SKINCARE | My Routine with Augustinus Bader

Augustinus Bader Skincare Review

Some press samples

The time has come for an honest to goodness skincare review that isn’t a sheet mask! I have been eyeing luxury skincare brand Augustinus Bader for the last three years and took a tiny plunge by using my $100 Sephora gift certificate obtained through one of their Tues/Thurs point drops on The Essence and quite enjoyed it! Last year, I was given the opportunity to try The Retinol Serum and after 12 weeks I feel like I am finally ready to share my thoughts!


Professor Bader is a German physician and biomedical scientist who is currently the head of Cell Techniques and Applied Stem Cell Biology at the University of Leipzig. His specialty for the last 30 years has been to harness and activate the human body’s capacity to heal with a focus on awakening and activating cells that have become dormant due to age or trauma. In 2008, Professor Bader developed a Wound Gel that healed severe skin trauma without the need for skin grafts by carrying healing signals directly to the trauma site leading to an expedited healing response. This led to the development of Augustinus Bader skincare! Much led to Dr. Bader’s skincare getting into the hands of celebrities and then to us consumers, but there is a very informative article about his rise to North American fame here in the NY Times.
The Essence

Augustinus Bader The Essence Review

What makes this special?
This is a 3-in-1 product that is a gentle exfoliant (uses the PHA gluconolactone, a larger molecule that gently exfoliates the skin), toner and essence. What makes all Augustinus Bader products special is the presence of a patented complex called TFC8 (“trigger factor complex”) which is comprised of “amino acids, high grade vitamins and synthesized molecules naturally found in the body”. Not only does TFC8 nourish and protect the skin, but like the Wound Gel, is meant to harness the skin’s own potential for renewal with results in as little as 27 days (surprise surprise, that’s the rate of cell turnover!). 

The Essence also contains phytic acid, which further supports cell turnover and collagen production, and salicylic acid! It is gentle enough for daily use and is a great product for maintaining glow though I felt like I still needed to do a little bit of extra exfoliation once a week to keep whiteheads away. It is a straighforward, unscented clear watery liquid that plays nice with all skincare since it absorbs into the skin quickly, does not cause future products to pill and is just an easy first product from the brand to integrate into your routine. I think The Cream is probably the more iconic product and though I used a small sample of it, I think I prefer The Essence more. 

Packaging for this and all Augustinus Bader products is nothing short of luxurious as who wouldn’t want this sea of deep blue and copper lining their bathroom counter? The Essence is packaged in regal blue glass, to signify the starry night sky and the weighty, metal copper-coloured caps represent copper as a medicinal metal as it is antimicrobial. The gorgeously mathematical logo on the top of the cap is a reinterpretation of the healing star. 

Augustinus Bader The Essence Review


The Retinol Serum*

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum Review

What makes this special? The Retinol Serum packaging comes in an aluminum “Nomad” bottle with a rounded bottom. It comes with a copper-coloured base so that this bottle can stand upright and when I find out why the bottle is rounded, I will update this post! This contains pure retinol in a light shea butter base as well as the patented TFC8. This serum claims to reduce the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles, optimizes the skin’s microbiome, reduces the occurrence of blemishes and finally locks in moisture.

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum Review

INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, C12-16 Alcohols, Squalane, Propanediol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ectoin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Hybrid Oil, Palmitic Acid, Myristyl Alcohol, PCA, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Carbomer, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sodium Benzoate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Zinc PCA, Maltodextrin, Retinol, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Panthenol, Totarol, Leptospermum Scoparium Branch/Leaf Oil, Niacinamide, Sodium Hydroxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Piper Nigrum (Pepper) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Pyridoxine HCl, Alanyl Glutamine, Arginine, Oligopeptide-177, Phenylalanine, Sisymbrium Irio Seed Oil, Sodium Chloride, Silica

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum Review

I was a bit excited and also afraid to use this because even though I am at a stage in my life where I should be embracing retinol, I have never liked the “adjustment process” that comes with using a retinol product. I didn’t really need to build a tolerance to this at all as I was able to start using this every night within the week without seeing any peeling or feeling discomfort. I have been using this in conjunction with The Essence for 12 weeks now and my skin actually does have a clarity, evenness and freshness that I feel is more than my “usual level”. It is always hard for me to see changes, but I feel the retinol has made a positive improvement to my skin, but am I going to be able to continue using this at $495 CDN per bottle? 

What is nice about this product is that because it is a cream, it does feel a lot like a moisturizer, but I can still sheet mask AND use a moisturizer on top without it feeling like too much which is surprising. I will add that there is a video of how to apply this serum on the Augustinus Bader website and the way the facial massage is happening, you would think that this is an oil, but if all you are supposed to use is one pump (IMO it’s too expensive to use more!), there is no way there is enough to do both a neck and face massage!

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum Review
Augustinus Bader Skincare Review

Final verdict: The question of whether either of these products worked for me is easy – yes! The Retinol Serum was especially nice and I felt like it actually made a difference in improving the texture and luminosity of my skin. I am not sure how I feel about the bottle being rounded and requiring a separate stand though. From packaging to experience, Augustinus Bader screams “luxurious science”, but would I purchase The Retinol Serum once I am done with this bottle? I am still at that stage in my skincare journey where I like to play and have fun so I am still not fully committed to using a retinol product all the time. It is also very pricey and I feel like I haven’t given other, possibly more affordable retinol products a chance, but I most certainly have been spoiled by this one! The Essence, I would buy again as I like how multi-purpose it is and I don’t think $125 is unreasonable for what it does, the packaging and how little you have to use to see results. I will say that I am intrigued by Augustinus Bader and am curious about the iconic The Cream as well as his haircare products! 

You can find Augustinus Bader at

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