Skincare & Wellness Tips From Dr. Barbara Sturm

Skincare & Wellness Tips From Dr. Barbara Sturm

Dr. Barbara Sturm is ICONIC.

She’s been on the podcast ( listen here ) & she is featured in GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE SUN.

Some amazing people contributed so many incredible tips & tricks for my book & I’m just BEYOND grateful. The book could only be a certain amount of pages though & I went more than double over with the first draft. LOL. We’re a little extra over here.

Anyway, the publisher had to make tons of cuts but Dr. Sturm took the time to write the most beautiful & thoughtful answers to some really valuable & useful questions. They’re so specific & so full of knowledge that it would be a shame to not share them with you just because I didn’t get to feature every single one of them in the book.

Skincare & Wellness Tips From Dr. Barbara Sturm

To give you a little background: Dr. Barbara Sturm is a German aesthetics doctor, widely renowned for her anti-inflammatory philosophy and her non-surgical anti-aging skin treatments. Dr. Sturm began her medical career in orthopedics as part of the team that developed cutting-edge treatments for inflammatory conditions like osteoarthritis. Termed the “Kobe Procedure” after the late NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant, the treatment utilizes the patient’s own blood cells to produce proteins that reduce inflammation and stimulate the healing process. { via }

At the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show a few years ago, Dr. Sturm was there, wearing a fab lime green furry coat I might add. And she was so warm, present & kind. She took my blood & later sent me the famous MC1 cream.

My favorite product from Dr. Barbara Sturm’s line are the Anti-Pollution Drops. They contain blue light filters that protect us from all our screens. Ya, it’s a thing. Check out this post if you want more info on why & how to protect yourself from your phone, TV & computer screens.

In this post Dr. Sturm talks all about how fighting inflammation is key to healthy skin. And if you know me, you know I agree, which is why I created THE HOT MESS ICE ROLLER.

Ok ok, enough from me. You’re probably dying to hear from Dr. Barbara Sturm. Let’s get into it.

Please introduce yourself as a doctor in the skincare space. Give us your bio! 

Barbara Sturm: My entire medical career has been devoted to developing ways to reduce inflammation in the skin & body – the leading cause of aging in both the joints and skin.

I started as an orthopedic surgeon, & was part of a research team that pioneered a procedure that used a patient’s own blood cells to reduce inflammation & heal injured joint tissue. I then took this technology into aesthetic medicine, where I adapted it into a new facial treatment that similarly took patients blood & then treated it over the course of a day in the laboratory to accelerate the healing factors & other beneficial proteins.

The treated plasma was then re-injected into the skin creating micro-injuries that the platelets hurry to repair in an effort to heal damage, thus combating skin damage & other signs of aging. I did not name this treatment anything, but the public later termed it a “Vampire Facial.”

This led to the creation of MC1 cream in 2001, a custom-made cream that uses the patient’s own growth factors to heal inflammation within the skin, & which had extraordinary anti-aging results.

Finally, in 2014, I created my Molecular Cosmetics skincare line after getting so many questions from patients about what other products to use. All my products work on the cellular level to reduce inflammation, promote cell health & improve barrier function using potent, active ingredient science & natural extracts.

♡ What’s the biggest mistake you see people making in 2020 when it comes to their skin?

BS: There are actually two. The first is being promiscuous with skincare. People are overdosing on too many different products without paying attention to the ingredients inside or the interplay between all those ingredients. This is what leads to skin conditions like breakouts, perioral dermatitis & enlarged pores, which are the result of inflammatory processes.

The second is the popular attraction to “quick fixes” such as aggressive acid peels & products with irritating ingredients like retinol & glycolic acid that destroy healthy skin cells & disrupt skin’s delicate, but essential natural barrier function. Over time these products end up doing more harm than good.

What’s the most effective treatment or procedure & why?

BS: At my spas we offer my signature Instant Glow Facial, which incorporates techniques created in my German clinic for cleansing, exfoliating, potent hydration & firming massage, coupled with cutting-edge molecular efficacy.

The facial involves my Cleanser followed by Facial Scrub or Enzyme Cleanser – depending on the client — then…

♡  Face Mask

♡ Balancing Toner

♡ Hyaluronic Serum

♡ Face Cream Rich

Eye Cream

Lip Balm

Glow Drops

…& finished with my Hydrating Face Mist.

It leaves you with an instant, dewy glow & has long lasting, reparative effects on the skin barrier function as well as penetrative hydration.

My Scaddle Lift procedure is a re-sculpting lift treatment that I developed as a type of liquid lift, in which dermal filler is introduced into the skin using a very special technique. I created this treatment as a way to gently restore youthful freshness & fullness to your face without having to resort to the scalpel.

