When I finished up my Evolve HA serum last month I’ll admit I was feeling a little blue that I hadn’t got anything to replace it in my skincare cupboard. I then walked into my office to find my mini-mountain of products from my advent calendar waiting to be photographed and noticed the Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum sitting there. I cracked it open and photographed it immediately before taking it up to my bedside table to get straight into my routine.
The Hyaluronic Serum from Barbara Sturm was a 10ml bottle which had me intrigued wondering whether this was a purchasable since or a deluxe mini made for the advent calendar. They have two sizes available to purchase and I did a small gulp noticing that the 10ml was a whopping £85. Knowing I’d run through the 30ml from Evolve in around 6 weeks I was pretty nervous about falling in love with this!
The packaging of this is clean, although I’ll admit it felt pretty basic, the box was plain, simple and white – very “clean beauty” feeling, and other than the fact the printing was directly on a bottle rather than a label, this didn’t scream any better quality than the likes of The Ordinary with a basic frosted bottle and dropper – which fell apart when I first opened it and required some reconstructive surgery!
Now HA is a product easily accessible on the market at any price point now – and I’ve tested the low end, mid-price ones, now up to the boujiest of boujee price points. I think there’s a big difference between those which are the cheapest and those which are mid-range in terms of texture, with the mid-price ones often having a thinner texture that feels far less gloopy, easier to apply and seems to absorb quicker. I can see the merit in switching to mid-price point formulas if it’s in your price range. So I was interested to see whether the ones which were at the £20-30 price mark (for a 30ml) could be rivalled with those which incredibly higher in price.
Just for reference price per ml:
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 30ml : £5.90 / £0.20 per ml
Evolve Hyaluronic Acid 200 30ml : £30.00 / £1 per ml
Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum 30ml : £235 / £7.83 per ml
The formula and texture of the Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum is lovely, thin and easily absorbed into the skin – once you begin massaging it in it almost feels like water. This layers well with other products in my routine such as my moisturisers, which I’ve tried pairing with Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream and my Glow Recipe Banana Souffle. But I feel like I’m getting deja vu as that’s exactly what I thought about the Evolve one.
Looking up the ingredients I was intrigued to see “what else” was added to this to make it “worth” the price tag and the other active includes “Purslane Extract”, which on my research is a vitamin A, C and E rich ingredient which helps calm the skin and reduce visible signs of irritation. This had me intrigued as if you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen I had a fairly aggressive reaction to a Clinique serum last week and my AB rich cream was doing a great job alone of calming everything down for a few days. I swapped to this one day to see if I felt the same soothing I was feeling from my AB cream, and I can’t say I noticed any difference on that front and was met with the itchiness I was getting on track the day before with The Rich Cream alone.
Rather than being a Hyaluronic Acid I discovered that this is a sodium hyaluronate base, meaning like HA, it can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, but this particular molecule is able to penetrate the skin deeper, meaning the plumping and moisturising effects should be more noticeable. This contains molecules of two sizes, one designed to go deeper and one designed to sit closer to the surface. However, did I notice an incredible difference between the two over the time period it took me to try this? No. Might I over time? Doubtful but maybe! Am I willing to spend again to find out? Absolutely not.
A nice hyrdator that plumps up the skin, absolutely. Anything special? Not for my oily early 30s skin.
After 2 weeks though, I’m almost at empty, with maybe 1-2 uses left at most before I will be officially scraping the barrel for every remaining expensive drop. When I compare this to Evolve, I see no additional benefits that their absolute A+++ formula gave me. I prefer this texture marginally more, and I do mean ever so slightly marginally. But I like the Evolve one 5 times more than I like the Ordinary one, however, do I not like the Barbara Sturm one 39 times more than The Ordinary one? Hell no. Let that figure sink in for a minute.
HA is the basic-bitch of ingredients now when it comes to skincare, and reading the Dr Babs website, I can not find a dissernable reason why, what, how this would be at the price point than it is. So there we have it, a £85 serum finished in around 2 weeks (I feel sick, do you?)
Let me know if you’ve tried the Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum, or any other products from her line!
If you have won the lottery or you wanna treat. yo. self– you can pick this up from Cult Beauty here for £85 (10ml) or £230 (30ml) – affiliate link,