Behind the skincare label..With Dr Barbara Sturm

Behind the skincare label..With Dr Barbara Sturm

Dr. Barbara Sturm is a German aesthetics doctor, widely renowned for her anti-inflammatory philosophy and her non-surgical anti-aging skin treatments. We met to talk about the importance of corporate sustainable behaviour. 

What inspired you to launch your high-performance and science-focused skincare brand?

Combatting inflammation has been a central target of my entire medical career. I began medical practice in anti-inflammatory-focused orthopaedic medicine. I translated some of this innovative clinical research from joints into skin in 2002 when I launched my medical aesthetics clinic in Dusseldorf.

When my patients asked me to recommend a post-medical treatment skincare regime, I surveyed the market and found I could not recommend anything. It was all aggressive ingredients and marketing fluff.

So I originally set out to create a patients-only skincare regime built around anti-inflammatory ingredient science. It took me several years, but the result was my Dr. Barbara Sturm range, a high performance skincare regimen that I formulated out of advanced ingredient science. The stars of my products are the ingredients and the science that underpins them, which I combined in formulation medleys that impart beautiful, healthy skin.

My passion, and my inspiration, comes from my mother who was a chemist and my grandmother who was a pharmacist.

Dr. Barbara Sturm wearing the Ruffle Top 

What does the modern woman mean to you? Who is she?

A modern woman can be many things, but independence and a no-limits attitude are two of the hallmarks.

Professionally, I have been fortunate to call friends some amazing modern and entrepreneurial women, and they all share these inspirational traits – total devotion to their customer and an insane work ethic.

Your philosophy to achieve the #SturmGlow are: fundamental nutrition/hydration, healing the skin matrix rather than harming it with aggressive approaches, and reducing the visible signs of irritation. Since the skin is the body’s largest organ would you agree that my practices in choosing organic fabrics is as important?

Everything that touches your skin effects your skin. Anything aggressive that touches your skin triggers inflammation, which is the root cause of most skin dysfunction.

I think what’s really important is that the fashion industry as a whole is moving away from fast fashion and choosing sustainable brands and companies that exercise social responsibility. #OramaiWomen play a huge role in this by only using sustainable materials and working with organic farmers without compromising on quality - I also expect the industry as a whole to tailor their future sales strategies with a focus on quality over quantity.  

What is your greatest achievement so far?

Professionally, I cried with joy in the shower after Net A Porter agreed to take on my Dr. Barbara Sturm skincare. That was my big break.


Picture from her recent Italy trip @bbsturm 

What are your tips on how to live a more sustainable everyday life?

When consumers accept only sustainable goods and reject those that are not, it creates systemic change by forcing corporate sustainable behaviour, so use things that are the product of ethical choices. At Dr. Barbara Sturm, our ingredients and components are locally-sourced wherever possible, and we use only healthy, safe and non-aggressive ingredients. We continue to reduce our packaging and our new sets and kits come in reusable cotton and velvet bags. We are rigidly cruelty-free, without the fine print exceptions that most beauty companies have.   

Avoid waste. I was brought up like most Germans never to waste anything, especially food. As a child we were always given just the right amount of food so nothing was ever left on our plates. I do not like wasting anything; food, electricity, water. I always make sure wash cycles are full and lights are off and we recycle everything we can at home.

Re-think your travel needs to the essential. A lot can be accomplished in a telephone call or a Zoom meeting and we don’t always need to jump on an airplane to get something done. This is sustainable of both the environment and our own personal energy.

Be aware of pollution. Most of our global cities have air quality that is unsafe for human health. Study the reasons, and insist on change.

Follow her journey on @drbarbarasturm