Beauty

The man behind revolutionary skincare brand Diane Kruger, Dakota Johnson and Demi Moore love

  • Since German research scientist Augustinus Bader launched his eponymous beauty line in February, Hollywood A-listers have sung its praises
  • It employs stem cell technology he used to heal severe burns
PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 November, 2018, 7:18am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2018, 3:54pm

Augustinus Bader isn’t a name that rolls easily off the tongue, but it’s been on the lips of everyone in Hollywood since the German research scientist launched his eponymous skincare line in February this year.

“Doctor brands”, as they’re known in the beauty industry, are nothing new, but while many lines were launched by dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons in response to clients demanding their products be made available on a retail basis, Bader has always had different interests.

Beauty products you swallow to glow from within: a how-to guide

“I did work in burn care [from] very early on [in my career],” he says. “And one of the issues was that [the patients] all developed massive scars. The aesthetic results and functional results had limitations.”

So Bader set to work on uncovering the secrets of healing skin – for example, why would a small injury heal perfectly, but a larger one leave scar tissue? He developed an innovative technology for triggering the body’s regenerative response without the use of invasive methodology.

But after helping many child burn victims whose families lacked the financial resources to support his treatment, which was not cheap, Bader grew disheartened.

“I found it so frustrating to deal with all these children who had these massive burns, and [the care] was so expensive. And I couldn’t convince investors for a long time, because the number of children with burns is relatively small compared to those with other diseases,” Bader says.

“I almost gave it up. Then someone said, if it works on burns, then why not see if it works in skincare, so people can see the technology is something different, new, and it can help? I said, why not? But it took me some time to realise that this could be something with a purpose.

“Switching to the skincare project, we changed the system. I found investors who helped us fund the clinical work, and we set up a charity, so any normal person who wants beautiful skin can also help the burned children.”

There have been other creams that bank on the use of stem cells, but this isn’t what Bader’s formulas do. “People used to think that our skin has a shortage of stem cells and as we age we need to get stem cells from the outside, like plants. It’s conceptually limited to use stem cells from someone else or something else,” he explains.

If Bader could heal severe burns with this technology, then surely other, more minor skin issues – from fine lines to rosacea – would be child’s play for this miracle formula? Sure enough, the investors came ringing, including German actress Diane Kruger (she also acts as a brand ambassador).

A pair of creams became the first launch products: The Cream and The Rich Cream, the latter a more emollient version for those whose skin needs a little more TLC and hydration. Both are available via his website. Going against the more-is-more grain that is de rigueur in the beauty business nowadays, Bader proposes each is used alone in your regimen, after cleansing.

Any doubts over the efficacy of the cream are quelled by its fan club, which includes the seemingly ageless Demi Moore and Kris Jenner, as well as early adopters Don and Melanie Johnson, who began trialling the formulas in early 2017 before their commercial debut.

Daughter Dakota Johnson, the 28-year-old star of the Fifty Shades of Grey film franchise, is one of the brand’s younger fans.

That is not to suggest Bader is sticking to a two-product line-up. Far from it – he has a number of new items in development.

“We have two products initially, and we are focused on the face. But, basically, we will release more products using the same technology, like a body oil, which has different properties that help it spread much farther, and something that absorbs extremely fast, because the body is a bigger area,” he says.

“We will have something for hair health. Or a cream for sensitive skin that is in development – for extremely sensitive skin,” Bader says.

Skincare 101: serums – why you should use one, and how

“Since I’m relatively new to this area I’m learning every day, so the next generation of [the creams] will be better than the ones we have now. If it’s a very, very good product already, then we will go to other applications. We will [also] have approved very soon a lip balm.”

He is most excited about a yet-to-be-approved innovation that he hopes to include in a whitening product targeting the Asian market. “We are working on products for the Asian market which can whiten, and we have found an SPF which is totally natural. When you put in an SPF it is usually toxic, but we have found something that is actually good for your skin.”

This could solve a conundrum that Western skincare brands have been dealing with for years – because of tighter regulations governing the approval of new ingredients in the West, Asian sunscreens have always been deemed superlative because they are able to access and utilise more cutting-edge ingredients.

While Bader is clearly excited about diversifying his business, he has not forgotten about his core cause, and the reason he wanted to branch out into skincare in the first place.

In line with his belief that medical attention should be a basic human right, the Augustinus Bader Foundation was formed, and though it is in its early stages, the hope is to provide regenerative cures based on Bader’s research findings for anyone in need.

It also hopes to fund further research and provide clinical support to doctors around the world.

“The skincare was just released in February, so the foundation is still very small. But we hope that our sales will grow, and part of the revenue will go to this foundation,” he says.

“The skincare is not extremely expensive, but it’s a luxury product. And part of it helps the children who need it everywhere.”