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Dr. Barbara Sturm, Founder,
Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics

The Vampire Facial, MC1 Blood cream—these Sturm-created treatments seem made for social media, but her highly effective line proves her scientific approach is anything but mad.


Before celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley had Dr. Barbara Sturm on speed dial for all their non-surgical anti-aging needs, she was an orthopedic surgeon working with athletes. What she learned from injecting patients’ own plasma into their joints to help speed healing, she later used to create a cream to heal her own skin. It wasn't long before the clients of her German aesthetic medicine clinic started asking her to take their blood and mix them up personalized jars of so-called MC1 cream. From there, Sturm set out to develop a more commercial line that was less bespoke but just as grounded in science. Her uncomplicated Molecular Cosmetics products are based on well-researched natural ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and Purslane, a plant known for its anti-inflammatory properities. While the line is intentionally pared down, Sturm continues to do research and add to it as new products that meet her exacting standards are perfected. She recently released a clarifying regime, and a face mist is soon to follow. “And currently, I am working on several new ingredients, including one developed by Russian scientists and a new device to deliver unstable but powerful compounds directly to the skin,” she says.

“Skincare companies have had 100 years to focus on ingredient science rather than empty marketing slogans. My skincare line is based entirely on science.”

Your line is based on Purslane, a plant that is the topic of Nobel-prize-winning research. What excited you about it?

Purslane has been widely clinically studied for the last decade for its remarkable anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, nutritive, wound healing and telomerase activating properties. It has been shown to work both topically and when taken orally. In one study, oral Purslane was wonderfully effective against the inflammatory skin disease Oral Lichens Planus. Purslane is truly a superfood and an herbal medicine, and is a great example of the wisdom of nature.

If someone is new to your line, which product do you recommend they start with?

It really depends on the person and their skin needs. A fundamental product, of course, is my Purslane-infused Face Cream. Another is one of my Hyaluronic Serums, which present intense hydration, boost the skin matrix and promote skin barrier function. Personally, I couldn’t live without my Face Mask.

Are there skincare myths that seem impossible to dispel?

Avoid products and procedures that break down and attack healthy skin cells. Acid peels and aggressive lasers provide short-term benefits but medium and long-term damage. Heal, nourish and pamper your skin, don’t be aggressive with it.

Tell us about your morning routine. What do you do every morning—both for your skin and to start your day?

I wake up with my husband and 4-year old, make two coffees, and read books. When home in Düsseldorf, we work out with a trainer. Then I wash my face with my cleanser, do a Face Mask on days that I have time, and apply my Hyaluronic Serum followed by my MC1 cream containing my own proteins. I finish with Glow Drops as a substitute for makeup.

Describe your style.

Laid back, a little elegance, a dash of rock star.

What causes are you passionate about?

My husband and I have been involved in supporting Haiti, in fighting the scourges of AIDS, TB and Malaria, and in children’s charities. Children’s charities, efforts to support women entrepreneurs, discouraging animal testing in the skincare industry and the environment will be my personal areas of focus going forward.

What is your personal passion?

Building my company, scientific research, innovating products, treating more conditions. Besides my family, the business is my main focus right now.

What is something about you that people might be surprised to learn?

I love to wakeboard.

“ Women are getting better, but we must get better still at supporting each other in business. I will keep doing more to be a part of that.”