Exclusive: The Doctor Who Collaborated with Angela Bassett on New Skin Care Line Gives Us The 411 On How to Care For Darker Skin

Exclusive: The Doctor Who Collaborated with Angela Bassett on New Skin Care Line Gives Us The 411 On How to Care For Darker Skin

Dr. Barbara Sturm is responsible for Angela Bassett's flawless complexion. Oh, and the famous 'vampire facial'.

Published October 19, 2016

It cannot be denied that Angela Bassett is one of the baaaadest Black actresses in the game. The 58-year-old’s body is on point and her skin makes the girls half her age envious. But just like us mere mortals, the actress actually suffered from skin issues until she met Dr. Barbara Sturm that is. 


Thanks to renowned German doctor Dr. Barbara Sturm, Bassett’s skin has never looked better. And now, Bassett and Sturm have teamed up to produce a high-end skin care line specifically for women of color—Dr. Barbara Sturm range for Darker Skin Tones. The line, which is available online at Shen-Beauty and British superstore Harrods, consists of an enzyme cleanser and a foam cleanser, two face creams and their incredible serum that ranges from $70-$300. And while the line is pricey, Bassett stressed in a recent interview that it’s worth every cent.

“[I want people to be aware of their skin]… to see what is good for it and ingredients that are helpful — and not invasive or irritating. I like them to be pleased when they look in the mirror, to feel good about themselves and the condition of their complexion." 

BET.com recently sat down with Dr. Sturm to get the 411 on their exclusive line and why darker skin has specific needs.

How did this collaboration come about?

Angela has a mutual friend who said that she needed my products. So I sent her the line but also made her a cream with special proteins and herbs including purlsane —which is great for darker skin—and she loved it. She said she’d always looked for good skin care and wasn’t really satisfied with anything she was using.  She also said there wasn’t anything out there geared toward darker skin.

So I told her that I wanted to look at some studies and see what I can find and perhaps we can create a line together specifically geared for women of color.

And Angela she was clear that she wasn’t going to put her name on anything she didn’t believe in—she’s never endorsed anything before. So for her to do this collaboration means she really stands by this line.

What are some of the specific issues that darker skinned people experience?

As a doctor of patients of all different races and ethnicities, there really is a different between lighter and darker skin. Darker skin tends to be thicker, has larger pores and is oilier. And because of the higher number of melanin, it’s prone to discoloration, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. In addition, darker skin has higher rates of unevenness and is more prone to developing acne.

And one thing we’ve seen is that women of color tend to cover up these issues with make-up—and we’ve seen the industry expand to accommodate the diverse range of darker skin. But the skin care industry hasn’t really done much to create skin care products that meet the needs of darker skin. Angela once told me, “When it comes to our skin no one has cared for us.”

We’re excited to be part of that change.

So how does Dr. Barbara Sturm range for Darker Skin Tones address our specific needs? And how is it different than what’s on the market?

So first, inflammation causes people to age and since darker skin is prone to inflammation, we have higher amounts of anti-inflammation and anti-bacterial properties in our five products. And there’s nothing really like this on the market right now.

We added purslane into these products, which a 2009 Harvard study found can reverse the aging process, and we worked tirelessly with scientists in Florida with this ingredient to get it right.

And when we were done, we tested the products on my patients, make-up artists and even Angela’s friends—and the consensus was that they were great and worked really well on their skin. One of Angela’s assistants who suffers from acne said that her skin dramatically changed after using this line.

Any future plans to expand the line?

I would really like to make a less expensive version of the line for teenagers to address their acne because really that’s the age when people should start thinking about skin care given all the inflammation one experiences during puberty.

We hear so much about how “Black doesn’t crack,” but can you speak to why we shouldn’t wait until we’re in our 40s to start caring about our skin?

Yes! You should start thinking about skin care as early as your teens. And for those who have acne DO NOT pick your pimples, DO NOT touch them—just let them dry out with [medication] or even toothpaste.

Also make sure you wash your face every night before you got to bed, stay away from products with mineral oil and other oiler products and use a mild moisturizer that’s free of parabens and perfumes if you can.  Also hydration is always important!

Learn more about Darker Skin Tones by Dr. Sturm @Shen-Beauty.com.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Written by Kellee Terrell

(Photos fro top: Courtesy of Shen-beauty.com)


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