Star-Faved Skin Guru Dr. Barbara Sturm's High-Performance Spa in L.A. Is Her Largest in the World

Known for her vampire facials, the German esthetics doctor reveals her top local haunts and more.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique
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Los Angeles glow-seekers typically need to wait for awards season to book a vampire facial with Dr. Barbara Sturm, but this year was clearly different. Her spring pop-up at the AllBright was set to bring her science-powered, Fountain of Youth-like skin treatments to Angelenos — A-list or not — through May, only to shuttered not long after opening due to the pandemic.

Now, the German aesthetics doctor — known for her bespoke MC1 cream concocted with the client's own plasma — is helping L.A. turn back time (at least on our faces, anyway) on the reg with her first L.A. spa and boutique, which opened Monday just steps from the low-key stretch of Melrose Avenue.

"I looked at numerous locations all around Los Angeles and as soon as I saw this one, I knew it was the 'Sturm space,'" she tells UncoverLA. "It's right in between Beverly Hills and Hollywood but it feels private and discreet — the space is in the middle of everything but it's also a cul-de-sac so it's a little quieter. It's so convenient to get to from many residential areas and it's surrounded by cool stores, coffee shops, and restaurants."

Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique
Photo: Courtesy of Chris Springer/Dr. Barbara Sturm

The space is tucked away on Almont Drive — all the more privacy for starry clients like Gwyneth Paltrow, Hailey Beiber, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, among others — and conveniently around the corner fellow Europeans including Acne Studios, Byredo, and Ganni. It marks Sturm's largest outpost in the world, joining locations in New York and her native Düsseldorf.

The high-tech skin haven houses three treatment rooms, two express facial rooms, two infrared saunas, and a retail showroom featuring a "discovery table" that features Sturm's cult-favorite Molecular Cosmetics skincare line. On the menu are Sturm's signature facials designed to address symptoms of inflammation and bring a youthful-looking visage via high-performance botanicals and other scientifically-proven ingredients.

The Instant Glow Facial ($175) gives you the doc's beloved #SturmGlow in just 45 minutes via advanced ingredients such as rejuvenating purslane, polygonum bistorta root extract (for improving skin tone), and pore-refining wild rose extract; while the 90-minute Super Anti-Aging Facial ($475) combines Sturm's proprietary antioxidant- and peptide-pack serum with nanotechnology and an anti-gravity massage to repair damaged skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique
Photo: Courtesy of Chris Springer/Dr. Barbara Sturm

Other options include a 30-min. red light therapy treatment ($95) for fine lines and irritated skin, the 60-min. Brightening Facial ($245) for addressing pigmentation and dull skin, the 75-min. Clarifying Facial ($270) for reducing redness and irritation, and treatments designed specifically for men and darker skin tones ($245+). You can also add on a 10-minute revitalizing scalp massage, while Sturm's dream team can also provide customized consultations based on your skin concerns.

The shelves stock Sturm's complete collection ($70 to $350) of skincare, including cult-fave products such as the Enzyme Cleanser, Hyaluronic Serum, Super Anti-Aging Serum, Glow Drops, Sun Drops SPF50, and others among other cleansers, toners, serums, eye face creams, and more. Also on offer are customized kits for teens and maskne, kids bath and body products ($35 to $60), skin-boosting supplements.

The minimalist-luxe beauty mecca was designed by Sturm's architect brother Tobias Freytag. The space is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, brass fixtures, sleek concrete tables, and floating light fixtures, while a curved mirrored ceiling adds a certain depth and softness to the space.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique
Photo: Courtesy of Paul Vu/Dr. Barbara Sturm

Those who aren't ready to leave their abodes — especially with L.A. County's tighter COVID-19 restrictions in place — can tap the Sturm team through their screen via virtual skin consultations.

After regular visits to the City of Angels, Sturm herself is also a newly-minted Angeleno. Of her new sunny hometown, she says: "L.A. is simply the most advanced beauty and wellness city in the world. It is a place where new ideas are born, tried, and adopted, especially in beauty, health, and wellness. Californians are the beauty world's 'early adopters,' and the most open people on earth to new approaches." (Danke, Dr. Sturm!)

Here, she shares more details about her new Boutique & Spa, how her space is staying safe curing the coronavirus era, and her favorite local haunts for shopping and relaxing. See more inside the space and scroll through the gallery above, scroll down to read more and see the location's address and hours, and book your next #SturmGlow appointment online here.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique
Photo: Courtesy of Chris Springer/Dr. Barbara Sturm

How long has the idea of opening in LA been brewing, and how did the pandemic affect your plans?

An L.A. location was always a dream for me. I started a pop-up spa for the Oscars three years ago and had my aestheticians performing my new facial protocols to get celebrities ready during the week. I received heavy requests ever since to open a permanent, high-performance L.A. location.

The store is a physical and virtual extension of my digital commitment to the education of my customer and patient, and a platform upon which to provide innovations in advanced science technologies. We have and will continue to rigidly observe and closely monitor health and safety best practices relating to COVID-19, and operate the physical aspects of the Spa with our customers' and staffs' health as the only priority.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa & Boutique
Dr. Barbara Sturm Boutique & Spa in West Hollywood. Photo: Courtesy of Chris Springer/Dr. Barbara Sturm

Given your strong personal connection to LA, where are some of your favorite spots to visit when you're in town?

I love driving in L.A. and there are so many different spots I love to go to. At one point we were more or less living out of the Hotel Bel-Air on Stone Canyon Road, so I love going back there now for breakfast or lunch — my daughter Pepper knows the entire team and loves them all! I like to go to Malibu, to take Charly and Pepper horseback riding and go to the farm to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Afterwards, we take a walk on the beach and visit friends. I also like to go to the Malibu Country Mart, and get some food at Soho House or Nobu after spending the day at the beach.

I love the Palisades, and the newly-built Caruso mall [Palisades Village], which is exciting. I enjoy going food shopping at Erewhon and visiting stores on Melrose or at the Brentwood Country Mart; or even just to cruise around Beverly Hills. You can also often find me at toy stores; I am a regular there since that's where Pepper takes me all the time.

But my absolute favorite place is my home in Los Angeles; we have a great view of Beverly Hills and are surrounded by nature with a beautiful sunset every evening. We are always going on hikes and walks in the neighborhood and I value having the quality downtime, sitting in the garden, and enjoying some peace of mind. 

Dr. Barbara Sturm Boutique & Spa, 515 North Almont Dr., West Hollywood, 90069; Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; (310) 734-4080

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