In Sad News: Augustinus Bader’s Extortionately Priced “The Cream” Is My Skin’s Love Language

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You know how they say that love hurts? Well, nothing has hurt more this year than falling head over heels in love with Augustinus Bader’s “The Cream” ($390) and hitting my last pump.

You might ask why I was surprised. After all, Hailey Bieber has gone through at least three bottles of the stuff, Margot Robbie’s on the bandwagon and it’s beloved by make-up artists like Bobbi Brown and Mario Dedivanovic, who both sing Augustinus Bader Skincare’s praises.

The thing is, when you’ve worked in the beauty industry as long as I have (. . . 9 years), you become sceptical of celebrity endorsements.

It’s not that celebs lie, or that they’re even being paid for said endorsements. But celebrities have laser-wielding skin swat teams and are sent free products from the most luxurious brands in the world by the bucketload. In Robbie and Bieber’s cases, they also have genetics on their side.

I found no answers when I first looked at the ingredient lists on the Augustinus Bader “The Cream” to get to the bottom of the hype and saw that nothing seemed particularly “active”. For example, there are no splashy vitamin A and vitamin C percentages tossed around, although the formula does contain both.

However, I noted that in just three years, Augustinus Bader had become such a byword for luxury that “The Cream” had even made it all the way onto Kendall Roy’s top-shelf on “Succession”. Plus, the brand is also ranged in the world’s most opulent clinics, including the very discerning Melanie Grant, who tends to Australia’s A-listers.

Kendall Roy of "Succession" fame is a fan of Augustinus Bader's "The Cream"
Kendall Roy, 2021’s most unexpected fictional “skinfluencer.” Image credit: HBO

I wanted to know how a German biomedical scientist created a beauty brand that, in just three years, was nudging brands like Sisley and La Mer off Ashley Graham and Kate Bosworth’s top shelves.

Even The Cut wrote that “The Cream” might just be “The Secret to Rich Person Skin”!

I want to have rich person skin,” I muttered to myself, wondering why I had become a journalist and not a trophy wife (or a woman in STEM).

What Is “The Cream”‘s Magic Ingredient?

Contrary to my first look at the ingredient list, it turns out Augustinus Bader’s “The Cream” does have one very active ingredient.

While working with skin that had suffered a traumatic injury — from third-degree burns to major accidents — Bader discovered something called TFC8, and formulated it into a groundbreaking wound gel designed to reduce the need for skin grafts, scar revisions, and infection. When he met a French financier (co-founder Charles Rosier) who suggested he apply his patented active, TFC8, to the science of anti-ageing, the brand was born.

When, in another lifetime, I had the opportunity to interview the professor and biomedical scientist, he dropped some existential lines that will haunt me forever. “We are not made of stone, we are living organisms, we have to fix ourselves every day,” he told me. As well as not being a rich person, I am not made of stone, I thought to myself. Troubling. But troubling enough to drop $390? Well, apparently.

My “Rich” Girl Skin Journey

Kate Bosworth has described herself as "addicted" to Augustinus Bader's "The Cream"
Kate Bosworth has described herself as “addicted” to Augustinus Bader skincare products. Image: Getty/Jacopo Raule 

Short for “Trigger Factor Complex”, TFC8 contains skin-identical molecules and stem cells that help the amino acids and high-strength vitamins in your skincare absorb into the skin, strengthening its barrier and “triggering” the skin’s natural regeneration processes. Aside from TFC8, “The Cream” contains low doses of retinal palmitate (vitamin A) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in a glycerin-, shea butter-, squalene- and cholesterol-heavy (fatty acid) base. So far, so promising, but nothing I hadn’t seen before with other skin care products on the market.

As soon as I dispensed the first pump, I knew I was experiencing something different. Firstly, “The Cream” is very light. This silken, unctuous tincture sat somewhere between an essence and a dense lotion. Two pea-sized dollops spread easily and a little went a long way, which, at the price point, is exactly what you want.

Immediately, my complexion felt comfortable and soothed — like it’d had a long cold glass of water. Sure, I don’t party as hard as Kendall Roy, but as a dry, sensitive skin type, my skin is easily sensitised, so a lack of sleep, the wrong product and too much coffee throw it out of whack quickly. Following one application of “The Cream”, my complexion felt immediately soothed and replenished. Juicy, even.

What I Noticed When I Stopped Using Augustinus Bader’s “The Cream”

Heartbreaking empty, Augustinus Bader "The Cream" reviewed
Me, holding an IG funeral for “The Cream,” Image: Supplied

I would say you notice the effects of a product like “The Cream” when you stop using it. Simply put, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.

What I did notice when I stopped using “The Cream” after five months of use was that my usual sensitivity levels returned, my skin felt grumbly more frequently and the ineffable luminosity I’d been enjoying dialled down a notch. I also found myself reaching for heavier, richer formulas, and layering more serums and oils to achieve the easy, all-day hydration that one lightweight, silky emulsion had given me.

Is Augustinus Bader’s “The Cream” Worth It?

Beauty Editor reviews Augustinus Bader "The Cream"
Short answer, yes, long answer, below. Image: Supplied

In my opinion, expecting breathtaking results from any topical skincare product is not realistic. If you have major concerns, something that comes in a jar or a sleek, bronze-capped, weighted blue bottle won’t change them overnight (although it could support more intensive treatment regimens).

The truth is, when I stopped using “The Cream”, I found myself bereft. Problematic trend or not, I wanted my “rich girl” skin back.

Sadly, my finances are also “not made of stone” (one year on, I’m yet to become a trophy wife or a woman in STEM) and my job requires me to trial new moisturisers all the time. I haven’t repurchased Augustinus Bader’s “The Cream” yet. However, I can hand-on-heart say “The Cream” lives up to the hype, and if you have a special event (like a wedding, for example) and want to treat yourself, or are lucky enough to have the budget, this is one of the best moisturisers money can buy.