Professor Augustinus Bader shares how his skincare line became an overnight beauty phenomenon. It comes as a bit of a surprise, but the most lauded beauty breakthrough in the past year comes from a brand that didn’t even exist before 2018. With none of the traditional that are readily available to legacy brands, or the glitz and glam of celebrity endorsements, expensive campaign ads, over-elaborate packaging or even Instagram fame, Augustinus Bader has managed humbly to sneak on to the top shelves of every beauty aficionado. Without celebrity connections, Augustinus Bader has nonetheless achieved Hollywood recognition – he’s raved over by the likes of Kate Bosworth, Ashley Graham and Victoria Beckham (who’s so impressed she partnered with the brand on her Victoria Beckham Beauty skincare line). So how does a never-before-heard-of brand reign supreme in the ever-competitive beauty industry? Quite simply, by actually delivering visible results. How it all began – and more important, how Professor Augustinus Bader skyrocketed to skincare superstardom in such a short period of time – is hard to imagine (especially for Augustinus Bader devotee), as the stem-cell and biomedical university-professor-slash-skincare-entrepreneur had no prior intentions of ever delving into the beauty arena. “Several years ago,” he says, “I developed a medical-grade hydrogel that could provide scar-free, rapid healing of severe burns without skin grafting. The initial testing was very promising, but it was challenging to secure grants to fund the testing required to bring it to market.” So when Bader met his now-co-founder, Charles Rosier, the two decided that if the technology was there for burn-healing, a variant could be developed to help with wrinkles too. “It took two years of convincing, but after realising that The Cream was giving people confidence and happiness, I agreed to adapt the science to create an everyday product.” As there are only two products dedicated to the face and another one to the body, however, skincare aficionados – who’ve been groomed by brands and media to multi-step regimes for years – might well be sceptical. Bader, though, is adamant that educating clients takes priority. “Our creams are perfect for a minimal skincare routine,” he says, “as we recommend using them directly on dry, clean skin. This ensures that the Trigger Factor Complex 8 [TFC8 – the secret complex responsible for all the results] skin-cell technology is the first point of contact with the skin and no other products will affect its efficacy.” Conventional SPF products can be applied, but this is recommended only after the Augustinus Bader creams have been completely absorbed. With the affirmative response The Cream received, Bader went on to develop The Rich Cream and The Body Cream. All three products are closely related and employ similar science behind them. When it comes to the facial formulas, it all boils down to personal preference and skin type: Bader suggests that his Hong Kong clients use The Cream in the day to accommodate to the warmer climate, while The Rich Cream should be applied at night or when in need of extra hydration. The Body Cream was an answer to customers who wished to see similar results on their faces to those on their bodies. “We decided to adapt the technology into a body cream. The texture is designed to be spread over larger areas while still containing the same ingredients for skin repair,” Bader explains. The secret to Bader’s success is in the remarkable impact and improvement to the appearance of skin. On the face, wrinkles are smoothed out and youth is revived; for the body, years of stretch marks and cellulite are erased. The same science (the aforementioned TFC8) has a way of “assisting in transport mechanisms of key nutrients at the right dosage for skin repair”. It supports the body’s innate renewal process, which differs from conventional brands that drill the need of hyaluronic acid and retinoid in our system. Instead, it revives dormant cells that were once active in producing collagen and repairing its sensitivity to environmental stressors. Another way of setting itself apart from other labels is in its science and research, and using these criteria Bader doesn’t consider other beauty brands to be true competitors. “We’re not traditional beauty developers,” he says. “Everything we create is backed by science and is in a class of its own. We have a knowledge of what stem cells in the skin need. [We know] how to create the optimal stem-cell environment so cells can repair themselves.” The way Augustinus Bader products work is that they trigger the skin to fix itself. “What we offer is protection and care; we do something that protects your skin by helping your skin to be healthier.” And we all know healthy equals beautiful. For those who are yet to be convinced, Victoria Beckham’s enthusiasm may change your mind. The fashion designer personally initiated the collaboration with Bader for her own skincare launch, and as it’s not every day that someone like her reaches out to a potential collaborator, hers seems like rare and respectable affirmation. “It was an honour to collaborate with Victoria,” says Bader. “She was looking to develop a make-up product that fundamentally improved the health and structure of the skin, not just a temporary fix.” Marrying her own make-up knowledge to Bader’s skin-rejuvenating technology resulted in VBB, a line that almost instantly sold out upon release. While Augustinus Bader junkies have seen the life-changing results for themselves, they’ll readily attest that committing to the brand isn’t for the faint-hearted. It means thinning down your line-up to just a cleanser and SPF, and a promise to remain loyal for at least 27 days straight (the amount of time it takes for results to really show). Drastic change calls for drastic measures, and those considering to put Augustinus Bader’s claims to the test should be prepared for a little bit of patience and plenty of faith. This story first appeared on Prestige Online Hong Kong.