Surprise! $1400 Face Cream Really Works


We're a week and a half out from Halloween so now seems as good a time as ever for me to tell you the story of the cream that was recently made with my blood. It's the only story I've been able to tell anyone, if they're in the beauty industry or not, for weeks. It's the only story Brennan's been able to tell anyone for weeks too and it wasn't even his blood! So gather 'round friends, let's talk about Dr. Barbara Sturm's fabled MC1 cream and why it's the best thing I've ever put on my face.

So who is this Dr. Sturm? She is a former orthopedic doctor turned skincare messiah and real life best friend of Cher. She launched her line at Net-a-Porter in 2014, and has since started selling through Violet Grey, SpaceNK, and Shen in Brooklyn—so to celebrate, she threw a little brunch for New York's beauty editor contingent at Cafe Clover. If you go, try the quinoa pancakes.

Now, a little inside baseball: The beauty industry loves to have celebratory breakfasts. Because A) avocado toast. And B) it's a good way for everyone to meet a likely very busy brand founder all at once. Also there's usually goody bags with products. On the whole, I'm not complaining.

When I arrived, I saw friend and ITG writer Alyssa Reeder. She whispered to me, "Have you heard of the blood cream?" No I had not. I had heard of Dr. Sturm and that was pretty much the extent of it. Turns out blood cream—or MC1 officially—is simultaneously as easy and as difficult to explain as it sounds. You see, Dr. Sturm pioneered the vampire facials you heard about when Kim Kardashian started getting them. She's known for her ability to harness your own blood's ability to heal your body—first in surgery, then in facials, and now in skincare. For the bespoke cream, she funnels a client's blood through a special vial that stimulates the blood to react like you've been injured. It's those resulting, healing proteins that fuel the cream. "It's like super-charged Neosporin for your face," Alyssa told me. "It's all I've been using... She'll do it for you if you want."

What I did not realize was that Dr. Sturm would be taking our blood right after the wait staff took our coffee orders. She set up shop at the bar and started taking blood from a line of increasingly anxious editors. Now, one does not simply say no to an experience like this. Fear of needles aside, it's work! I do this for you, dear readers. So I chugged a juice to get my blood sugar up a little and did it. Dr. Sturm is a whiz with a needle—felt like a mosquito bite. Then Jessica Richards, founder of Shen, gave me one of these cute bandaids, and I went back to the office.

A week later, I received what looked like a lab sample: plastic white jar, handwriting on the label, nothing special. The cream is white, odorless, and has a fine texture... If you told me it was drugstore, I would believe you. I didn't actually test it out until last weekend though—a fellow beauty editor suspected it may have broken her out so I was hesitant. But last Saturday I got fed up enough with my forehead of healing zits that I caved. Super-charged, powered-by-blood Neosporin sounded perfect. And people don't pay more than $1000 for a cream that breaks them out, right?

No they don't, because this shit is gold. Sorry if that's not a very nuanced review. But it's magic. Healing scabs looked 50% better the next morning. After four days of applying morning (it's good under makeup) and night (it's not heavy, but when I wake up I still feel moisturized) my skintone is even again, and a bunch of bumpy, clogged pores at my temples have dissolved. It's a powerful anti-ager, too. Any lines I may have had on my forehead are nowhere to be found. Instead, my skin looks taut as hell. I'm probably going to start using it on my neck, too. Partially because I'm searching for the secret for getting rid of tech neck; but mainly because the jar apparently expires in December and I don't know how else I'm going to make the most of it.

As for the $1400 question: Will I be purchasing once my freebie runs out? Well, that all depends on if I feel like paying my rent come January. So, I'll let you know!

—Emily Ferber

Photos via ITG.

Now, about your neck. Product recs for that are over here.