Beauty: And the magic skin care ingredient is ...

Purslane, a medicinal herb that stops cells from dying. Stephanie Smith talks to Dr Barbara Sturm, who has harnessed its powers.

Dr Barbara Sturm

“Keep it smart, but simple” is the mantra of skincare specialist Dr Barbara Sturm.

From Germany, Dr Sturm is an aesthetic medical doctor with clinics in Dusseldorf and Munich specialising in rejuvenating treatments. As an orthopedic surgeon, she helped pioneer a treatment for osteoarthritis and then transferred her knowledge to the skin, inventing a process of injecting the skin with its own proteins from blood – known as the Vampire Facial. After that, she devised a cream to heal her own skin, quite simply because she couldn’t find what she needed already available.

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“It’s very healing, very nourishing,” she says of her self-named skincare line, which she introduced to SpaceNK at the Victoria Quarter in Leeds.

Dr Barbara Sturm

She offers simple, non-fragranced products that combine nature with science. “The main working ingredient is a telomerase activator, a herb called purslane, a very powerful anti-oxidant, very rich is beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids, but also very good to prevent your cells for dying.

“You can get it from the farmer’s market, make a smoothie, put the purslane in a blender, some crushed ice and apple juice and it’s super super yummy.”

Genetics play a major role in skin ageing, says Dr Sturm, but so do inflammation, oxidisation, physical and mental stress, pollution, sun exposure, smoking and alcohol.

“All these stresses lead among other things to diminished stores of gluthiatone (the major antioxidant produced by our cells), decreased collagen production, and shortening of chromosomal caps called telomeres that lead to cell death.”

Dr Barbara Sturm

Dr Sturm’s skincare is ideal for those who suffer from sensitivity, with no perfumes, parabens or mineral oils. The cleanser costs £40, while the Hyaluronic Serum is £230. There are also Sun Drops with an SPF50, to add to your moisturiser (£105). Dr Barbara Sturm products are at SpaceNK in store and online.