When Kim Kardashian shocked the Internet a few years ago by posting a selfie of herself getting a 'vampire facial' (yes, it's exactly what you're imagining), Dr. Barbara Sturm was already creating a unique face cream which made use of blood. The infamous 'blood cream', or MC1 cream, is said to harness your body's healing ability and beauty editors in the US have been raving about it ever since. At US$1,400 a pop and with a shelf life of only three months, it's been regarded as a Holy Grail of beauty products.
But unless you plan to visit Dr. Barbara Sturm at her New York office, you probably won't be able to get your hands on the 'blood cream' in Singapore anytime soon. The good news though, is that her skincare range recently launched on Net-A-Porter.com, so you can now easily add her equally raved about Hyaluronic Ampoules and Serum to cart.
We caught up with the good doctor during her recent visit here.
How did you start off your career in beauty?
Dr. Barbara Sturm (DBS) I’m not the beauty junkie you might think I am. I got into beauty by coincidence. I started out as an orthopedic surgeon and I did this treatment where you could take proteins out of your own blood cells to create healing factors, and then inject them into the joints to stop the ongoing process of inflammation and ageing. I started injecting botox and fillers, but I thought that it was boring after a while. I wanted to do something on the molecular level, and I transferred my knowledge and started injecting fillers with blood into skin 15 years ago.
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Is your skincare range inspired by your own routine?
DBS I had very dry skin and I would get breakouts, so I decided that I needed to create my own cream. I went to my pharmacist and made something with no preservatives, no mineral oil, and I put the blood in the cream and it healed my skin. It was always hydrated, not inflamed, no breakouts.
When I switched from orthopedics to concentrate on injectibles, my patients—who were fans of the blood cream—started to ask me for my beauty routine. So I started producing my little line because I didn’t like anything on the market. I put in prostate (which is a telomerase activator) and I’m very much for hydration. So these three key factors: anti-inflammation, telomerase activating and hydration, is my whole philosophy towards healing, keeping cells alive and giving skin what it needs. It’s non-greasy, it’s very refreshing, non-toxic. Everything we claim, we can support with clinical studies.
Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient found in skincare—what do you think makes your Hyaluronic Serum so special (and well-loved)?
DBS From the technological background, it has the highest possible concentration of hyaluronic acid possible. That’s number one. Number two, it has both short chain and long chain molecules. Short chains go into deeper into the skin to restore the levels of hyaluronic acid, even after six to eight weeks. The longer chains stick on the surface and give you an instant hydration and glow. It’s non-sticky and gives you all-round hydration.
What’s in your travel beauty bag?
DBS I always have the Hyaluronic Serum and Super Anti-Aging Serum with me, so I mix and match. I’ll also have the blood cream. When I come from the plane, I would use the mask and do like a super-hydrating, detoxing routine.
Botox and fillers were uncommon ten years ago, but it’s become mainstream now. What else do you think would become ‘acceptable’ in the future?
DBS I think more people will think it’s okay to spend money on beauty, health and looking young. It’ll also be more common for people to be open about it. When I started doing injections, I was treating older people, but now, I have young clients as well. They want to start preventing ageing—to keep their youth but in a natural way.