The Scaddle Lift improves the structure of the skin, tightens, smooths wrinkles & gives the face back its youthful contours. This makes it look well-balanced & provides an overall youthful appearance. To achieve this, selected substances  ( such as hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite ) are injected under the skin. Light & thin hyaluronic acids are used in slightly sunken areas to treat volume losses. During the aging process volume is lost in the face, which is replaced with fillers.

This rejuvenates the contours & proportions. My technique emphasizes a balanced & natural-looking restoration of youthful facial features rather than the common approach of smoothing the face & eliminating all wrinkles.

What is your absolute favorite skincare product if you had to choose, & why?

BS: My Hyaluronic Serum is the fundamental product of my regime that I call the “white t-shirt” of my line because it’s essential & beneficial for all skin types. It contains a high concentration of both low & high-molecular weighted hyaluronic acid that floods skin with hydration both superficially & at the deeper layers.

It also contains Purslane, my potent, antioxidant powerhouse that calms irritation & helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier function. In fact, Hyaluronic acid is an important, naturally occurring compound in our skin & bodies that’s able to bind up to 1,000 times its weight in water, leaving skin fresh, supple & glowing with health.

What’s a health or wellness tip that makes a big difference in people’s skin?

BS: Follow a skincare regime that heals. Rather than attacks your skin based on three principles: providing deep hydration, strengthening skin barrier function, & reducing visible signs of inflammation.

Every skin type can benefit from this approach because the end result is that skin functions better & therefore looks healthier. Also, stick to your regime, because the more you take care of your skin, the better & more beautiful it gets.

What should we be eating for our skin?

BS: Diet is key to getting inflammation under control & promoting both skin & overall health. Superfoods are beneficial, but they won’t help if you are loading up on inflammatory foods & activities. It’s important to minimize inflammatory habits such as excessive alcohol, smoking, sugar, fried & processed foods.

Your diet should consist of anti-inflammatory foods like dark berries such as cherries, blueberries & blackberries, green leafy vegetables, beans, seeds & nuts as well as foods that are rich in glutathione, a potent antioxidant, like asparagus, peppers, carrots, broccoli, avocados, squash or spinach, & Omega-3 rich fatty fish like salmon & tuna.

Most days I make my Skin Boost Smoothie that’s packed with Vitamin C, which helps your body synthesize collagen, which is essential for healthy skin. I add antioxidant-rich blueberries & my Skin Food Capsules, which contain a powdered blend of the compound Purslane to help calm the skin & reduce visible signs of irritation, as well as potent antioxidant substances which help promote skin renewal from the inside out. You simply add the juice of one orange, one pint of organic blueberries, some coconut milk, a coconut sprinkled date & two skin food capsules ( opened & sprinkled in ) to a blender with ice & enjoy!

♡ What vitamins & minerals are best for the skin?

BS: People don’t always get what they need from their diets & that’s why I invented skin & health boosting supplements. In general, there is a correlation between certain vitamins & other biologically active supplements & skin quality. If your Vitamin A is depleted, for example, your cell regeneration will be poor & the result will be dry, flaky skin.

Overall, skincare supplements should contain antioxidants to help support the body’s defense against pollution & oxidation. My Skin Food & Repair Food supplements both include Purslane, which contains Telomerase, the “Fountain of Youth” enzyme.

Purslane is also one of the richest sources on earth of omega-3 fatty acids, a-linolenic acid, & antioxidants including tocopherol, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, & glutathione to reduce inflammation, help the body deal with oxidative stress, & promote hydration & renewal from the inside-out.

Adaptogens, which are featured in my Anti-Pollution Food, increase resistance to chemical & physical stresses on the body, while ginseng & Vitamin E boost the immune system. There are so many supplements available on the market today. And if they are not my own, I am generally very careful as it is easy to overdose on certain substances which are not good for your body if taken in too high a concentration.

How can we all get superstar skin?

BS: The philosophy underpinning my entire approach to skincare is to avoid inflammation at all costs. For a skincare routine, boost your skin barrier function & skin matrix while restoring both superficial & deeper layer moisture with products designed to heal & hydrate, like my Hyaluronic Serum & Face Cream.

Apply a Kaolin Clay-based mask at least twice a week to freshen tired skin. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, & protect yourself from all types of pollution, both airborne & the HEV blue light pollution that comes from our digital devices, which is more harmful than UVA & UVB rays combined.

At night it is essential to cleanse ( & twice a week deeper cleanse with my gentle Enzyme Cleanser ) to remove pollution from your skin’s surface before bedtime.

