Quickly soothes and restores skin
Excellent proactive defense in winter
Multiple uses: aftershave, night cream, eye cream
High price point
Can be heavy
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream for Men
We put the Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream for Men to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
On more than a few occasions, friends have rifled through my grooming products and pulled out Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Face Cream for Men—and they do so with a gasp. “You have this?!” they say like it’s some collector’s item. And I guess, in the skincare world, any Dr. Barbara Sturm product is an investment akin to gold bricks. (And that price tag proves it.)
Dr. Sturm’s products are powered by a long list of active ingredients, meticulously balanced for the task at hand. In the case of this made-for-men moisturizer, that recipe remedies skin that is often agitated by razors. Thus, the formula also addresses skin (for any consumer, face shaver or not, man or not) who is easily irritated by environmental conditions—think bone-dry, cold winter air, windburn, overexposure to the sun, and defense against pollutants and skin-aging toxins. Her hero ingredient across the skincare line is antioxidant-rich purslane, which stimulates collagen growth and skin healing.
But these top-tier formulas come with a top-tier price. This men’s moisturizer is $215—hence my friend’s reactions when they see it in my stash (and no, I didn’t pay for it; as a grooming editor, I receive every product on the sun, from all kinds of brands).
So, the big question: Is this one worth its price? I think so, but I would also recommend using it for specific occasions, and not on a 24-hour basis. Read on for more explanation on that.
Best for: Suitable for all skin types, especially frequent shavers or those with dry/sensitive skin.
Uses: Daily use, overnight revitalization, tired eyes, aftershave repair, dry or damaged skin restoration, redness reduction, or defense against cold/dry weather
Potential allergens: The product uses trace amounts of the preservatives phenoxyethanol, methyl propanediol, and propanediol. These won’t even register as aggravating on most people’s skin. But if you know you have a sensitivity to them, take note.
Hero ingredients: Purslane, skullcap, taurine, vitamin E, panthenol, allantoin, squalane, shea butter, macadamia oil, green algae, glycerin, and taiga root.
Byrdie Clean? Yes
About the brand: All of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s products utilize carefully considered formulas, rich in high-performance natural extracts and a long roster of active ingredients. They are regarded for their quick-healing, anti-aging, glow-inducing results.
About My Skin: Combination, sweaty, and not too sensitive
I have combination skin in that my forehead and nose get oily, while the cheeks and chin stay dry. But I also sweat a lot. For example, after a hot shower, I need a good 20 minutes before applying any moisturizer or sunscreen because it’ll otherwise be lost to the sweat as my body temperature readjusts. Likewise, I can’t wear anything too heavy if I go outside for a run because I’ll feel it suffocating my pores.
I get a couple of noticeable pimples each month, but I wouldn’t say I fully qualify as acne-prone. I used to be more breaky-outy, but it could be that I now have a better skincare regimen to mitigate acne. (I mostly credit lower stress and nightly use of tretinoin.)
It’s a personal preference, but I am averse to shaving. I’ll do it a couple of times a year, but I much prefer an electric shaver that doesn’t break the skin's surface. (And usually, I have a short weeks-old beard.) I will, however, shave below my neckline and the spare whiskers that drift above the beard’s cheek line. Whenever I do shave, I do not experience bad irritation. So I wouldn’t say that I have sensitive skin.
The Feel: Heavier than advertised
The texture of Barbara Sturm's Face Cream for Men is exactly as you’d expect: light, easily applied, and creamy (it’s certainly not a lotion or balm). However, it wears on my skin rather heavily, despite its advertising a lightweight layer. I can feel it on there for a good 30-60 minutes after application, particularly on my forehead (which, as aforementioned, gets very sweaty very fast).
But this isn’t a bad thing, per se. In fact, I think its weight is beneficial unless you specifically want a lightweight cream. To me, that says the product is chock full of nourishing stuff and is that much more defensive against cold, dry air (and in turn preserves moisture levels all the better). All things considered, it means you should use this cream in instances when you want to deploy its superpowers (namely, overnight, after shaving, or at the height of winter). Given its cost, I think it’s smart to save this product for those imperative cases rather than emptying it in a month simply because you wore it to go to the gym or the office.
The Ingredients: Key to its success
Here’s where you get your money’s worth. Dr. Barbara Sturm soars above the competition because of her highly concentrated, carefully culled ingredients. The below are the many active ingredients in this men’s moisturizer. Read up on their many abilities, and you’ll see why it’s so effective at restoring skin from razor blades, burning winds, dryness, and more.
- Purslane: Dr. Sturm’s signature ingredient. It boosts collagen production, shields against toxins, and helps skin heal fast—an anti-aging superhero.
