DÜSSELDORF, Germany — Marla Malcolm Beck, co-founder and chief executive of Bluemercury, describes Dr Barbara Sturm’s Molecular Cosmetics line of skincare, which debuted at the US retailer in January 2018 and quickly shot to a top spot, as “like a rocket ship.” Indeed, Sturm’s range of serums, masks and cleansers is a headliner everywhere from Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Violet Grey and Cult Beauty to Harrod’s and Joyce, and the glamorous Sturm herself is certainly beauty’s doctor-of-the-moment. But the globe-hopping Sturm, who is based in Düsseldorf but is rarely anywhere (New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Dallas, Miami, London, Paris, Dubai) for more than a week at a time, fell into skincare rather by accident.
An orthopaedic surgeon by trade, she developed her first cream, a custom concoction made with one’s own blood plasma, in 2003 after realising that the protein and growth factor-rich plasma she was injecting into patients’ joints to treat inflammation and injuries could possibly have amazing benefits if applied topically to the face. “I wanted to heal my own skin because I had problems, and couldn’t find anything. I added the anti-inflammatory proteins made by my own cells, with my pharmacist in Düsseldorf.”