Luxury skincare has long been veiled in a tantalising kind of mystery: deep ocean extracts, steam distilled essential oils, interstellar diamond dust… This kind of emotive storytelling is indeed compelling, but today’s luxury consumer is less enamoured with the fairytale and more focused on forensically picking apart the science behind the promises.
One brand in particular that’s encapsulated this growing trend for premium pragmatism is Victoria Beckham’s go-to skincare brand, Augustinus Bader. Founded by stem cell biologist Augustinus Bader himself, the high end beauty brand is the buzziest new skincare player that the A-list and editors alike are obsessed with.
Augustinus Bader’s first product, simply named The Cream, launched with the promise to strip back and level-up your routine simultaneously: a big claim to live up to, and yet that dark blue bottle found its way onto the shelves of celebrities, editors and experts almost overnight, without the help of an A-list celebrity campaign.
So, why the buzz? At the centre of the formula (and the entire supporting cast) is an exclusive ingredient complex dubbed TFC8 – or Trigger Factor Complex – which Professor Bader originally created as a topical wound treatment. He describes this futuristic-sounding cocktail as ‘a precisely configured complex of more than 40 different ingredients – medical grade vitamins, lipids, proteins, amino acids.’
The idea is that these exact quantities, in the correct combination, can optimise the skin’s natural remodelling process much better than any amount of a single ingredient. It’s the difference between mainlining a bucketload of one superfood and eating a well-rounded diet: the juice cleanse versus the nutritionist plan.
As Bader explains, TFC8 essentially empowers the skin to function to the best of its abilities. ‘Life inflicts minor traumas on the skin all the time. Your stem cells are there to heal these traumas,’ he says. As we age, our stem cells become less enthusiastic about their regenerating role, and thus we begin to experience aesthetic ageing. ‘TFC8 is essentially a toolbox designed to target the traumas inflicted by everyday stressors by providing the cells with everything they need to fix the things that go wrong, be it age-related or caused by external aggressors. When you can do that, you can enable your skin to rejuvenate according to your own needs.’
Launching a skincare product that’s designed to do it all sounds appealing, but hardly leaves room for much brand expansion. Eyebrows were raised when Bader launched several new additions to his burgeoning brand in quick succession. But the message isn’t to use more, it’s to use better – to personalise your Bader experience according to your own preferences.
‘Our TFC8 technology can address many skin concerns, so we have expanded our product offering to provide a choice of textures and applications,’ he explains. ‘We are not recommending a multi-step routine because we believe that as long as you have one product with TFC8, you will see results’.
Augustinus Bader: The Cream(s)
The Cream is the suits-all starting point for anyone wanting to see what all the fuss is about, and comes in four iterations to satisfy all skin types: The Rich Cream is dense enough for the driest of skin, whereas the original is considerably lighter. Designed specifically for skin needing SOS attention, the Ultimate Soothing Cream is an extra-dense, almost balm-like formula boosted with anti-inflammatory black cumin seed oil and niacinamide. (And, in a move away from the brand’s hallmark bottles, it comes in a glass jar that can be kept and topped up with low-waste refill.
The fourth and most recent addition to the family is bound to excite anyone with acne-prone or oily skin. The Light Cream is boosted with sebum-balancing botanicals to gently reduce shine and inflammation.
Augustinus Bader: The Boosters
Sitting alongside the creams is a host of alternative ways to get your TFC8 dose: there’s The Serum, The Face Oil, The Eye Cream, and a couple of stellar cleansers in balm and gel formats as well. There’s even The Body Oil for those who want to Benjamin Button all over.
‘The Serum replenishes skin and helps combat any lost moisture’, says Bader. ‘Use it alone, or apply before The Cream or The Rich Cream for an extra boost of hydration. The Face Oil is a nourishing and restorative fast-absorbing oil that can be layered over either or worn alone to boost moisture retention.’
This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Augustinus Bader: The Hair
So, there’s a Bader formula to suit every skin type and satisfy every sensorial predilection – but that’s not all. Last year saw the launch of Augustinus Bader Hair: a move that spearheaded the trend for skincare-inspired hair treatments.
Bader doesn’t believe that hair care should be focused on the hair itself. ‘As each hair is its own independent structure with its own sebaceous gland and blood supply, its condition is dependent on many lifestyle factors: mechanical stress (due to styling) nutrition, and environmental aggressors included.’ As truly great-looking hair isn’t possibly without a healthy scalp and growth cycle, these products take a three-pronged approach, treating the skin, follicle and strands.
According to Bader, TFC8 works on the hair much in the same way as it does the skin: by creating the proper ‘microenvironment’ for optimal hair health, which in turn leads to longer lengths, smoother strands and a satisfying shine. The shampoo and conditioner won’t offer that kind of spa-standard sensorial experience – the lack of fragrance will be a turn-off for some – but the formulas don’t disappoint when it comes to results. Equally impressive is The Hair Oil, which calls on argan and rose to smooth and shield the hair, rather than quick-fix silicones.
Zeitgeist-y skincare extracts may be propelling the industry forward and satisfying our appetite for newness – for better or worse – but it seems the way to achieve true longevity is to ditch the CBD and bakuchiol and formulate your own science-backed star ingredient. The growth of the Bader line might bring a choose-your-own-adventure element to proceedings, but ultimately ignoring the whims of the trend cycle can garner a cult following like no other.
Read the full article here