Getting That Sturm Skin Just In Time For Summer!

BY Anum Bashir

With a plate of warm, delicious chocolate fondant between us, and the beautiful blue sea in front of us, it took of all 30 seconds for Barbara Sturm and I to exchange hugs, kisses, and share the number of ways in which we’re so similar. Mind you, I was working over-time to conceal just how insanely excited I was to finally be able to sit down with the skin guru, after following her work for a couple years. Fan girl moment? Yes, this surely was. I was instantly so drawn to her loving, quirky disposition, and her willingness to share all she knows about having great skin. There's a science to it, and Dr. Sturm reveals it right here.

AB: Where were you born/ where did you grow up?

BS: I was born in East Germany, and grew up in a tiny village where climbing trees during the summers, and skiing during the winter months kept me busy all through my childhood. I was a total nature girl; a tomboy who ran free playing sports with my two brothers. It was wonderful and very freeing. It’s where I planted roots, and feel extremely connected to till this day, though I moved away quite young. My teenage/ young-adult years were spent in Dusseldorf where I still live today. So it was a profound contrast from village to city.

AB: What was growing up like for you?

BS: I spent my formative years in Dusseldorf, and my mother would often take me to the hospital because she was a doctor. That early exposure made me realize I wanted to be a doctor too, and pursued it.

AB: Childhood dreams/ heroes?

BS: My early exposure to nature and the wilderness made me love to deeply. I guess my childhood dream was always to have this perfect chalet in the mountains – I would design it a specific way, and it would be my escape. I adore the silence, and having that peace of mind. It’s a dream I still have to fulfill.

I was a total soccer fanatic growing up, so I’d say they were my childhood heroes. I would name my various pet hamsters after a different player, but if I had to pick a favorite it was definitely Michael Rummenigge.

AB: Earliest beauty influences? Mother? Grandmother?

BS: The women in my family never really wore makeup, and they looked fantastic! They were such natural beauties, and had such a carefree approach to skincare, so I never really had early beauty influences per se. I owned my first eyeliner at the age of 24 because makeup never really did it for me.

You see for me skincare and beauty was more a science, and because I am a scientist, I was keen to tap into my own needs, and exploring gaps in the market that I saw. I approached dermatology purely as a formula.

I tried a variety of brands, formulas, and products that were available on the market because to me skincare was and still is extremely crucial. Sadly though nothing ever yielded the results I was looking for, so I set out to create it myself with my knowledge and understanding of the science behind healthy skin. I approach it from a very fundamental need and understanding.

AB: When did you realize you wanted to get into beauty/ dermatology?

BS: I only realized it when the products around me weren’t satisfying me. It came from a personal need, but then I started to see and understand that several women experiencing similar gaps in skincare.

AB: How did that journey start?

BS: So in 2003, I founded the Vampire Facial; like PPR but more valuable. I transferred knowledge from Orthopedic practices into Dermatology and molecular cosmetics. Through that we created this highly anti-inflammatory blood cocktail rich in platelets and growth factors, which when re-injected back into the skin are key to rejuvenating and trigger self-healing (i.e. increased collagen production, etc.) - yielding beautiful healthy skin that’s not red, or inflamed, with noticeably large pores. A number of dermatological related issues like dermatitis and aging skin are linked to inflammation, so taking out the inflammation factor is key to preventing the breakdown of our largest organ. I used similar theories as mentioned earlier to also create my skincare line.

AB: All-star products (best sellers) in your line-up?

BS: I have to say, I’ll never launch a product or devise a formula unless I’m not 100% convinced by what it can do. Performance of our products it so key for me; that’s why we launched in the first place.

I love and truly believe in the effectiveness of each one of our formulas. But with that being said, our Glow Drops, Hyaluronic Serum, masks, and moisturizers are just so great, and REALLY work. I’ve never regarded myself as a beauty junkie, but I am extremely proud of what we’ve created with this skincare line.

A great starting point though is our face cream because moisturizing is key and we make a great one. The second product I recommend if you’re new to our brand is the Hyaluronic Serum, which is so vital to preserving a youthful glow and appearance. Finally, I’d recommend the cleanser. 

AB: You have and continue to work with several celebrities. Which ones actually have the best skin/ and are some of your favorite clients?

BS: I am so proud to say that celebrities and high profile clients of mine that have turned to our products, and are loyal users don’t endorse or share their regiments to please me – they truly have become extremely loyal to the brand on their own. A number of my A-list clients have time and time again mentioned the results they’ve seen, or the improvements they were going after, which is of course very reassuring that the formulas work. Plus when I see their amazing skin, it’s greatly rewarding.

I love all my clients because of the relationships I’ve been able to foster with all of them over the years. They’re lovely and down to earth, and most importantly there’s always a mutual respect for what we do as women. I don’t really have favorites to be honest because I’m in a fortunate enough position to be able to choose whom I work with and admire.

AB: 5 golden rules you religiously follow to get perfect skin?


- A great moisturizer goes such a long, long way.

- Make sure to always have an all-star serum in your regimen to go under your moisturizer.

- A good cleanser in necessary to keep the skin clean and free from impurities

- I do advise skin supplements as they act like food and give the necessary nutrients we might not be getting from our food.

- And of course leading an anti-inflammatory lifestyle – making sure to get enough sleep, avoiding excessive sun exposure and environmental irritants, eating special foods like oranges, cherries, fish, avoiding synthetic sugars, drinking plenty of water, etc.

AB: Does our diet actually affect our skin?

BS: You are what you eat. It’s that simple.

AB: Walk us through a typical day for you?

BS: I balance my life as a mother and professional. I always make sure to have breakfast with little Pepper in the morning before going about my day. My workday is quite demanding between my clinic, meeting patients, doing press, working on our product-lines, etc. My lifestyle is also very travel heavy so I’m constantly on the go.  But at night I’m back with my daughter and she literally sleeps on top of me so we can exchange energies. It’s a great way to feel closer to her and vice versa. It’s hard to be great at everything, but I do try very hard. I think my passion drives me a lot.

AB: Vices?

BS: Dessert!! I love sugar!!! I’m such a foodie, and for the most part eat extremely healthy, but dessert gets me every time… 3 times a day if I could.

AB: Pete peeves?

BS: I have no patience for people who don’t make an effort or try. Ignorance is just so intolerable in my opinion.

I also can’t stand injustice or an unfair situation.  

AB: Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

BS: My parents helped me build such a solid moral foundation as a child, and I’m so grateful for that. Everything was driven by love and passion, and not material, which I think is a great way to raise children. And I even implement that into my business. Relationships are key, the money will come. Greed gets no one anywhere.

AB: If you hadn’t gone into medicine, what would you have pursued as an alternative?

SB: You know I’ve always loved interior design, spaces, color etc. I probably would have done something there.

AB: A fun fact about you no one knows?

BS: Oh, this is an embarrassing one. When I was very young, I would steal flowers from the cemetery and sell them to tourists and vacationers. I guess the entrepreneurial spirit was embedded deep in me from a very young age.

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