For Dr. Barbara Sturm, skin care starts with science.
Sturm spoke about her background as an orthopedic surgeon and how she came to launch her eponymous skin-care line. Thanks to her famous vampire facial, she shot to Internet fame through social media organically, without any sponsored content.
“It’s not a strategy, it’s not marketing, it’s not paid,” she said of her approach to social media. “I’ve never paid anyone.”
Her skin-care philosophy is to eschew of-the-moment products or ingredients — “I don’t follow rules or trends” — and instead focus on anti-inflammation.
“Inflammation makes us age, makes us sick, disrupts our tissue,” she said.
Inflammation was also at the center of her research for her recently launched skin-care line for darker tones. That line was inspired by the actress Angel Basset, who, according to Sturm, had been raving about her products. Bassett’s praises led Sturm to research post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which led her to create products that would ultimately address this issue.
“There’s a big audience out there,” she said. “Why not give them a product for their needs?”
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She is now working on a facial mist and a line of products for crepe-y skin that will soon launch in her newly opened New York City-based spa.
“It’s a new era in the skin-care world,” she said. “The consumer is super educated. They want to have the truth, see studies. It’s a whole new era.”
Some of her biggest challenges thus far have been hiring a team of people to help her scale her business. Her family helps her run her social media accounts, though she usually responds to questions or comments from her followers herself.
On maintaining her skin-care clinic in Germany, she said, “I’m a service person, I’m a doctor. I wanted to serve people and that’s why I came into the skin-care business.”
She is predicting a surge of science-based skin care that will involve “keeping us as healthy as possible.” She also urges people to be more aware of the ingredients making up their own beauty regimens.
“In the future, it’s more about education,” she said. “We are more aware of what our body can take. Ninety-eight percent of the population has tested positive for man-made compounds.”