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I tried Augustinus Bader’s ‘Greatest Skincare of All Time’ to see if it’s worth the hype

Founded only three years ago, Augustinus Bader’s skincare line has gone from strength to strength, developing a cult following since its introduction to the world of beauty.

Having preached the 10-step skincare routine for years, it really grinds my gears to still hear people hyping up a one-product miracle cream. Get out of here. Nothing like that exists! …or does it? 

The brand 

I consider myself a woman of science, so I can certainly appreciate that this skincare line is the brainchild of Prof. Augustinus Bader, a globally recognized biomedical scientist with expertise in the field of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. In 2008, he developed a gel that promotes the natural self-repair of wounds at a cellular level, most commonly used to treat burn victims.  

Augustinus Bader launched his namesake brand in 2018 — a science-led skincare line backed by applied science. When his products finally became available in Hong Kong, of course, I was very intrigued. Could the professor’s now-famous formula be the one-stop answer to our skin concerns? 

The formula 

There is one ingredient that stands heads and shoulders above the rest. With 30 years of research under his belt, Augustinus Bader developed the Trigger Factor Complex (TFC8®), a formula comprised of natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins and synthesised molecules. TFC8® promotes healthy skin by reactivating and supporting cell mitophagy — a natural, detoxifying process to naturally rejuvenate skin cells, preventing the signs of skin aging.  

The products 

I very unwillingly pried myself away from my 10-step routine and gave myself a three-week trial period to test the main products in the line. To be safe, I also conducted patch tests beforehand to make sure that I had no negative reaction to the formulas.  

Here are my thoughts: 

Augustinus Bader’s ‘The Cream Cleansing Gel’ ($515) 

To start, I was surprised that the cleanser also contained TFC8® in its formula. Generally, I am committed to a two-step process, oil and cream, so to test the effectiveness of this single bottle, I gave myself a longer cleansing time for more accurate results.  

I used two pumps over day-old make up and was pleased to see that this gel fully removed everything — even eyeliner in my waterline — within the first 20 seconds. The formula combines soothing botanicals, including rose water, cucumber extract and aloe leaf juice to calm and detoxify the skin. Having a dry skin type, I was worried that the product would be stripping, but I came out of it without the tight feeling of a disrupted skin balance. So far, so good. 

Augustinus Bader’s ‘The Essence, Exfoliating Toner’ ($675) 

Okay — I will admit that I cheated a little before this step. I psychologically did not feel comfortable applying this expensive essence straight to my skin without an extra something-something to swipe off any residual gunk, so I did use a separate toner before this 

After making sure my face had no trace unlikeables, I dabbed four to five big drops of this multitasking essence-toner on my face and down my neck. Pat, pat, pat, and done! My thirsty skin soaked up the liquid immediately. At a second reading of the ingredient list, I notice wasabi ferment in the line-up. Excellent. My dry skin has always been a receptive sucker for ferments and I love it.  

Augustinus Bader’s ‘The Cream’ ($2,100) 

Finally – the pièce de résistance. The miracle cream. The cream that dethroned Crème de la Mer to take first place to win the coveted title of ‘Greatest Skincare of All Time’.  

In today’s world of exhaust fumes and generally unfavourable specks of no-no’s in the air, it’s important to have products rich in anti-oxidants and amino acids to protect one’s skin from free-radicals. ‘The Cream’ is light, yet deeply hydrating with minimal residual after less than a minute of application – ideal for Hong Kong’s humid climate.  

I will note that this was great as a daytime cream, but not sufficient for night-time usage as I sleep with the air conditioner on at full blast. However, for those with combination-to-oily skin types, this may be suitable for night use as well. 

Augustinus Bader’s ‘The Rich Cream’ ($2,100) 

When is it too soon to say ‘I love you’, I ask? The line’s latest addition is this highly concentrated, deeply moisturizing cream, powered by Augustinus Bader’s signature TFC8®, and now – also vegan. I bizarrely also detect hints of coconut cream in the scent, which, full disclaimer, my partner did not catch, so it may just be me.  

I used this as my night cream immediately after the essence-toner and woke up to radiant, still-bouncy skin. I’ve been devoted to Sulwhasoo’s Overnight Vitalizing Mask for years, but this is a strong contender to overthrow my favourite.  

The verdict 

I will start by saying that I was very superficially enamoured by the line’s gorgeous gold-and-cobalt bottles from the get-go. There’s a thrill that comes with opening your skincare cabinet and seeing these beauties occupy centre stage. I felt like a queen using the range. 

But, honestly – the million-dollar question: Does the science work? 

Fad skincare rituals come and go, but this is the kind of hype I will buy into. After almost a month of usage, I can honestly say that I am a full convert when it comes to Augustinus Bader’s skincare. My skin has felt consistently hydrated with visible blemish reduction. I hope that the results continue as the weather changes, but I am confident that the science-backed skincare will prevail.

My only gripe? The price tag will definitely give some consumers pause. I am religious with skincare and go through bottles like nobody’s business so, personally, I rarely spend more than $300 on cleansers or toners, and the two in this line are practically double that. The same goes for moisturizers. No matter how much I love it, I’ll still weep when I have to shell out four-digits for a bottle. However, if you can overlook the dollars, the formulas work, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a brand more dedicated to science than Augustinus Bader.  

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Augustinus Bader skincare is available at various outlets, including: Lane Crawford, IFC, Central, +852 2562-2105. 

Hero image courtesy of Audrey Fretz via Unsplash.

Sandra Kwong
Features Editor
A perpetually hungry individual paired with an acute dirty martini obsession. You'll catch Sandra waltzing around town from gallery openings to various happy hours. Usually waxing lyrical about her 10-step skincare routine or her latest gadget. Currently missing: long ski runs in Hanazono.