From The Straits Times    |

As far as strange beauty treatments go, vampire facials sound pretty grisly. If you haven’t heard of it, in a nutshell, it is a procedure that uses patients’ own blood to restore youthful-looking skin.  

The scary-sounding treatment got everyone talking when Kim Kardashian tried it on American television series Kourtney & Kim Take Miami in 2013.

Post-procedure, the famous reality star even shared a bloodied selfie with her 103 million Instagram followers.



German skin doctor Barbara Sturm is one of the pioneers of the popular vampire facial. She’s also spearheaded the concept of using patient’s own blood to make an anti-ageing face cream called the MC1 or “Blood Cream”.

While it’s not available online now – you’ll have to fly to her clinic in Germany to get one – her beauty label Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Skincare is now sold on Net-a-porter.

We had a quick chat with her to find out more about her mineral oil-, paraben- and fragrance-free beauty brand, and of course probed for her top skincare tips.  


On what the term ‘molecular cosmetics’ mean…

Molecular Cosmetics refers to products that work on the cellular level to keep the skin cells healthy and well-nourished with ingredients like Vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Panthenol.

They also contain anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory substances.

My products use a lot of cutting edge ingredients such as Purslane, a very powerful herb that promotes the telomerase activity in our cells. Telomerase is also called the “Fountain of Youth” enzyme.



A post shared by Dr. Barbara Sturm (@drbarbarasturm) on


More about this “Fountain of Youth” enzyme, telomerase…

Telomerase is a naturally occurring enzyme in our bodies. It protects the telomeres — part of the chromosomes in our cells — by making sure that the DNA does not get cut off or shortened during the cell-division process, as this would lead to degeneration, mutation or even death of the cell itself.

This protective activity of telomerase in our cells lessens gradually over time, leading to more cell damage or cell death. So, the goal of my line is to activate the telomerase and protect the cells while simultaneously helping the skin to fight inflammation.


On the importance of avoiding synthetic fragrances, mineral oils and parabens in skincare…

Our skin has to fight all these harmful ingredients that cause stress and inflammation. This results in big pores, redness, irritations and inflammation.

That’s why I decided to ban those ingredients, and include powerful healing substances that protect and nourish the skin instead.




On some of the biggest beauty misconceptions…

Many of my patients think that buying the most expensive face cream means they are getting the best care for their skin.

But many of those super high-end creams contain mineral oils and other aggressive substances that don’t necessarily have any positive effect on the skin, and they may even harm your skin.

Another misconception is that face oil is good for your skin, but too much oil actually stops the natural sebum production, which leads to drier skin and it’s therefore counterproductive.



On the worst skincare habit anybody can have…

Not washing your face at the ened of the day is one of them, but so is touching your face with dirty fingers. (Problem-causing germs and bacteria, yucks!)


Healthy skin tips in a nutshell…

Use moisturiser religiously, stay away from products that contain irritants such as mineral oils, fragrances, parabens or paraffins.

Don’t use products that contain too many oils, and try to eat and live healthily. Also, don’t touch your face with dirty fingers. And lastly, don’t smoke!




The Dr. Barbara Sturm skincare line is now available at Net-a-porter.