For me, the Augustinus Bader cream was THE selling point of the Cult Beauty Advent Calendar (read Part 1). I’ve been eyeing this brand since it first launched some two years ago. Although I was more interested in trying out the original The Cream, I was just as happy trying out the rich cream as we were going into winter.
I recently got my hands on a small sample size of the Cream, so I thought it would be best to reserve Augustinus Bader their own post where I compare the two.
Composition & Feel
The Rich cream is a bit special. It is, unsurprisingly, a thick cream, but more waxy and viscous. I personally felt the application to be sort of difficult and wasteful. I don’t know how to explain it. It wouldn’t spread out easily, but at the same time, when in contact with the skin, it suddenly would turn slippery… Only to suddenly, within seconds, become waxy again. It felt hard to spread out without taking more than you should need. While, on the other hand, the Cream is very light lotion-like, which spreads out with ease and not much feels needed to cover the face.
There are slight differences between the creams in terms of ingredients too. In addition to their base formula (of lipids, ceramides, TFC8 and peptides) The Cream contains a lesser strenght of vitamin A, C, proteins, and superoxide dismutase. These are not found in the Rich cream which seems more formulated for barrier night repair. The Cream also has a balance of both lipid and water-based hydrating ingredients while the Rich cream has mostly lipid-based hydration.
And also to note, the Rich cream isn’t vegan as it contains lanolin and beeswax.
UPDATE: Augustinus Bader recently upgraded the formula of The Rich cream. It’s still more lipid-based, but now includes more water-based ingredients while removing lanolin and beeswax from the formula, making it vegan-friendly. This review may be somewhat irrelevant now, and the upgraded formula may be due to some of the issues I experienced. With that said, they’re still selling the old version when you buy the duo-kits.
Usage & Experience
The Rich Cream
I used the Rich cream almost every night from January, sometimes in the mornings too. The 15ml lasted me about 2 months. When you screw it open, you’ll see that the vacuum packaging does have about 2-3 uses left. The pump was also a little bit inconsistent, I couldn’t count on 2 pumps would be enough. I mean, I’ve had cheaper products with vacuum pumps perform with much more consistency than this. – Not the first time I experience an expensive brands having a packaging issue…
Weirdly enough, despite this being a rich cream and perfect for winter, I didn’t find it hydrating enough for my skin. It was more of the classic heavy cream sitting on top and that doesn’t sink in much. I found my skin wanting more water-based moisture, which this one alone failed to provide. Although it felt heavy, it didn’t cause me more breakouts than usual. However, I’ve read reviews where the Rich cream, in particular, has caused breakouts.
While using it I did feel my skin becoming softer and more healthy-looking. It seemed to help reduce irritations from 1% retinol and felt like a great cream for compromised skin.
I was hoping that the Cream, with more of its water-based hydration, would suit my skin better. However, it’s much lighter and more lotion-like. I can see why they made a richer one. Ironically, I feel like the original cream is – Do I dare to say it? – a bit too light for me. I feel like Goldilocks here. But I’m big in how I want my face creams to feel and set, and both of these are not up to my liking. The Cream doesn’t feel very luxurious nor that hydrating as I hoped it would be. But as it has more active ingredients I can see past it.
The texture is thin and sinks in fast with no application issues. Just like the Rich cream, I feel my skin looking more resilient and healthy-looking. I do wish it were more hydrating though. It will perhaps be less of an issue for me once the weather gets warmer and the humidity rises.
Effects of their Patented TFC8
I’m almost forgetting the most important thing! When it comes to the effects of their patented TFC8 ingredient, two months felt a little short to notice any results. (even though their own studies show results in as little as 4 weeks)
I was close to not bring this up as I didn’t notice anything super special while using this cream. Yes, my skin felt softer and healthy-looking, but my ceramide cream from the drug store also does that. It wasn’t a huge difference per say that I saw or felt. And no, this cream did not defeat my turning-30-fine-lines-and-wrinkles that pops up and deepens around my birthday.
Maybe stuff was happening on a micro level, but I was also using it in conjunction with 1% retinol (from Drunk Elephant), so perhaps that’s why it’s been hard to tell?
I would recommend the Rich cream to dry non-dehydrated skin types or as a winter/night/barrier repair moisturizer. Although didn’t aggravate my acne or so, it wasn’t completely suited for my skin. Would be interesting to try out the new formula, to see if the texture and application are better. Otherwise, I did overall feel a little “meh” over this cream and don’t feel like repurchasing if I had the money.
I do like the Cream better from an ingredient standpoint, but I could also see how that one might not suit everyone. It’s definitelly more for normal, combination, and oily skin types. My skin has recently felt unusually dehydrated and the Cream has not been able to help. I’ve literally been using my cheaper moisturizer on top of the Cream to add a bit more hydration.
As for if this moisturizer is necessary and life-changing? No. It is not.
All in all, it’s not the texture of the cream you’re investing in here, but the TFC8-science. I’d recommend buying this cream if you have the money to spend and you believe (or want to believe) in their TFC8-technology. Just as you’d buy retinol and vitamin C.
With that said, I wouldn’t complain if any of these creams would come in a future advent calendar (especially now that the formula’s been upgraded). However, I wouldn’t and don’t feel a need to repurchase any of these two to be honest.
As for Augustinus Bader going from The Cream to a bunch of different products. They’ve gotten some hate for it (mainly from one Mrs. Hirons) And I’ll admit, at first I too was put off by the brand. Wasn’t it supposed to be just this one moisturizer to rule them all? Isn’t it why it’s called “The Cream”?!
But after having tested both creams out, I don’t blame them. I actually praise them for developing other types of products for the customer to incorporate TFC8. While I don’t know what good TFC8 will do in a cleanser… I do see how, for example, if none of the creams are working for you or you already have a set of favorite moisturizers, you can try and incorporate their face oil or essence instead. I get the feeling that you’re not meant to own all their products… you can if your wallet allows it… But it’s more about Augustinus Bader trying to please customers and help them find one product with TFC8 that they can incorporate into their life.
And if you really want to be nifty, a cheap hack would be to purchase the body lotion or body oil and try using it on the face. You get more product for less $$$, you know… And everyone knows face creams are just expensive body creams… I might actually try this and report back…