These Serums by Dr Barbara Sturm Are a Miracle in a Pipette

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From AnOther Loves BeautyPhotography by Daisy Walker, Set Design by Phoebe Shakespeare

Dr Barbara Sturm’s bestselling serums are loved the world over

From the niche new beauty brands doing something different, to the industry’s evergreen icons, Sophie Bew opens up AnOther’s dream vanity in a new series...

  1. Who should use it? Skincare obsessives.
  2. How long until I love it? Those who are used to using hyaluronic acid will notice the quick-working wonder of these items immediately; those who aren’t, will love them after a few uses.
  3. How planet-/people-friendly is it? Short answer please! Sturm favours non-toxic ingredients and glass bottles.
  4. How do I use it? Just one drop into the palm is typically enough.

While standing in the corner of Harry’s Dolce, the off-shoot Cipriani bar on Venice’s Giudecca island, at a Biennale launch party I witnessed a remarkable beauty moment happening IRL. It was a launch party for Cindy Sherman and Catherine Opie’s charmingly uncanny ‘cameo’ jewellery they launched with creative platform LIZWORKS, and I was stood there, ferrying morsels of Baccalà Mantecato – a Venetian specialty of whipped cod mousse – into my mouth and trying to avoid talking to the art crowd when I saw two glossy haired, glowy faced Italianate beauties gesturing emphatically. One of them proceeded to pull from her bag box after box labelled Dr Barbara Sturm. Happily, I know the brand well; as do I know its price tag and thus I was intrigued to see this illicit beauty transaction taking place in these esteemed surroundings. The recipient stuffed the boxes into her handbag with the thirsty smile of an addict.

Dr Sturm is one of a league of female doctors transforming the face of both the beauty industry and its loyal following. Her background as an aesthetician and attention to molecular cosmetics (the range, Molecular Cosmetics, is so named) sees Sturm top Net-a-Porter’s worldwide bestseller charts again and again, and touted as the creator of Kim Kardashian’s favourite “Vampire Facial” – a combination of microdermabrasion and the application of PRP (platelet-rich plasma). Her penchant for the incubation, centrifugation and reintroduction of a patient’s own blood proteins is espoused in every article on her too. This means, extracting the patient’s blood, combining it with hyaluronic acid and injecting it for an anti-inflammatory and highly regenerative effect on a cellular level. But she’s not just a shock-jock (though I don’t take to the idea of botoxing one’s armpits in order not to prevent sweating – we are meant to sweat, our lives depend upon it!) – those chic little pipette bottles are filled with way less scary product for use at home.

There’s the Hyaluronic Serum designed with a plethora of short and long chain hyaluronic molecules that penetrate multiple layers of the epidermis for ultra hydration – it’s the lightest I’ve ever tried meaning it sinks straight in to the skin and gets to work. Costing £200+ and with increasingly soaring sales, I’m not the only one to think it. Sturm’s Sun Drops SPF50 are frankly genius. With broad spectrum coverage and vitamin E and cassine, it’s a supercharged sunscreen that promotes cell regeneration while protecting your skin from extra damage – with one drop added to my morning moisturiser, it’s the first SPF routine I’ve been able to stick to. Then there’s the Glow Drops, a serum combining Sturm’s signature purslane (a herb that contains a high amount of glutathione, a natural antioxidant system and Omega-3 fatty acids that are otherwise only found in fish oil) and hyaluronic acid, polygonum bistorta root to even out skin tone and wild rose extract to refine pores with a pinky glowy pigment. It’s the foundation-phobic dream. In other words, if someone hands you some at a work event, snaffle them quick sharp.