How Augustinus Bader built one of the world’s most successful skincare brands (in under two years)

26 Aug 2020 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Mhairi Mann

“Our Creams are smart creams. They work with each individual's genetic code, and this is one of the reasons why they are so effective.”

Anti-ageing. Brightening. Tightening. Transforming. Through this thing that I call work, I have encountered all kinds of souped-up serums and buttery creams that claim to be all of these words and more. Rarely do any of them disappoint, housed in decadent jewel-like pots and apothecary-style glass jars. I am, however, often left incredulous by the price tag. What really justifies a night cream costing triple digits? Would I sincerely recommend a £300 Elixir to a friend?

As a woman in my 30s, I am not always the target audience for some of these deluxe concoctions. I therefore often share my findings with my mother, who is in her 60s. She rarely has any background knowledge of the product, meaning that it is essentially a blind testing. Big-name brands often fail to impress, while she was rapturous about the lesser-known Emepelle skincare line for menopausal women. As well as being highly effective, it is also effortless to use, forgoing a multi-step product range in favour of a simple day serum and night cream.

The Rich Cream, £205

Augustinus Bader follows a similarly straight-forward, confident approach: use The Cream during the day and The Rich Cream at night. Much has been written about Augustinus Bader in the past year: the German stem-cell scientist became the most Googled name in skincare after his eponymous product line achieved cult status and a legion of celebrity fans including Alexa Chung, Margot Robbie and Carla Bruni. Victoria Beckham was so enamoured that she has since launched her own face cream in collaboration with Bader.

Bader’s products are inspired by 30 years of groundbreaking research into regenerative medicine. He was the first in his field to question why the body could heal a small wound on its own, but not a larger one, when the genetic code was the same. His research challenged the need for skin grafts in burn patients – which cause scarring – and was initially so radical in its thinking that pharmaceutical companies refused to invest.

The Body Cream, £130
The Facial Oil, £180

While the skincare line is completely different from its medical iteration, it taps into similar self-healing technology through a complex cocktail of medical-grade vitamins, amino acids and compounds that react to your skin, regardless of age. “Our Creams are smart creams. They work with each individual’s genetic code and are therefore extremely personalised,” explains Bader. “This is one of the reasons that they are so effective.”

The replenishing, plumping power of these products can be seen within a few days of use. They rapidly soothe and repair irritated, inflamed or sun-damaged skin, boosted by calming evening primrose, avocado and argon oils. Priced at £205, it is not cheap – but it is in fact quite competitively priced when you look around, say, the Harrods Beauty Hall, where comparative creams retail upwards from £400.

Bader has also just launched a luxurious new Facial Oil, which packs the same scientific research into a lightweight, fast-absorbing Elixir. “Each of these offerings contain our specialised compound TFC8, which supports skin repair,” confirms Bader. “One does not need to purchase multiple products to see an improvement. As long as you have one product with TFC8, you will notice results.”

The Hand Cream, £40

During lockdown, Bader created a nourishing Hand Treatment, which is powered by the same patented TFC8 healing technology – thus offering the ultimate antidote to over-scrubbed, santised skin. A neighbour of mine, who suffers from terribly dry and sensitive skin, described the product as a “holiday for your hands”.

Also unveiled this summer, The Body Cream intensely hydrates and firms parched limbs, as well as reducing the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite. The accompanying Body Lotion is a stronger alternative, which penetrates deep into the skin.

“According to epigenetics, how we age is 30 per cent dependent on our genes, but 70 per cent is what you do with them,” concludes Bader. “Aristotle said, ‘we cannot change the wind, but we can set the sails differently.’ You have the means to change the direction of something that is set. The genes in your skin are set. You were born with them, and that is a given, but you can influence them. We all have the means to course-correct our cells and encourage them to work differently, as needed.”