We delve under the skin of the doctor’s digital world with the legendary aesthetics doctor.

Dr. Barbara Sturm is a German aesthetics doctor, widely renowned for her anti-inflammatory philosophy and her non-surgical anti-aging skin treatments. She is a disruptor in the business, leading the way from, as she puts it, ‘marketing-based skincare and entering the era of performance-based skincare.’

We can think of few people more better positioned to blaze that particular trail than Dr Sturm. The doctor prefix to her name was, after all, hard won the long way round; there is no self-styling to see here. She started out her medical career as an orthopaedic doctor, from which position she channelled the science behind her clinical research into aesthetics, opening her first clinic in Dusseldorf. Her science-based practice and inarguable results soon made her one of the most sought-after aesthetic doctors in the world.

In 2002, she launched into developing her own products, starting with the famous MC1, which – since it is bespoke – is only available to her patients. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here, as it uses the body’s own unique proteins to create a formula that will fight signs of inflammation. Twelve years later, in 2014, a much-anticipated full range of products were launched, available to all, whether you’d managed to bag a coveted appointment with Dr Sturm or not. The Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics line uses potent, widely clinically studied ingredients to aid hydration, nutrition, and regeneration glow.

We also love her for her online lockdown fundraiser, Dr Sturm’s Maskathon, through which she championed both self-care for all, and raised awareness, money and support for frontline workers, via online interviews with a cast of her luminary friends – all of whom appeared in nourishing face masks. Want to get a glow like theirs? Follow the mask recipe on her Instagram account. The good news? There are just three ingredients, all of which are kitchen staples. Want to glow from the inside too? She’s also been sharing her juice recipes too, from her immune-strengthening, inflammation-reducing go-to green recipe to a zinc and iron-rich heavy metal detox smoothie. Here she tells us how Instagram sparked her friendship with the actress Emma Roberts; why her phone stays resolutely out of her bedroom; and why Johnny Depp is her Internet hero.

My favourite website...

1stdibs. I love antiques and I’m always looking for something special.

My favourite app...

I have so many apps, but the one I use constantly is WhatsApp.



My favourite blog...

PLOS, which is a terrific blog on science and medicine founded by my friend, Dr. Peter Hotez.

My Internet hero...

Johnny Depp, who just joined Instagram to lift everybody’s spirits with artistic, creative content.

My favourite podcast...

So many! Goop Podcast, Naked Beauty, Get Tressed With Us and Friend of a Friend, entrepreneur Olivia Perez’ podcast featuring up-and-comers and game-changers.

My most recent buy online...

Mercedes Salazar homeware via Moda Operandi. I love the designs; they are so colourful and original.

Last book you downloaded or read...

Freedom From The Known by J. Krishnamurti.

Favourite tweeter...

My husband, Adam Waldman.

Favourite Instagrammer...

My beautiful 24-year-old daughter, Charly Sturm.

Favourite tech gadget...

It’s so boring, but my charger. I am constantly looking for it. My five-year-old loves to hide it, along with my headphones which always makes life interesting in the mornings.

The most useful gadget/item on your desk...

A huge digital clock, because I like to keep on time.

Most useful digital resource during lockdown...

Google and Amazon.

First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up/in the morning...

A text message from my husband.



Last thing you binge-watched...

Little Fires Everywhere with Reese Witherspoon and Joshua Jackson, based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling book.

Social media allowed me to meet...

Lots of people from around the world. One example: I received a message one time from Emma Roberts via Instagram. She had purchased the Super Anti-Aging serum at Tracey Cunningham’s Meche Salon and loved it and that’s how our friendship began.

The best digital advice I've been given...

Don’t plug it in next to your bed.

My screensaver is...

My daughter Pepper walking through Positano, Italy, eating an ice cream.

My standout online memory...

FaceTiming with my daughters when I’m away from them.

My pet online hate is

Online bullying.

Do you have any online rules or resolutions?

Yes, I religiously leave my phone outside my room when I take my daughter to bed and go to bed myself. Sleep is so important, especially when leading an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. HEV light triggers the fight or flight hormone Cortisol, which destroys sleep and skin.

The Internet. On balance, a force for good or ill?

Too soon to say.

Photographs: Patrycia Lukas

By Nancy Alsop
June 2020

READ MORE

Marcia Kilgore
Sophie Beresiner
Jo Jones of Beauty Banks