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Dr Barbara Sturm

No dairy, dry brushing, and sleep: Dr Barbara Sturm’s top skincare tips

TextAlex Peters

In a new episode of Alexander Wang’s isolation IGTV series, the skincare master shares her knowledge and a homemade face mask recipe so you can get the Sturm glow without the price tag

In lockdown, Instagram’s IGTV has truly come into its own as a format. From Marc Jacobs sharing his best make-up tips in Rocky Horror Picture Show-inspired tutorials to Alexander Wang’s #WangFromHome series which he launched earlier this month, we are all creating more content than ever as we sit in our kitchens and bathrooms.

Last night, for his latest episode of Staying In With Alex, Wang was joined by Dr Barbara Sturm, skincare expert and inventor of the famous vampire facial. Sturm was there to talk skincare tips and share her best recipe for a hydrating DIY face mask.

Asked about what her advice is for good skin, Dr Sturm said that her most important tip was sleep which she says is so important for regeneration. “Nothing can replace sleep,” she says. She would also recommend dry brushing your arms and legs which is great for enhancing circulation, exfoliation, and helping stimulate the skin cells to produce collagen.

When Wang asks if it is important to avoid dairy for good skin, she says that for those people with hormonal acne, she would definitely advise taking dairy and processed meats out of your diet. Equally if you are lactose intolerant. Apart from that, she says once in a while it’s fine.

The two then moved onto cooking up their homemade face mask. Wang shared that even though he loves doing masks, to the point of it being too much, this was the first time he had ever done a DIY one. Asking whether you should use baking powder in masks to help bring everything up to the surface, Dr Sturm indicated that it was not a good idea. “I always believe in nourishing the skin,” she said. “If you want to take out toxins it's always nice to do it with a warm towel.”

The mask they made uses just three readily available kitchen ingredients: avocado, manuka honey and cacao powder. A hydrating mask that works for all skin types, Dr Sturm said it was great for soothing redness and irritation and making your skin feel nice and plump. “It’s all about hydrate, hydrate, hydrate right now,” she said. “Being at home and then going out in your mask, being in front of screens, it really dries out your skin.” Here are the steps so you can make it yourself at home:


Mash up the avocado, you don’t have to use the whole thing, roughly a quarter. “The rest we take for guacamole!” Dr Sturm laughed. “Avocado is so great because it has such amazing oils, it’s anti-inflammatory, it’s extra hydrating.”


Add the cacao powder (make sure it doesn’t have any sugar on it). Not even a spoonful and mix it into the mashed up avocado. Cacao is great because it is anti-inflammatory and it also reduces redness and irritation. If you don’t have cacao you can substitute it for yoghurt, Dr Sturm suggests.


Add your spoon of manuka honey and stir all together. If you can't get your hands on manuka honey just use the best honey you can find.


Spread the mixture over your skin and then you can leave the mask on for as long as you want. Wash it off with lukewarm water when you are ready. Voilà! Skincare from Dr Barbara Sturm without the luxury price tag. Wang’s verdict? A success! His skin feels very supple.

Watch the whole episode for yourself below.

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