Few skincare brands have amassed a cult following as quickly as Augustinus Bader. Just a mention of the name in beauty-loving circles is enough to inspire hushed or excited chatter. And with good reason—Professor Bader, the eponymous line’s founder, is somewhat of a legend in the academic, scientific, and skincare communities, which explains why the brand immediately exploded with commercial and critical acclaim upon release.
At first, the Augustinus Bader collection grew slowly, releasing one undeniably effective product at a time. But 2021 has seen a slew of newness from the brand, including a skin-boosting supplement and a complete hair care line. However, no Augustinus Bader launch has been more highly anticipated than the duel release of The Serum ($375) and The Eye Cream ($215).
Launched simultaneously in mid-October, the pair of products might have ostensible functional differences, but the core of what makes them work is the same: Professor Bader’s breakthrough self-healing technology. "The eye cream and serum were two highly requested products from our customers and do have specific applications," says Bader. "The development process was quite exciting as we were happy to realize that all those stand-alone products find their justification by targeting specific needs." Ahead, an exploration of both products, complete with insider quotes from the expert who developed them.
The first thing you're likely to notice about the two new launches is their distinctive, hefty packaging comprised of two components: there's the smooth, brushed-aluminum vial that actually holds the product and the glass dock in which it sits. At home, they're essentially one connected piece, but the removable center vial is convenient for travel, and its lightweight packaging is easily recyclable. The tall, midnight-blue containers, which are refillable, are as many countertop statement pieces as they are significant strides toward sustainability and waste reduction.
But this serum and eye cream—both designed to deliver serious hydration and in turn target visible signs of aging, stress, dullness, and waning elasticity—have more going for them than just undeniably pretty packaging. "The eye cream addresses eye issues such as puffiness around the eye and dark circles," says Bader. "The serum is focusing on immediate and rapid effects while combining with long-term effects."
A concentrated, barely-viscous milk with virtually zero scent (and notably quick absorption time), The Serum is bound to be an instant cult classic. The centerpiece of its ingredient list is Bader's signature, patented TFC8 (or Trigger Factor Complex blend), consisting of components like naturally-occurring amino acids and synthesized molecules found in the body to encourage skin's automatic renewal process. That TFC8, born from more than 30 years of Bader's scientific research, is the central component of all Augustinus Bader products and arguably makes them highly effective. In the case of The Serum, though, TFC8 doesn't act alone. Tone-evening vitamin C, pomegranate seed extract, edelweiss extract, and resveratrol help round out the ingredient list. Those last two ingredients are of particular importance for protection against external skin-stressing factors.
Bader tells Byrdie that edelweiss extract is a rather rare Alpine botanical. "We added this key ingredient into the formula of The Serum because it is known to lift, smooth, and tighten sagging skin and wrinkles while offering serious protection against oxidative stresses such as pollution and UV radiation," he says. As for resveratrol, famously found in red wine, Bader says it's incorporated here to defend against skin injury. "We leveraged this ingredient as it is known to have antioxidant and impressive rejuvenation properties," he explains, "offering a powerful defense against external aggressors ultimately helping to create a revitalized, healthy complexion on the skin." And in 12-week user trials, in which half of the participants reported having naturally sensitive skin, there was 100 percent consensus that skin felt deeply hydrated.
For those wanting to dip their toes in the Augustinus Bader skincare waters, it's good to know that this serum can be used either in conjunction with—or completely independently—of the rest of the line. Personally, I paired it with a drugstore moisturizer I had on hand and found they worked together beautifully. Though it can be applied at any time of day or night (or both!) on clean, dry skin, Bader does recommend applying it to the neck, face, and chest in continuous upward, sweeping motions.
The first night I used this serum, though, I accidentally fell asleep before applying moisturizer—which usually results in dry, flaky skin considering I also use tretinoin. To my complete shock, it sure didn't feel like I skipped moisturizer the next morning. Of course, I didn't notice visible changes from a single night of use, but the way my skin felt was incredible: velvety, soft, and flake-free.
The Eye Cream
Like its twin release, The Eye Cream uses the same proprietary TFC8 complex to boost the body's natural cell-renewing stimulation. This product, however, is focused on protecting, refreshing, hydrating, and illuminating one of the most delicate areas of skin tissue on the entire body. In the case of the Eye Cream, a 12-week clinical study reports a more than 50 percent reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in participants, as well as a 204 percent increase in hydration and 190 percent increase in radiance.
That's largely due to Augustinus Bader's TFC8 golden goose, but it's also thanks to other supporting ingredients like niacinamide and vitamin C for enhanced radiance (the key to looking more awake, refreshed, and youthful). Additional active ingredients like pennywort, French seaweed, and Arjun tree extracts also work with the TFC8 to increase hydration retention and provide blue-light damage protection.
The Eye Cream also comes in sustainable, refillable packaging featuring a heavy, central "dock" and aluminum tube. Upon dispensing the cream for the first time, you'll notice two things (I certainly did). First, how surprisingly thin the formula is for its efficacy, and second just how quickly it absorbs into that delicate orbital skin. To apply the cream, pump a bit onto the back of your hand and gently tap it in with your ring finger until it absorbs, which only takes about two minutes. It can be used morning, night, or even twice a day for maximum results.
After one night, I noticed the area felt silkier and smoother than usual, and I'm eager to keep using it for a month at a minimum to realize the full results. And with the portable, refillable inserts, there's no need to worry about holiday travel plans disrupting my much more important plans for refreshed, hydrated, and utterly illuminated skin.
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