- Macadamia Oil: A mega moisturizer that also prevents moisture loss. Rich in fatty acids that soften and smooth the skin.
- Skullcap: Antioxidant-rich extract that thwarts attacks from skin-aging toxins. It helps brighten the skin and has soothing anti-inflammatory powers.
- Taurine: Extends the life of skin cells and defends against toxins; helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines.
- Vitamin E: Nourishes skin and is rich in antioxidants.
- Panthenol: Soothes and softens skin. Prevents moisture loss.
- Allantoin: Soothes skin and stimulates repair.
- Squalane: Smoothes skin, combats hyperpigmentation, fights free radicals.
- Shea Butter: Fatty-acid-rich ingredient that softens, smoothes, calms, and heals skin.
- Green Algae: Boosts cellular renewal and is rich in antioxidants.
- Taiga Root: Soothes and repairs skin.
- Ascorbic Acid: A collagen-boosting form of vitamin C. Brightens complexion, fights toxins, and detoxes the skin.
- Citric Acid: An alpha-hydroxy acid that counters hyperpigmentation and texture inconsistencies. It also stimulates collagen production.
The Results: An overnight success story
I use this product when I need it most: In winter, namely, and overnight. I like to put it to use when I can maximize its benefits or when other products might fall short of its standards. For example, here is a before-and-after of my reddened, parched skin after a long walk in 30-degree late-November weather. Now, I normally would use a product of this caliber to prevent the redness in the first place (and I often use this product for that). But for the sake of a good Before and After effect, here is my reddened skin before applying Dr. Barbara Sturm's Face Cream for Men. The second photo is of my skin in the morning, after eight hours’ sleep. I knew the product would plump my skin with its long list of soothing, repairing ingredients and that I’d wake up with a restored, glowing complexion.
And I was right. That’s exactly why I deploy this product when my skin needs it. It would help if you did the same, reserving it for a post-shave application, a defense against cold + dry winter air, against hyperactive air conditioners (which can parch your skin while you sleep), as a general night cream when you need to wake up looking at your best… the use cases go on and on. I like that it also works as a proactive eye cream, ensuring that the skin around the eyes stays plump, protected, and hydrated. If you’re prone to dark circles in the morning, an application can ensure you don’t see a raccoon in your reflection.
The Value: Worth it, for the right situations
I wouldn’t use Dr. Barbara Sturm's Face Cream for Men year-round, all day. It’s advertised as a 24-hour cream and lightweight, but I find it simply not lightweight enough for summer or active use. Because it lacks SPF, I also wouldn’t use it as my daytime moisturizer (I personally require that a daytime moisturizer has SPF instead of applying two separate products.)
But this is good news for those of you who are skeptical of its cost. If you reserve it for imperative uses, you’ll get much more use out of it. I liken it to a good tretinoin prescription (which runs about $100) or a high-powered skin serum (which can run $70-200). I wouldn’t use any of these products except when I absolutely need them (in tretinoin’s/retinol’s case, it is nightly, but one tube also lasts 3-5 months). Anyway, if you treat this product like a treatment in itself, then you’ll understand its value much more readily, and that $215 price (at just 1.75 oz., no less) will seem far less punishing.
Similar Products: You've got options
ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm: Equally protective against the elements and restorative (perhaps not as proactively), this Clarins moisturizer ($36) is lightweight for a balm but far more reasonable for 24/7 use.
Buttah Skin CocoShea Revitalizing Cream: This affordable moisturizer from Black-owned brand Buttah Skin ($19) provides instant buttery smoothness and moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, no less. Best for normal to combination skin types.
Jack Black Dry Erase Ultra-Calming Face Cream: Enriched by aloe, tea tree seed, ginger root, and jojoba oil, this Jack Black moisturizer ($38) provide an ultra-nourishing, soothing result.
Dr. Barbara Sturm's Face Cream for Men delivers on its promise to soothe, repair, protect, and hydrate the skin. It is as outstanding as you could hope for its cost. But, save it for the times you need it most—whenever your skin needs a big assist—because it’s simply too powerful to use carelessly all day, every day (though, if you choose to do so, more power to you).
- Product Name Face Cream for Men
- Product Brand Dr. Barbara Sturm
- Price $215
- Weight 1.7 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Aqua/Water/Eau, Alcohol Denat., Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Lactobacillus/Portulaca Oleracea Ferment Extract, Propanediol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Glycerides, Squalane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate,Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol, Acanthopanax Senticosus (Eleuthero) Root Ex Tract, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Taurine, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Disodium Edta, Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Baicalin, Pantolactone, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate.