The Celebrity-Approved Augustinus Bader Cult Is One Worth Joining


It’s an ambitious move, calling your debut skincare product The Cream, as if all moisturizers that came before it are destined to evaporate into insignificance. But that is largely what has happened since the dawn of Augustinus Bader’s obnoxiously titled moisturizer—at least, in the realm of people who pay upwards of three figures for a face cream.

You’ve likely seen The Cream before. The Kardashians are fans. (No, they don’t use their own sepia-tinted skincare lines.) Kendall Roy keeps a solo blue bottle on his bathroom shelf. Pretty much every A-list actor is a member of the baby-faced Bader cult.

So how did a bow-tie-wearing professor break into the glossy world of skincare? It’s true Bader’s well-connected investor-turned-business partner fuelled the rise of The Cream. But hype only goes so far in the famously fickle skincare world, and a product that doesn’t live up to its promises is swiftly tossed to the side, left to collect dust in a heap of ill-advised celebrity eye creams.


But while Brad Pitt's dermatological qualifications can be called into question, Bader is actually a skin scientist. He’s currently the professor of ‘applied stem-cell biology and cell technology’ at the University of Leipzig and has pioneered wound and burn-healing treatments.

Augustinus Bader The Cream

P16,300 (50 ml), LOOK

The star ingredient in Bader’s creams (the original has now spawned a handful of skin-type tailored siblings, from the acne-focused Light Cream to the heavy-duty Ultimate Soothing Cream), is a complex dubbed TFC8. I, like many with proximity to the bespectacled stem-cell wizard, have tried to ascertain exactly what this secret sauce is, and I have failed. TFC8 is a closely guarded secret, but what we do know is that it’s a cocktail of good things: lipids, proteins, and nutrients that prompt the skin's cells to do their best regenerative work.

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Independent clinical trials have shown The Cream to work better than most when it comes to reducing wrinkle depth (get it on those forehead lines), which is something many brands dream of, yet fail to actually achieve. Personally, I notice smoother, brighter skin, fewer breakouts, and a reduction in redness. I’ll also award bonus points for the absence of woo-woo nonsense: there are no irritating essential oils (we’re in the performance realm here, not the pampering one), no unfathomable deep-sea extracts, and no crushed quartz crystals.

Of course, with such accelerated success comes the inevitable backlash, and there are plenty of people that enjoy poking holes in the shiny facade of the Bader behemoth. Indeed, the brand’s marketing is blindingly good, and, in some places, the evidence is murky. (The story of The Cream magically healing first-degree burns is wildly overblown, and we don’t really know if or how a stem cell could Trojan horse its way into your dermis and reverse the process of aging.)


Yes, you could dive deep into the brand’s inner workings and shiny endorsements, but that won't alleviate your deeply furrowed brow. Ask any industry insider about The Cream and they’ll likely side-eye the brand’s phenomenal rise to success, before quietly admitting that they think it’s “really, really good though.” I am one of these converts: it’s often the only product I actually reach for in the morning. Do I know how it works? No. Do I care? Also no.

FromEsquire UK

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Roberta Schroeder
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