She is known for her non-surgical anti-aging treatments and methods of skin rejuvenation starting with her signature #SturmGlow facial that cleanses, nourishes and awakens the skin to re-sculpting and anti-gravity massages that reach the deeper layers of the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

And this week, we sit down with her to discover her brand, sure, but also her travel skincare routine, favorite spas and so much more…

Meet Dr. Barbara Sturm


© Patrycia Lukas

GLH: Could you introduce yourself in a few words?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: I’m a Doctor of Aesthetic Medicine and the Founder and CEO of Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics. I began my medical practice in anti-inflammatory orthopedics. I later translated some of the scientific anti-inflammatory advances I helped pioneer in joints into skin and aesthetics. 

GLH: Who are the most inspiring people to you. Did anyone in particular influence the woman you have become?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: My mother, who passed away eight years ago, still inspires me in every way, every day. Professionally, I feel fortunate to have met some amazing entrepreneurial women that I call friends, and they all share these inspirational traits – total devotion to their customer and an insane work ethic. 

GLH: Can you tell us what sets your brand apart from the others?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: My skincare regimen’s reverence for ingredient science and efficacy is the key differentiator. One more distinctive feature of my brand, which relates to the science focus, is an emphasis on education. Skin is interesting and complex, and I have been engaging in a dialogue for years with my daily patients and the broader public on what the skin needs to function at its best. It is sometimes said that Hollywood’s devotion to my brand is the differentiator – that certainly brings added attention but I think it is just a symptom of efficacy that so many people whose face is their business are on my skincare regimen.

GLH: Which place or hotel would be your favorite mind & body retreat?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: I couldn’t pick just one. The Corinthia in London is an exceptionally good hotel spa. Stangelwirt in Austria is a special place for me, and its spa is like no other. Hotel Bellevue in Gstaad has an excellent spa, and Forte Village in Sardinia is very high performance. Viva Mayr in Austria is an amazing wellness spa, because of its tremendous focus on education and science.

GLH: What is your skincare routine when traveling and especially flying?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: Travel presents unique skin inflammation triggers, with sleep deprivation, stress, changing climates, bacteria and dry, cold air on the plane so maintaining a good skincare routine when you’re on a flight is essential. If it’s a day flight, I’ll re-apply my HYALURONIC SERUM and my FACE CREAM multiple times throughout the flight and I also keep my HYDRATING FACE MIST to hand for regular skin refreshes. If the shades are open, which they shouldn’t be, then I use the SUN DROPS, because UVA rays penetrate windows. I always have my ANTI-POLLUTION DROPS and apply my FACE MASK as soon as possible once I’ve landed.

GLH: Can you tell us about the Sturm MC1 referred now as the Vampire facial everyone is talking about?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: Though one is an injectible and the other is a topical cream, they are two different things. The ‘Vampire Facial’ was a translation of the scientific research and practice I had been working on in orthopedics (I would inject the patient’s own plasma with accelerated growth factors and other anti-inflammatory proteins into the area of the injury to boost healing and repair injuries in athletes and aging arthritic joints). I translated this into a facial treatment where I took a patient’s own blood, treated it over the course of a day in the laboratory to accelerate the healing factors and expression of other beneficial proteins, and then reinjected the treated plasma into the skin. It had a tremendous healing and anti-inflammatory effect. The public later termed this the “Vampire Facial.”  

I then created the MC1 Cream. MC1 is a bespoke, healing cream I create in the lab for patients only. It also deploys a patient’s own blood plasma which is added to a non-toxic base cream we make in our own pharmacy.

GLH: What is your most memorable hotel experience and why?

Dr. Barbara Sturm: I live most of the time in hotels, and as with my children, I can’t pick favorites. In the past two decades I have watched the hotel experience get better and better as the competition to pamper and anticipate the needs of the guest keeps growing.

For more interviews of people on the inside track of destinations, stay tuned. To book a treatment at the ESPA Life, Corinthia London, follow this link.


About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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