Ok, let's briefly catch our collective breath. The specter of excellence that Augustinus Bader products create still haunts my mind. How do they do it? While The Face Cream cemented its fate in the skincare hall of fame, eager fans wondered and worried about what would be next for the German line.
After launching their much-anticipated sophomore product last summer, AB alleviated any concerns about the brand becoming a one-hit-wonder skincare Icarus. The Body Cream provides similarly surprising results as The Face Cream, and both products have group studies to back up their science (not to mention an actual scientist at the helm).
So, when I saw the upcoming Augustinus Bader launch, it felt like Christmas (and frankly, it could be. What month are we in anyway?). Every time I test a new skincare product, my knives are out, and they’re sharp.
Star Rating: 4.9/5
Best for: Removing makeup at night and gentle cleansing in the morning
Active ingredients: TFC8®, rose flower water, cucumber extract, aloe vera leaf juice
Clean?: Yes, according to Byrdie's Clean Beauty Pledge
Pros: Removes all makeup in on wash, non-drying, calms redness
Cons: Expensive, cap doesn't stay on
Potential allergens: No
The Science: “The Formula took more than a year to perfect"
“When it comes to our skincare, we are not traditional beauty developers,” Professor Augustinus Bader, co-founder of the brand, exclusively tells me. “We have decades of scientific research behind our products. Our focus has always been on the science and efficacy of our products, and we intend only to release products that are best in class.” And best in class, they are.
I wondered what the reasoning was behind developing a cleanser, besides reaffirming my belief that cleansing is the most important step of a routine. “After receiving many requests from our customers who wanted to achieve the best results from their skincare regime, we decided to expand into the cleanser category," answered Bader.
Like the creams that came before it, the cleanser contains the ingredient TFC8, the cornerstone of the product line. Though the ingredient sounds like its C-3P0’s cousin, it’s actually the brand’s proprietary chemistry that involves a complex of amino acids and high-grade vitamins, and it synthesizes molecules found naturally in the skin. In layman’s terms: it promotes natural skin cell turnover for healing and regeneration while mimicking your body’s own restoration capabilities. I know, it’s pretty meta.
“The formula took more than a year to perfect," Bader says, and his thoroughness shows since the product served an ace against my makeup and my skin redness.
About My Skin: Dehydrated, oily, sensitive, prone to perioral dermatitis flare-ups
Cream cleansers are my soulmate. And like any long-time lover, I’m biased towards them. My skin is perpetually dehydrated because my water intake habits are that of a lizard in a Qatari desert. I have to use as much topical hydration as I can to avoid the feeling of spreading cold butter on burnt toast when I apply makeup.
How to Apply: “Apply over damp skin"
I never splash water on my face to avoid excessive drying effects from the hardened waters of L.A. Instead, I use a warm, damp, organic microfiber baby towel to remove my cleanser after I’ve massaged it into my skin.
Bader exclusively described to us the optimal cleansing conditions: “Apply over damp skin. Gently massage in circular motions to form a lather. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. It isn’t necessary to double cleanse every day; however, if you typically wear a full face of makeup every day, the chances are that a single wash won’t be enough to cleanse your complexion of product build-up and other impurities.”
I didn’t find a need for a double cleanse when I used the product. If you do want a double cleanse, Professor Bader assures us that the product is gentle enough. “The first cleanse cleans off the dirt from your skin while also softening the surface," he says. "The second cleanse removes any further residue and keeps the skin clean.”
The Results: Takes it all off
When I say it removes all of my makeup in one go, I mean it. I’d love to see Trixie Mattel use this to de-drag. I applied waterproof mascara to see if the cleanser passed my ultimate test, and it did. One swipe, and the mascara was gone. My skin felt soft, but clean; it was like I had already applied my serums and moisturizer.
The most impressive feature for me was its ability to reduce redness. My skin will turn red if I just look at it. I always have a bit of redness in the morning on my chin and cheeks, but a few minutes (around five) after drying my face post cleanser, my complexion was almost completely even.
The Value: Expensive, but worth the results and the time saving
There’s no two ways around it: this is an expensive cleanser. It’s also a very, very good cleanser. I'm a hype girl for science-based skincare, and skin is what I’ve always prioritized my spending on. The time-saving benefits of this cleanser make life worth living in my opinion. The tediousness and waste created by removing makeup with micellar water and cotton rounds before washing is a giant thorn in my side. I skipped the micellar water step entirely thanks to this cleanser.
My only qualm: the cap is not magnetic like The Face Cream component is, which makes it feel less secure. It jiggled off in my travel bag. I docked a fraction of a point from my review for this fact. Bring back the magnets!
Our Verdict: A resounding yes
If you love science and skincare, and you don’t mind budgeting extra for it, this is your new favorite cleanser. My redness and my waterproof makeup were no match.