How Dr. Augustinus Bader Built a Cult Skincare Brand

The story behind the face cream that became a global beauty hit



You might think a German-born biomedical scientist a rather unlikely figure to launch the next big thing in beauty. But Dr. Augustinus Bader’s eureka moment came when he realized his decades of research at the forefront of stem cell biology and cell technology could be applied to an everyday skin cream.

Having met his CEO and co-founder Charles Rosier, they conceived The Cream, whose patented formula contains Professor Bader’s Trigger Factor Complex – a blend of amino acids and vitamins to naturally repair and regenerate. (Much of his career had been spent treating wounds and burns.)



“We were fortunate enough to have a few friends in Hollywood that loved the product and shared it with their friends, and a very strong word of mouth started there and created some brand awareness. However, you don’t usually quadruple sales from a celebrity mention,” says Rosier. It was in fact the flurry of beauty editor recommendations for The Cream, and subsequent products The Rich Cream and The Body Cream, that gave readers the push they needed to spend $265 on a 50-milliliter product. One such early customer who extolled its virtues was Victoria Beckham, who was so evangelical about it she chose the brand to collaborate on a co-branded product line — another PR win for the nascent skincare brand.

Recent product launches include a cleanser, face oil, body oil and lip balm, but as the pandemic struck they decided to shift efforts towards helping frontline workers. Twelve-thousand 50-milliliter bottles of The Rich Cream, (nearly all the stock available) was redirected to hospitals for doctors and nurses to soothe their faces after endless days and nights in masks and glasses. In addition, the brand produced 60,000 50-milliliter hand sanitizers for donation: 20,000 went to hospitals and care homes, and the remaining 40,000 went to its burgeoning global community. With vaccination rollouts storming ahead and the end of the pandemic in sight, next up in the expansion plan will be brick-and-mortar locations focusing on retail and skincare treatments.


AUGUSTINUS BADER The Cream, $265, The Rich Cream, $265, and The Cream Cleansing Gel, $65.


We sit down with the founder himself to talk about caring for your skin in California, the power of stem cells and why he made the switch from science to skincare.


“I wish to understand and use our own stem cells’ intrinsic nature for the better of us”

Dr. Augustinus Bader


What fascinated you about stem cells?
Stem cells are the biological reasons we live and can exist over many years and decades as healthy human beings. They allow us to grow to what we are, and they continuously work for repairing us. Imagine you damage your car in an accident. You place it into your garage in the evening, and then the following morning, you find that it has already fixed itself. This intrinsic capacity of self-healing is based upon our stem cells. “The miracle of life is only a miracle for those who cannot explain nature.” This saying by a famous philosopher, with whom I happened to share my name “Augustinus,” explains what I strive for. I wish to understand and use our own stem cells’ intrinsic nature for the better of us, which I see as the amazing communication talents in our body.

What surprised you most about them in your decades of research?
I was the first in my 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. For decades we were told that humans have a lack of stem cells. If there were to be a technology that could use the body’s own stem cells, which are present in bulk, instead of wanting to bring them in from the outside in small amounts, as usual, this approach would be incomparably equipped with more cells than previous in vitro concepts. If there is no real lack of stem cells, what is it? Through my research, I discovered that as we grow older, we primarily change intercellular communication in response to inflammatory processes leading to increasingly inadequate healing. However, this also means that an improvement in intracellular communication has the exciting potential to counteract the aging processes physiologically — something that has never been done before.


AUGUSTINUS BADER The Cream, $265, The Rich Cream, $265, and The Cream Cleansing Gel, $65.


Why did you make the switch from science to skincare?
Creating a consumer skincare product wasn’t something I had previously considered. My work has always been in the field of medical research and as a physician and professor. Several years ago, I developed a medical-grade hydrogel that could provide rapid, scar-free healing for those afflicted by severe burns. Pharmaceutical companies weren’t as willing to fund clinical trials because the number of cases of burned people in the Western world was not so high. For a pharmaceutical group, it’s not necessarily the most lucrative venture. At that point, I met the co-founder of the brand, Charles Rosier, who had the vision to apply the technology to skincare consumer products to help raise awareness – and ultimately funding – for my medical research. He thought if the technology could turn burned skin into perfect skin, then a variant could probably help with wrinkles. After two years of persuading, I agreed to create a skincare product for everyday use as opposed to just wounds. While the skincare line is entirely different from its medical iteration, it taps into similar self-healing technology through a complex cocktail of high-grade vitamins, amino acids, and compounds that react to your skin.

As your product line grows, please describe a regime that would work for Californian skin.
1. Cleansing with the Cleansing Balm in steps:
Apply the Balm all over face and neck and décolletage, paying attention to areas where dirt, oil and stubborn makeup accumulate.
Emulsify with lukewarm water — remove with The Cloth or cotton towel/pad.
Dry off skin.
2. Apply The Essence. Pad it onto the skin until fully absorbed (with fingers).
3. Apply The Cream during the day/use The Rich Cream during night.
4. Seal with The Face Oil on dry areas.
5. Apply The Rich Cream around the eye area.
6. Apply The Lip Balm on the lips.


AUGUSTINUS BADER The Cream Cleansing Gel, $65, and The Cleansing Balm, $70.


What can you do to protect your skin in terms of diet, etc. in a more temperate climate?
The appearance of human skin is dynamically changing every day. Depending on where you live, the skin adapts to the different challenges caused by weather conditions and sun exposure. Seasonal dryness in winter and humidity in summer requires flexibility and adaptivity of our skin. During the cold season, it is necessary to build up the lipid shield of the skin. It supports the skin function and maintains its delicate ecosystem by acting as a protective barrier against external stimuli. And don’t forget to drink lots of water and eat healthy food.


“While the skincare line is entirely different from its medical iteration, it taps into similar self-healing technology”

Dr. Augustinus Bader


How important is sleep in terms of caring for your skin?
Epigenetic science tells us that how we age is 30 percent dependent on our genes, but 70 percent is what you do with them. Lifestyle factors, such as what you eat, where you live, when you sleep, how you exercise, even aging – eventually cause chemical modifications around the genes that will turn those genes on or off over time. When we’re tired or undernourished, our system slows, and it shows in our appearance. There’s a famous philosopher called Aristotle. He said, “We cannot change the wind, but we can set the sails differently,” so it signifies that you have the means to change the direction of something that’s set. The genes in your skin are set. You were born with it, and it is a given, but you can influence them. When we support and nourish our bodies, we can each become the best version of ourselves. I think about it as a part of being healthy as a human being.

“Regenerative’ is a buzzword right now in food and farming. Are there any parallels between the way the skin can heal and repair the way soil does?  
Buzzwords reflect the time they are created in, so indeed, the answer is yes. Parallels are equally derived from the needs of our time. The skincare we are developing is based on the concept of sustainability, which means to help the skin to help itself stay healthy.


Feature image: The AUGUSTINUS BADER skincare lineup.


June 9, 2021

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