German skincare expert Barbara Sturm’s approach to beauty is simple—take what you know about skincare and forget it. Well, to an extent; a little less cleansing is better, exposure to the sun is good—necessary, in fact, in moderate doses—and the secret to a perfect complexion is already inside you. Literally.
Düsseldorf-based Sturm, who began her career in sports medicine and orthopaedics before creating her Dr Barbara Sturm range of skincare products, captured the world’s attention when her client, Kim Kardashian West, posted a photo on Instagram of her face smeared with her own blood plasma in what became known as the “vampire facial.”
But the procedure is more about science than shock factor, harnessing the anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties of the body’s own proteins, which are then amplified 140 times before being reinjected into the skin (hence the term vampire facial) or added to Sturm’s bespoke MC1 “blood cream.”
It all started with NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was a client of Sturm’s when she was an orthopaedic practitioner. “I pioneered a treatment against joint inflammation that is now known as the ‘Kobe procedure’ after it was used to successfully treat Kobe Bryant. The treatment deployed healing factor proteins generated from each patient’s own blood,” Sturm explains.
“At the time, I was also unable to find an existing effective skincare regime for myself and my patients that was free of mineral oils, fragrances or aggressive ingredients that would irritate the skin. Since cartilage and skin cells are of the same tissue family, and after seeing the effects the body’s own healing factors had on the cartilage tissue of my patients, I had the idea of mixing the proteins into a cream and testing it first on myself, then on a clinical study group. The outcome was so great that I started offering it to my patients.”