We asked the prominent skin specialist the most burning questions about skincare and wanted to know how to treat acne, what better to avoid during skincare, and what diet ensures more balanced skin.
Even if you haven't heard from Dr. Having heard from Barbara Sturm, you are probably already familiar with her popular skin treatment: the vampire facial. It went viral after Kim Kardashian shared an Instagram photo of the treatment that involves injecting one's own blood into the skin to lighten, tone, and heal it. Since then, Dr. Sturm creates the cult cream "MC1", in which she separates your blood and plasma in order to work the latter into a shea-based moisturizer that is tailor-made to solve your skin problems in the best possible way. But if you can't make it to Düsseldorf (and you're not Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Kate Moss), you can get Dr. Barbara Sturm's "Molecular Cosmetics" can also be ordered online. We spoke to the doctor and founder of the skincare line about clean beauty, the treatment of acne, and the fight against over pigmentation.
"Clean beauty means that I generally don't use any toxic, harmful, or harsh ingredients in my products. I use advanced ingredients that are healthy, healing, safe, and that nourish, rather than attack, living skin," says Dr. Storm. Their products contain innovative, highly concentrated active ingredients, in accordance with the strict German laws for skincare ingredients. Their philosophy of healing the skin also means that it doesn't contain substances and ingredients that are unnecessary to the skin and can promote inflammation, including artificial fragrances and colors, microplastics, and harsh preservatives. They are also cruelty-free, which means that none of the products or raw materials are tested on animals during the entire process.
According to Dr. Sturm ingredients can do more damage than they help when people create their own routines and zigzag between products and brands. The same goes for the combination of fast-acting anti-aging treatments, such as acid peels and lasers, which are more likely to cause inflammation than to heal the skin. "The goal of skin care is to relieve and reduce inflammation, not to cause it - skincare should never cause discomfort. Healthy skin cells should be nourished, not destroyed. So I advise against an aggressive acid and retinol approach they destroy, rather than repair, the skin's matrix and promote inflammation, which weakens the skin and makes it vulnerable to pathogens and other environmental aggressors, "she affirmed.
Does your skin feel oily, prone to clogged pores, and over-pigmentation from pimples or cuts? Dr. Sturm says this could be due to an "inflammatory cascade". "From a dermatological point of view, the skin with more active melanocytes presents a particular challenge - it is particularly sensitive and prone to an 'inflammatory cascade' triggered by external and internal influences on the skin. This is the cause of a variety of symptoms, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and increased sebum production. " To counteract this, she created the "Darker Skin Tones Line", which contains additional ingredients with skin-balancing properties and a higher anti-inflammatory effect.
Acne flare-ups are multifactorial caused by hormones, excess sebum, bacteria, clogged pores, and inflammation. Inflammation triggers such as allergens, pollution, UV-A / UV-B, HEV (high-energy visible light) rays from digital screens, stress, and diet can all play a role. "The first step is to address the various factors and eliminate them if possible. If someone is acne-prone or has blemished skin, I want them to have their blood tested for lactose intolerance, hormone levels, and allergies; they should include all of the ingredients in their skincare routine review and omit any products with aggressive ingredients that are pro-inflammatory, "says Dr. Storm. Your favorite quick recipe when you need to soothe a pimple: Apply the Molecular Cosmetics Clarifying Spot Treatment. It contains an active complex of macular bioflavonoids (herbal compounds that help reduce inflammation), tea tree oil (a powerful antibacterial agent), and zinc oxides (compounds with astringent and antiseptic properties that help detoxify and reduce acne-causing blemishes). "It also contains Vitamin B3 and Vitamin E, which moisturize the skin (it's a myth that oily skin needs to be dried out) and help the skin's renewal and healing properties," she affirms.
While skincare products can really go a long way, what you eat can also play a huge role in clear, balanced skin. Dr. Sturm's no-list includes substances that promote inflammation, such as alcohol, sugar, flour, and salt, as well as processed or fried foods. "Eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods like cherries, blueberries, blackberries, leafy green vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts, olive oil and tomatoes, and foods high in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, like asparagus, peppers, carrots, broccoli, avocados, Pumpkin and Spinach," she confirms.