I met Dr Barbara Sturm last week in Edinburgh’s Space NK. She’s a German scientist in the field of molecular medicine, who is most famous for creating a skin cream from your own blood. Celebrities love it – and it has a celebrity price-tag, at around £1000 a pop. Read more here.
But, thanks to clients at her clinics, Dr Sturm decided it was time to launch her own skincare range to complement her clinic ranges – something she admits didn’t come easy. It’s been sold on net-a-porter for a few years, and she also has another range aimed at darker skin – which she created in collaboration with her friend, Angela Basset. Yes, she has friends like Angela Bassett, oh, and Cher. And she had a go at my crochet when she saw it in my bag. This woman is a legend!
She also suggested that her MC1 cream, made from my own blood cells, might help my psoriasis. Now, I am desperate to try it.
“I’m not that fussed with beauty,” she told me, pointing to the many brands around her in the store. “I don’t do all of this stuff, I just want something that works on my skin, and is simple. Clients were always asking me about a skincare range, so I thought I should do one.
“I use Purslane in it – it’s a wonderful herb, used by Hippocrates in early medicine and is great for you.”
Dr Sturm’s skincare range is pretty simple – it consists of nine products, one of which is for men, all of them in classic packaging, and most of them with magic ingredient, Purslane, amongst other things.Now, you can buy it on the High Street, at beauty emporium Space NK, but it is still in the luxury price bracket.
I was immediately drawn to the Sun Drops (£105), which are described by the brand as ‘your liquid sun umbrella’.
“I created these because you shouldn’t mix SPF into a moisturiser, as it doesn’t work. You need to keep them separate. So, you jsut add a drop or two of these to your own moisturiser, and use on your face when the sun shines.”
Purslane, apparently, induces the ‘youth’ enzyme telomerase, so it must be good. Dr Sturm told me to grow it in my garden, and eat it. I’d never even heard of it before last week, but apparently it has a lot of health benefits – perhaps a new superfood?!
So, to the rest of the products. Face Cream Women (£132) give all-round protection against cell ageing, is packed with Purslane, and all sorts of other things, including anti-oxidants and anti-inflamatory active ingredients. Use it in the morning after cleansing. Face Cream Rich (£140) is essentially a night cream, rich and intense, perfect for working on the skin whilst you sleep. it contains vitamin E and shea butter for softness.
The Face Cream Men (£132) boosts the vitality and resilience of skin, and energises you for the day ahead. You can add Sun Drops to any of these creams if you are using them during the day when the sun is out. Sun Drops contains an active complex of Cassia Extract, Vitamin E and beta-Glucan. You can also use it undiluted if you wish.
The Face Mask (£118) is lovely, and my skin did feel like baby skin after it, as Dr Sturm promised me it would. It contains Purslane and kaolin, with aloe vera and chamomile, and is so easy to use. Layer it on, let it dry then rub it off! Love it.
The Calming Serum (£173) contains a nourishing plant-based complex of Cardiospermum, Echium, and sunflower, fused with Purslane. Perfect if you travel, and your skin flares up, or you haven’t had enough sleep, or you have been in the sun too long. it’s very gentle and works to protect your against extrenal aggressors.
The Cleanser (£40) is a foam was-of cleanser, but it promises not to dry your skin out. it didn’t feel drying at all to use, and has calming aloe vera and panthenol for soothing in it.
The Facial Scrub (£45) removes the dry and flaky skin, thanks to Vitamin A and Purslane, along with horse chestnut for stimulation, and silk extracts for moisture. Use once or twice a week.
The Eye Cream (£105) contains a combination of Yeast Extract, Golden Root, and Sugar Beet, to help target dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains Purlsane, as well as Macadamia Nut Oil, Panthenol, and Vitamin E.
The Hyaluronic Serum (£230 or 7x2ml Ampoules for £132), contains an intensive active concentrate of pure hyaluronic acid. If you love beauty, you will know that this is a key ingredient for moisture. Combined with purslane here, it works to hydrate, regenerate, smoothe and firm. Use this best as an intensive treatment lasting from one to three weeks. it can kee your skin hydrated for hours, and I am saving up the pennies for this one!
The range is clinical and classic, with a plant at its heart.
Dr Barbara Sturm skincare is available now, from Space NK stores and online