I’ve Been Using This Celeb-Approved Glowy Skin Secret & Here’s My Verdict

I’ve Been Using This Celeb-Approved Glowy Skin Secret & Here’s My Verdict
Photo: Dr. Barbra Sturm. Design: Alyssa Crane/STYLECASTER.

I’ve been anxiously waiting to write this Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops ($145) review. It’s no secret that I’m highly skeptical of hyped-up products because more often than not, they don’t do what they say. I also end up trying them anyway because peer pressure is real and I’m the quintessential Aries who is bold to a fault and always down to experiment.

For a couple years now, I’ve watched a copious amount of my fellow beauty editors wax poetic about how this brand has been a godsend for their complexion; especially those with brown skin. For some, it’s the infamous (and perhaps most popular) MC1 Blood Moisturizer, a $1400 jar of cream formulated with blood from your own body. Because blood contains inflammatory-fighting molecules, it’s said to be an oft-overlooked ingredient for fighting everything from acne to rosacea. And based off the ridiculous amount of reviews I’ve scoured online, the general consensus is that it’s actually a next-level hydrator too.

However, I am not a fan of blood and for the most part, my skin is lowkey dewy already (#humblebrag). What I have always struggled with is dullness. No matter how much sleep I get or facial oil I slather my face in, upping the brightness factor is a challenge that often feels as though there’s no light–literally and figuratively–at the end of the tunnel. So when a bottle of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Glow Drops landed on my desk, I saw it as my opportunity to reluctantly hop on the bandwagon and see if it would actually do anything. Everyone from Bella Hadid to Jenna Dewan to Elsa Hosk has cited this particular product for keeping their face red-carpet ready and as since I frequently use the sidewalk like a runway, this was the extra bit of confirmation I needed to move forward.

Keep in mind, I went into this knowing that it usually takes at least 4-6 weeks of using any skincare product before seeing tangible results. Full transparency: the Glow Drops have been part of my routine for just a little under 4 weeks, so take this honest analysis with a grain salt. Or a small pile of salt; whatever makes you feel most comfortable. With that being said, let’s get into it.

The Ingredients

TBH, the name “Glow Drops” is extremely vague. Yes, I knew the goal of the said product is to, in fact, make me glowier. But what is it? A serum? A mix-product for my foundation? Eye drops? I make no assumptions people. Like anyone with common sense, I deferred to the description on Barbara Sturm’s website, which describes Glow Drops as having “potent anti-aging compounds” that provide “deep hydration, fundamental nourishment, and pore refinement.” So in short: it’s a serum you can use before moisturizer, mixed in with foundation, or over makeup. I stan a multitasker.

The glow-specific ingredients are Purslane, Bistorta Root, Rosa Canina, and sweet almond oil. I’m already familiar with almond oil, as it’s literally one of the best-smelling oils out there, and extremely lightweight. If you’ve got oily skin, it’s also particularly effective. On the other hand, this was my first introduction to the other three. Purslane is a green-leaved plant found in damp habitats that harnesses Vitamin C and copper, two antioxidant-rich ingredients also known for their anti-aging benefits. Bistorta root, otherwise known as snakeweed (EL-OH-EL) is a potent natural astringent. And Rosa Canina, a rose species native to some parts of Asia and Africa, also contains a whole lot of vitamin C.

All of these ingredients combined with optical pigments like silicate mineral are giving me, “I just covered my face in Fenty Lava Glow” minus all the shimmer, realness. And the formula is pretty unique, which made me feel like I discovered some unburied beauty treasure despite its obvious popularity. Here are a couple of standout observations I think are important to share now that I’ve used for a couple weeks; specifically at night in between my cleanser and moisturizer, and in the AM before my sunscreen or mixed with BB cream.

The Smell

Okay, so this is my only slightly negative point. The smell is….interesting. It reminds me of a doctor’s office. As far as I know, this has no artificial fragrance, which is definitely a plus. But I expected to at least smell a bit of the almond oil and rose canina when applied. Such was not the case. This won’t be a huge deal for anyone with sensitive or acne-prone skin, but if you live for fragrance, know you’re not getting it with this one. TBH, your skin is better without it anyway.

The Feel

This is my absolute favorite part. My gripe with a lot of serums is that they lack any type of consistency and feel like water. This automatically results in me wasting product because I’ll pour into my hand and it somehow disappears. Then there’s serums that are so thick, you can literally feel the blemishes growing at warp speed as soon as you layer on moisturizer. The Glow Drops are the perfect median. Not too heavy and not too light with a seamless blend.

It’s also quick-drying without that sticky after-effect and feels breathable; meaning you can layer and it doesn’t feel heavy. And let’s not forget the ever-slight highlight effect thanks to the mineral particles. But not so much that you feel obligated to go sit on a beach.

The Sun Test

Finally, after a few weeks, I had to conduct my non-negotiable test: makeup-free selfies in the sun and good indoor lighting. The gift and the curse of these are that the lighting is close to perfect, but can also highlight every single blemish if you’re not taking proper care of your skin.

barbara sturm glow drops review 2 Ive Been Using This Celeb Approved Glowy Skin Secret & Heres My Verdict

Courtesy of Author.

I was happy to know that it’s quite literally lit and my under-eye circles may have lightened a bit too. As someone who doesn’t believe in eye creams, this is a positive development and motivation to keep using.

barbara sturm glow drops review 1 Ive Been Using This Celeb Approved Glowy Skin Secret & Heres My Verdict

Courtesy of Author.

The Verdict

Did this product give my skin the red carpet treatment I anticipated? Sort-of. Do I think it’s worth the triple-digit price tag? Definitely, but only if you’re using in conjunction with other Barbara Sturm products. While it did slightly brighten my complexion, I think the results would’ve been even better had I used alongside the new Brightening Face Lotion ($205), Enzyme Cleanser ($75) and any of the products designated specifically for brown skin.

Mixing and matching is fun, but for this particular brand, I’d recommend keeping it in the family. For now, I’ll continue to keep you updated on my never-ending quest to literally “wake up like this” without a drop of makeup.

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