Get to Know London-Based Decree Skincare Founder, Dr. Anita Sturnham

I sat down with London-based Decree Skincare founder, Dr. Anita Sturnham, for a chat about her line of transformative products and a peak into her personal evening routine.  Decree joined the Storied Beauty family earlier this year and has already found a cult following with our customers.  Between the hero product Treat Tincture night serum and the highly addictive Peptide Emolient Veil +, this community is hooked!  Dr. Anita takes us behind the scenes to see how this line came to fruition.

LF:  How did Decree Skincare come to fruition, and how does it stand out from other skincare lines in your eyes?

AS: Over the many years of seeing patients and assessing their skin routines, I have seen that the skincare products people use really do impact their skin health. Over time, I noticed that the majority of skin issues that I was seeing in the clinic were self -inflicted. People were using the wrong products on their skin and constantly chopping and changing their products with no routine or consistency, as well as over exfoliating their skin.

This inspired me to create a solution - I wanted to design a range that simplified people's skincare routines and cut through the cluttered and confusing skincare space. And so, Decree was born; a smart, gender neutral skincare system which provides everything your skin needs, through multitasking products, in a really simple routine. 

Many doctor-led brands offer products that are targeted towards a certain skin type or skin concern, and hence most brands have over 30 products in their core range, making it hard to navigate and to understand. 

Decree offers 9 core products laid out in an AM, PM, and weekly regime. We have an SOS range to support your skin on the days where it needs extra TLC. 

Our products are suitable for everyone regardless of your age, sex, skin type, and skin concern. The products are easy to use, and each product packaging is designed to give you the correct dose needed., so no under-doing or overdoing things. Our products are multitasking. For example, where most brands offer 4 separate serums for the morning our protect elixir serum contains everything in one. We have taken measures towards becoming a fully sustainable brand. We have removed cellophane wrapping and paper inserts and use QR codes for product information instead.

We are vegan, cruelty free, and use ethically sourced raw materials in our formulations. We were proud to bring a fully sustainable and Vegan sheet mask to the UK market.

LF:  Please tell us how your beloved Treat Tincture was created and why you believe this magical serum has had such an amazing response in the industry?

AS:  Our Treat Tincture was inspired by my old skincare line that I created for my patients in 2014. I had five serums that could be used during the night time steps of ones skincare routine. I took the active ingredients from each one, including a next generation Retinoid, alpha arbutin, swiss apple stem cells and squalane and put them all into one product. The end result, Treat Tincture, which we
describe as your definitive night serum, gives your skin the reparative and restorative ingredients that your skin needs at night. The serum is award winning and loved across the industry. I think the clever combination of ingredients and the results people see when they use it have made it our best selling product.

LF:  What product is best suited for dry, winter skin? 

AS: Your skin’s core cleanser, toner, and serum needs to remain fairly consistent all year round. Skin studies have identified reduced levels of ceramides in the very top layer of our skin, the stratum corneum, in the colder months. Ceramides are the important lipids that keep our skin barriers strong and our skin hydrated. Regular application of a moisturizer can help to counteract these seasonal changes. I recommend considering a richer textured product on the days where your skin feels like it needs a moisture boost. Think of your moisturizer as being a little bit like the clothes in your wardrobe.  When it’s cold you add a few more layers of clothing. When it’s cold, apply a thicker moisturizer to seal and protect your hydration barriers. 

In the Peptide Emollient Veil + we have added nourishing safflower seed oil to balance and condition, squalane to improve moisture levels, a hyaluronic acid complex to hydrate and soften, and antioxidants to brighten and protect. We have taken the benefits of Decree’s original Peptide Emollient Veil moisturizer and have added additional moisturizing ingredients making this the perfect addition to any skincare routine. The key ingredient is a proprietary peptide blend which works to improve collagen production for firmer, more supple skin. Working alongside these peptides are a mix of nourishing botanical oils including candelilla, jojoba seed, and rice bran, conditioning apricot kernel oil, squalane to improve moisture levels, a hyaluronic acid complex to hydrate and soften, and antioxidants to brighten and protect.

LF:  Could you walk us through your typical evening skincare routine?

AS: I try to do my evening routine as soon as I get home. Why leave your makeup and SPF on to clog your pores longer if you are not leaving the house again?
Cleanse: I use micellar water to remove makeup and follow with Decree Deep Cleanse, a gentle fruit acid cleanse.
Toner:  I follow with a Rose water and antioxidant toner mist, the Decree Preparatory Mist, which rehydrates my skin and prepares it for my night serum.
Serum: Next I apply Decree Treat Tincture Retinoid serum and if I have time I use a Foreo Bear UFO2 device to do some facial massage.
Moisturize: I follow with a moisturizer and select either the Decree Peptide Emollient Veil or Veil + depending on my skin’s needs on the day.
Once a week I do a ‘clinical’ exfoliating facial, using gentle fruit acids. I love using the Weekly Decree two step mask system. The step one product ‘Airbrushing acid’ is enriched with glycolic, lactic and pyruvic Acid, boosted by pineapple enzymes. Leave on for two minutes, then wash off.  Application of the step two, ‘Replenishing paste’, leaves your skin feeling rejuvenated and skin barrier restored.

LF: Any guilty pleasures?

AS:  I am fast-paced and always on the go so I often crave sugar. I would say this
is my biggest weakness but I always say to my patients that as long as there is more good going into the body than bad, then I am okay with that.

LF:  A storied beauty is an icon whom you admire in the beauty and fashion arena. When you look back, who is a storied beauty that may have influenced you in your life and/or career?
I have been inspired by so many amazing icons over the years but in terms of beauty icons, Audrey Hepburn is a classical beauty, with pure elegance and grace.  She was a trendsetter in her time and continues to be a role model for women around the world, including myself.

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“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” - Coco Chanel

- Coco Chanel