my medical practice and scientific focus for two decades has been on skin, I am not a dermatologist. Speaking as an anti-aging doctor, as we age, skin and other dysfunctions increase. It is therefore essential to see a dermatologist regularly to check for dysfunction such as skin cancer and other inflammatory conditions. People should be self-monitoring their skin constantly, and when changes occur, a visit to the dermatologist is essential. In the meantime, minimize your dermatologist visits and maximize your skin satisfaction by taking a healing rather than aggressive approach to skin health, and consistently use protection against the elements–UVA, UVB, HEV, and air pollution.”
What do you think about skincare trends, such as new ingredients like bakuchiol or popular facial treatments?
“I am deeply interested in innovation and closely monitor the innovations in ingredient science and approach, but I am skeptical of marketing-based or aggressive approaches to the skin. I am not in favor of bakuchiol, which is cited as an alternative to retinol and exhibits some of the same properties. For years I have advised against an approach deploying acids like retinol because they destroy rather than repair the skin matrix. I am also not in favor of approaches that promise short term benefits while creating medium- and longer-term harm.
And as for trendy facials, if they have science behind them and people are pleased with the results, great, but I caution my patients not to be too haphazard with ingredients and approaches, because the mix and match approach of ingredients can have unintended consequences.”
What is your strategy when it comes to minimizing blemishes?
“Acne is caused by multiple factors. Breakouts are caused by inflammation, and then themselves trigger more inflammation. So inflammation-triggers like pollution, UVA/UVB, work-related and food-stress, and hormones play a role. So, if someone has acne-prone skin, I like them to get their blood checked for lactose intolerance, hormone levels, and allergies; they should also check all ingredients in their skincare routine and take out any products containing aggressive ingredients that are pro-inflammatory.
I tell my patients with breakout-prone skin that it is a common misconception that skin prone to acne and breakouts should be dried out. In fact, it is even more important to moisturize, as most breakouts are exacerbated by dryness-triggered inflammation. I created my Clarifying Face Cream with acne prone skin specifically in mind. It strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier and helps to restore its natural barrier function. It also has excellent ingredient science with anti-bacterial properties that help to target inflammation and irritation before it occurs. Robust, protected and healthy skin has lower frequency and duration of acne breakouts.”
What are you currently excited about in your work?
“Treating patients and creating new products and approaches–the creative process–is what always excites me work-wise. I was in Switzerland recently, putting together interesting science-based spa partnerships. Afterwards, I went to New York where the Cosmetic Executive Women organization gave me an entrepreneurial founder’s award, and then to the Oscars to treat and get my patients ready.”
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createdAt:Fri, 06 Mar 2020 15:13:49 +0000