Dr Barbara Sturm is an aesthetics doctor and the Founder of Dr Barbara Sturm Skincare—a cult favourite amongst celebrities and It Girls around the world for her approach to glowing skin that's rooted in anti-inflammation, pro-ageing and bringing out the best of your skin's potential by way of science.
In fact, she's the woman behind the “vampire facial” that 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 2019, she extended her range—a concise suite of nontoxic serums and creams containing purslane, a nutrient-packed ingredient that calms the skin and reduces signs of age—to include formulations designed especially for Asian skin, and the unique challenges we face on this side of the globe such as pollution and those dreaded humid summers.
We asked the doctor to share her expert advice for keeping skin hydrated, protected and grease-free in hot and humid weather.
What are some unique challenges for skin in a humid, tropical climate? Specifically in Asia?
When exposed to humidity and heat, there are two main factors we should watch out for: UVA and UVB exposure, and heat damage. Sun exposure without the proper protection can photo-age the skin and cause inflammation and dysfunction.
Heat can also cause skin to produce more oil as well as heat rashes and sweat, which increases trans-epidermal water loss from the body, leading to dehydration, irritation, and breakouts.
What can be done to manage these challenges?
My skincare line is perfect for customers in humid and tropical climates because it gives freshness and hydration while taking care of your skin barrier function. It’s also anti-ageing.
The Sun Drops SPF50 offers hybrid sun protection and skincare that feels lightweight on the skin, and creates a broad-spectrum shield against UVA and UVB rays while providing it with moisture and anti-oxidative ingredients for a nice glow. For people who suffer from hyperpigmentation issues, the Darker Skin Tones line combined with the Brightening Line is great for that.
Where do you stand with SPF? Many people in Asia do everything they can to stay out of the sun, but can our skin benefit from a healthy amount of exposure?
Getting a little sun can be great for your health; when your body is exposed to sunlight it produces vitamin D, which is essential in helping to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, facilitating normal immune system function and for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.
Foods alone don’t meet the daily recommended levels of vitamin D so I’ll always try and spend time outside every day.