An anti-inflammatory diet and moisture

The be-all and end-all for healthy skin

Radiantly healthy skin is not just a guarantee for a youthful appearance, it also reflects the overall health of the body, mind and spirit. In an interview with skin expert and aesthetics doctor Dr. Barbara Sturm, she reveals which factors are crucial for healthy skin, what an optimum care routine looks like, and what you should pay particular attention to when taking care of your skin in winter.

Dr. Sturm, what has the biggest impact on the health of our skin?

Dr. Sturm: The focus of my entire skincare philosophy is on fighting inflammation and its consequences. For me, an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is the key to this. Sufficient sleep, daily movement, avoiding stress, protecting against urban and digital pollution, avoiding excessive alcohol, sugar, fried and processed foods and flour are essential elements of my daily self-care. I place a lot of emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods such as avocados, salmon, olive oil, tomatoes, nuts, dark berries and green tea.

What does the skin generally need the most? Is there something that applies to all skin types?

Dr. Sturm: Managing inflammation is absolutely essential for the health of the body and the skin. This includes plenty of sleep, getting to bed early – I’m usually in bed by 9 PM – an anti-inflammatory diet, less stress and alcohol, no cigarettes and avoiding unprotected exposure to sunlight, HEV light [high-energy visible light, editor’s note] and harmful environmental influences. Skincare isn’t just about applying creams; instead, it’s a holistic approach aimed at reducing inflammation and achieving well-being.

There are no magic pills, but if you lead an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and use moisturizing, protective products that strengthen the skin’s protective barrier – specifically with more nurturing ingredients rather than those that damage the skin’s barrier – this will be reflected in your skin.

Hyaluronic acid, for example, has been investigated in countless clinical studies as to its ability to strengthen the important function of the skin’s barrier, which prevents pathogens and other contaminants from penetrating the skin and which, if weakened, can lead to impurities and other skin problems. Hyaluronic acid is a fundamental ingredient that not only supplies the surface of the skin with moisture in order to keep it plump, but also replenishes the moisture reserves in the deeper layers of the skin.

How important is it to adjust skincare to one’s individual skin type?

Dr. Sturm: My philosophy is that every skincare routine, regardless of age or gender, should fight inflammation, provide deep moisturizing to the skin, and nourish and replenish it with highly effective anti-aging properties without using aggressive ingredients. The basics of healthy skincare include clarifying facial cleansing, a peeling treatment twice a week to gently remove rough skin and impurities, a serum that is rich in effective ingredients and replenishes the moisture reserves, as well as a moisturizing cream.

This covers the skin’s fundamental needs. In addition, there are also products that are specifically tailored to different skin types and that can be incorporated into the basic care routine so as to cater to the skin’s specific needs. My products also offer plenty of options in this regard.

What other factors play an important role in skincare and should be taken into consideration?

Dr. Sturm: Blue HEV light, which is emitted by smartphones, tablets, monitors and other digital devices, can damage our skin and cause it to age more quickly. It penetrates deep into the skin, making it potentially more harmful than UV radiation. Over time, it can impair the skin’s protective barrier function and cause irritations that lead to premature aging of the skin, an uneven skin tone, loss of elasticity, dryness, disturbed healing of the skin, sensitivity and even impurities.

I recommend treating the effects of excessive screen time on the skin with appropriate products. They contain a skin protection complex that strengthens the skin’s natural defenses. Cocoa seed extract forms a protective shield against environmental pollution, and purslane helps to alleviate and soothe irritations. Hyaluronic acid with two molecular weights provides moisture both to deeper layers of the skin as well as to the surface, which is essential for keeping the skin’s protective barrier healthy.

We hear time and again how important it is to protect the skin against UV radiation. From a health standpoint, how much protection is just the right amount?

Dr. Sturm: I always apply my SUN DROPS before and during sunbathing. Apart from that, a little sun can be good for our health. When the body is exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D, which is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, a normal function of the immune system, the healthy growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as for improved resistance against certain illnesses.

To what extent is skincare different in summer than in winter?

Dr. Sturm: In winter, the frequent switching between cold, windy weather and hot, dry interior rooms wreaks havoc on our skin. Our natural moisture reserves are depleted more quickly, which leads to dry, flaky skin that tends to get irritated more easily. In winter, it’s important to use products that are rich in lipids and antioxidants, which are twice as effective at supplying the skin with moisture, sealing and protecting it.

What are your three top tips for keeping skin healthy?

Dr. Sturm: Make sure to consume an anti-inflammatory diet with plenty of liquids, heal your skin instead of attacking it by using products with scientifically substantiated ingredients that support your skin’s protective barrier in the long term, and get plenty of sleep.

How rapidly does skin age? What measures are most likely to slow this process?

Dr. Sturm: The aging of the skin depends on several factors. First off, genetics influence the way your skin ages. They play a major role. Secondly, the influence of the weather and one’s individual lifestyle are crucial. Factors such as smoking and an unhealthy diet have a huge impact on the quality of the skin – which is why I always recommend getting enough sleep, avoiding stress and eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and vitamins.

And moisture is the be-all and end-all. Drinking plenty of water and using a highly concentrated hyaluronic acid for skincare is important the entire year round, but even more so during the cold, harsh and dry winter months. The HYALURONIC SERUM in my cosmetics line was formulated using a mix of low and high molecular hyaluronic acid, and provides moisture on the surface while simultaneously penetrating the deeper layers of the skin in order to replenish the moisture reserves once more.

What are the most important nutrients for healthy skin?

Dr. Sturm: Antioxidants, the vitamins A, C, D and E as well as the omega-3 fatty acids contribute significantly to the health and beauty of the skin. Sometimes it’s hard to eat healthily, and we all suffer from certain deficiency symptoms. It’s this fact that motivated me to develop oral dietary supplements that increase well-being while also balancing out potential deficiencies at the same time. I worked together with academic nutritionists for years to develop my five dietary supplements, which are summed up under the name STURM INSIDE.

How is gut health connected to the appearance of the skin?

Dr. Sturm: The skin is a reflection of our inner organs and their processes, and a great reference point for understanding internal problems in our body, including in the gut. The intestinal microbiome can influence the health of the skin and trigger inflammation. Everything, from slight skin irritations all the way to chronic skin diseases such as eczema, can be directly associated with poor gut health. This is why, in collaboration with the MAYRLIFE experts, the MAYRLIFE “Anti-Inflammatory Skin” program was created, which takes a holistic approach to promoting the health of the skin and the gut.

Dr. Sturm, thank you so much for chatting to us!

Dr. Barbara Sturm is a German aesthetics doctor. She is known throughout the world for her anti-inflammatory skincare philosophy and her innovative, non-surgical anti-aging treatments. Many of her products are available in the MAYRLIFE online shop, providing the perfect complement to MAYRLIFE’s holistic approach to health.

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