The Expert

Dr. Barbara Sturm

Science, swimming and bedtime chats: inside the world of Barbara Sturm


Barbara wearing a Mônot Dress

@bbsturm // Instagram

The defining moment of your career so far?

Nothing has been planned in my life - I tend to go with the flow and everything has sort of fallen into place. A big moment was when I launched my beauty line. Another is seeing how my patients react to the products, even after just one application. Seeing people happy in their skin due to what I’ve created, is the best for me.

Have you seen a shift in your clients’ approach to skincare since the pandemic?

I noticed a willingness to learn more, with people using the extra time at home for education, particularly on strengthening the immune system. It’s about an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and understanding about sleep, stress and diet, which is all related to skincare. Clients are more interested in this science, and understanding ingredients beyond the marketing.

Your Skin School series addresses this willingness to learn. What have you enjoyed most about the series?

I started masterclasses the day the lockdown started. My three teenage step-children were home from school and we were like ‘why don’t we do a skin school’ and Hailey [Bieber] and all these people were so generous being a part of it. Each class is specific to a certain skin concern, from exploring serums to anti-ageing.

What three super ingredients are most potent to the famous Sturm Glow?

The way we formulate is very important. By this, I mean a small and effective routine based on ingredient science, alongside anti-inflammatory nutrition and hydration. If you have a hyaluronic serum, a face cream and a cleanser with these three products, you’re good to go with the glow.

What are some of your go-to makeup products?

Truthfully, I don’t wear makeup as I’m so allergic to it. Sometimes, I use my spot treatment as a concealer, or wear a little eyeshadow but even mascara makes my eyes itch. Then I rub it off and it runs and I’m like ‘oh god.’ It just doesn’t agree with my skin.

Dr. Barbara Sturm

@bbsturm // Instagram

Barbara with her daughter Charly

@bbsturm // Instagram

What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness is everyday care: it is balance. I have a healthy diet although obviously I eat desserts and like a drink from time to time! And I love my oat milk lattes! But I’m not militant. Saying that, if I don’t get my eight hours’ sleep, it’s a really bad day. Taking time for myself is also important - sometimes I do a class or workout (and I love to ski, wakeboard and climb), or just put Spotify on and lie down for 10 minutes. It works wonders.

Do you have a daily ritual?

When I’m with my kid, taking her to bed and we talk, cuddle and be quiet together or sing together, that is so fulfilling to me.

What wellness experts do you turn to?

Pilates with Melissa Woodhouse: it is not that hard to do but really gives me strength and core.

What are the lifestyle changes that we can make in order to mitigate daily aggressors?

Eight hours of sleep, drinking plenty of water (but not at mealtimes), and intermittent fasting as part of a healthy diet. I also do a face mask every morning.

The best advice anyone has given to you, and that you have given to anyone?

My parents told me to keep both feet on the ground and to be kind and respectful to everyone: I will always value this. My wise words are to love and protect your skin and your skin will protect and love you back.

What lessons in beauty or image have you tried to instill in your children?

Don’t spray fragrance on your skin, only on your t-shirt! My kids never use any products that aren’t by Sturm because they get eczema and anything scented is too harsh.

Do you have a beauty icon that continues to inspire you?

My mother because she never wore makeup and until I was 24, I never owned an eyeliner. It sounds ridiculous but I was a tomboy and only wore men’s jeans and shoes. It's who I am. I’m just not a beauty junkie. Before I created all of these products, I thought I only needed face cream! Now I’ve grown into using more, but I’m still a tomboy. I like to jump in the water and then sit down for lunch. I don’t want to not jump in the water because of my hair or makeup.

What’s next for the Dr Barbara Sturm brand?

New products, and opening more stores, but we’re not going to change. Don’t look ahead - if you look ahead you get stressed, if you live in the moment, it's fine.

Barbara in Miami

@bbsturm // Instagram


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