My non-skincare advice is to reduce inflammatory influences in your life including stress, inadequate sleep, smoking, alcohol, & dietary skin-harmers like sugar, cured meats, trans fats & excessive carbs.

Talk to us about the different skin types. ie: combination, sensitive, oily, etc.

BS: Regardless of skin type, a skincare routine should be healing, not aggressive, & simple & effective. It should also focus on reducing irritation, providing hydration & nourishing the skin to maintain the health & function of the cells.

Dry Skin feels rough & can appear flaky & dry because it lacks oil & lipids at a deeper level.

A dry skin type benefits from the deep, healing hydration of my Hyaluronic Serum, followed by the richer oils that protect and nourish like my Face Cream Rich, which contains valuable oils like grape seed to balance skin & protect from dehydration.

Oily Skin may appear shiny, slick to the touch, & with enlarged pores, blackheads, whiteheads & occasional or persistent breakouts & pimples.

My Clarifying Collection includes four fundamental skincare products that work to hydrate the skin  (it’s a myth that oily skin needs to be ‘dried out’ ) while also contending with the bacteria, clogged pores, & inflammation of acne-prone skin.

Sensitive Skin experiences redness & irritation, easily flushes & becomes irritated due to external elements like pollution.

For sensitive skin, Purslane is wonderful for soothing & healing. It is an ingredient that has been clinically studied for its anti-inflammatory, wound healing, & anti-oxidative properties. It also is one of the most nourishing plant substances on earth, packed with high concentrations of skin-loving vitamins, minerals, & omega-3 fatty acids. My Hyaluronic Serum contains high levels of Purslane, making it very effective for supporting the skin barrier function.

Darker Skin Tones are more melanin-active & tend to produce more sebum & be more susceptible to the skin-damaging inflammation cascade begun by even moderate breakouts & other irritations, resulting in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

The products in my Darker Skin Tones line contain additional ingredient science which has potent hydrating & also anti-inflammatory effects to help balance out sebum production & ingredients like Lumicol to even out skin tone for a natural, healthy glow.

What should we be looking for on skincare labels?

BS: Beyond the obvious—non-toxic, non-irritating & cruelty-free—avoid all aggressive ingredients including mineral oils & other petroleum-based ingredients, fragrances, paraffins, & acids that break down the skin barrier function & leave it vulnerable to oxidants, free radicals & a variety of skin dysfunctions.

Don’t fall victim to clever marketing promises. Instead, look for evidence of real scientific research & also educate yourself to the fullest extent about every ingredient you’re using. You owe it to yourself & your skin.

♡ What’s your advice for anyone considering Botox & fillers?

BS: As an aesthetics doctor, one of my first principles is to use the smallest quantity of injectable compounds like Botox or filler to accomplish the aesthetic goal. This creates the most minimalist, natural result, simply restoring facial structures & functions that have been lost to age.

Patients come into my clinic mostly because they look in the mirror & want to feel young again. But make no mistake, these injectables require both art & science. And must be paired with great skincare to provide the desired results.

When it comes to Botox, don’t start too young or aggressively because muscles atrophy. Also, don’t go overboard. Long term Botox use can debilitate the muscle. So make sure that you use it sparingly.

♡ How bad is smoking & tanning for the skin & why?

BS: Both smoking & UV exposure can cause inflammatory processes within the body, which can lead to the degeneration & weakening of the connective tissue, resulting in bags under the eyes, sagging tissue around the jaw & mouth area, & dull, sallow skin tone.

Cigarette smoking has been associated with skin aging, causing wrinkles, dryness, & skin dyschromia’s, & also the combination of smoking & sun exposure has been shown to massively accelerate the aging effect.

Furthermore, smoking can cause skin cancer & is associated with psoriasis & the formation of acne vulgaris. Additionally, UV radiation is a “physical” pollutant, described as being the factor responsible for most skin cancers in humans.

♡ Where can everyone find you? 

BS: Instagram: @drbarbarasturm

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/drbarbarasturm

Twitter: @DrBarbaraSturm

Facebook: www.facebook.com/drbarbarasturm

Website: www.drsturm.com

If you want more tips from Dr. Barbara Sturm be sure to check out page 175 of GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE SUNher podcast episode where she gives even more tips on keeping your skin youthful.

Plus, @drbarbarasturm on Instagram is PACKED with value from Barbara herself & her daughter Charly.

Definitely check out Pellequr if you’re in LA & looking for a facial with Dr. Sturm’s products. My facialist, Haile, does most her facials with her products & you just can’t go wrong. Stalk Pellequr on Instagram @pellequr &

x, lauryn

+ stalk this DIY baking soda body scrub.

++ scope these Botox tips if you’re thinking of getting it for the first time. 

+ { image source 1, 2 }

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