Updated: Augustinus Bader Skincare Review.

Dr. Augustinus Bader The Cream Review

Augustinus Bader has been my favorite face cream now for just about two years. I use it every day, without fail. If I’m testing something new for night, I make sure to apply Dr. Bader in the morning – and vice versa if I’m testing something for morning. It’s a compulsion – I am die hard. Today I wanted to update my review with a little more detail on why I love it so much (and where to get it since they’ve expanded distribution), and also provide an FAQ on Bader as I get asked about it nearly every day!

Prior to trying out Dr. Bader, it had been a while since anything had really, truly knocked my socks off. I mean I try a lot of stuff and have my tried + true favs so for a product to work itself DEEPLY into my rotation is pretty major. Dr. Bader has become a bit of an overnight sensation. He’s a makeup artist favorite, he’s been featured all over the place, with just a few products!

I was initially lured in by his story – it’s a good one!

He’s a professor of stem cell biology and overall humanitarian. The central focus of his work involves stem cell biology and helping burn victims; and his greatest desire is to figure out a scar-free healing treatment for the disfigured. Pretty cool right? Yeah. Dr. Bader’s biggest breakthrough came through with a medical grade hydrogel. It eliminated the need for skin grafts, and made healing SO much easier… inspiring him to create life changing treatments for the underprivileged.

Amazing, right? But how does this involve us (and our wrinkles, LOL)? Well. To finance those life changing treatments, he needed to create a viable business, right? An advisor suggested using this same breakthrough technology to create an anti-aging cream and from there The Cream and The Rich Cream were born. These creams launched in February 2018 and I have been hooked ever since. It’s heavy on science and it WORKS.  The Cream is a lighter formulation – it’s soft and weightless… and hydrates – the perfect day cream. The Rich Cream though, is my favorite as it’s really dense and creamy (like my beloved La Mer).

Dr. Augustinus Bader The Cream Review

This face cream is amazing. Life changing, even. It will revolutionize your skin care routine and is one of the best beauty products I’ve tried this year. If anti aging is your goal, this should be the one product you try.

I know I sound dramatic but it’s become the product I reach for, morning and night. And I am a blogger who gets sent everything under the sun. I’ve noticed my biggest skin flaws (redness, fine lines) reducing. My skin is so much more smooth, even, and supple. I CANNOT recommend it enough. It’s the best moisturizer I’ve tried in ages. And yes it’s expensive, but the bottle lasts a surprisingly long time and it is truly the most high-tech cream I’ve ever tried. Prepare to be obsessed – and hear a LOT more about this man, and his creams.


Both creams contain TFC8 – Dr. Bader’s trigger factor complex, comprised of amino acids, vitamins, and molecules naturally found in skin. It creates an optimal environment for repair and renewal and will ultimately help to slow (and reverse) the skin ageing process.

Dr. Augustinus Bader Skincare Benefits

Both creams are designed to minimize frown lines and wrinkles (I pack The Rich Cream on at night around my eyes to help with those. In using them, my skin is immediately more hydrated. Over time it’s smoother, more glowy, and fine lines are less noticeable. Whether your concerns are wrinkles fine lines age spots or just general dehydration, this is the cream for you!!!

The only thing is that you shouldn’t use a serum if you use this – it needs to be the first thing on your skin so that the ingredients are the first thing your skin absorbs. You an apply oil afterward if your skin needs it, but let the cream fully absorb first.

Annnnd also… for each bottle purchased, ten percent of profits go to the Augustinus Bader Foundation to help those who need it most!

Dr. Augustinus Bader The Cream Review

Dr. Augustinus Bader FAQ

Where can I buy Dr. Bader?

You can buy Dr. Bader at Sephora, Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Blue Mercury, Neiman Marcus and Violet Grey. I will say that if you are nervous about trying it, Nordstrom has the best return policy out of the bunch.

How long does a bottle last?

I typically use four pumps per application and a bottle lasts me 3-4 months.

How about the body cream?

Read my review here. I love the body cream and think that it’s a great product BUT if you are going to spend the money, the face cream is where it’s at. Several people have asked me if I think it’s a good idea to put the body cream on the face to save money/get more product and I think they’re really different products. Generally, it’s not a great idea to put body cream on your face so I’m going to give a hard no on that!

Do you know if this can be used in combination with Retin A? (I would continue Retin A a few nights a week and use this on off days)

I don’t use Retin A so can’t speak to it exactly BUT I would recommend using it the way I use retinol. The thing with Dr. Bader is that you aren’t supposed to put anything on your face in between cleansing and toning and applying the cream. So they discourage you to use a serum, retinol, etc. I do retinol or a peel a few times a week and when I do that, I skip Bader (but am sure to apply in the AM).

On retinol nights, I will wash my face and apply toner, and then retinol – followed by a thick coat of moisturizer. (I apply the retinol, brush my teeth while it sinks in, and then apply moisturizer. Right now for my non Dr. Bader cream, I really like Weleda Skin Food. I love all of Weleda’s creams – they’re ultra gentle and extremely hydrating. This moisturizer from Sobel Skin is another favorite.

As always, talk to your derm (sorry I know I’m repetitive but I can’t stress that enough) but I think you’ll probably be fine using Dr. Bader on the nights you don’t use Retin A. While it’s an anti-aging moisturizer, it doesn’t actively exfoliate and it’s really gentle. I find it to be the perfect complement to using peels or retinol.

I’m really confused by the Dr. Bader product! I know you’re not supposed to use anything under it but I love using P50 and SK-II!

Okay. So a little confession. I don’t always follow the instructions. Most mornings, I still use SK-II before the Dr. Bader.

If you’re using P50 I would say to use something else (maybe the Weleda? The Sobel Skin?) just so that you don’t waste the Dr. Bader since it’s so expensive. Kind of like the nights I do retinol. Since it’s so active, I count P50 more as a peel than a toner. Everyone will have a different view here!

I’m very intrigued by the Augustinus Bader cream but I’m a pretty loyal La Mer user. I know from your posts that you’ve used both. Can you weigh in on the differences?

I would say that hydration-wise, Dr. Bader’s The Rich Cream is very similar to classic La Mer, whereas The Cream (the lighter version) is very similar to La Mer’s Soft Cream.

Both are power moisturizers – they lock in moisture and leave my skin glowy and hydrated all day long. I love La Mer but I personally prefer Dr. Bader. I find it to be a little more high tech and have noticed a visible improvement in my skin since starting to use it. You can read all about the technology in Dr. Bader’s creams in this post. That being said, I love La Mer when I have a cold. It’s the only cream that heals that chapped red skin around my nose when I’m sick and blowing my nose a lot. I haven’t found anything that works quite as well on chapped red skin.

photography by Trent Bailey.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Always interested to know more effective products, since I’m not getting any younger! I love that ten percent of the profits goes to charity as well. Great recommendation! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    5.2.18 Reply
  2. What an amazing new product! I love the backstory, and it sounds like the efficacy of the products is going to knock my socks off! I’ve never tried a full jar of La Mer but every time I get a sample I can’t believe the results, so I can only imagine how great this stuff is. I can’t wait to try it.
    Hope you have a wonderful day,

    5.2.18 Reply
  3. Chantalle:

    I’m hunting for new skincare products, so this post came at a serendipitous time. You mentioned that you don’t need serum before the creams. Have you opted out of eye cream/serum too? I can justify the price for getting both creams if I wouldn’t need to invest in serum and eye cream as well.

    5.2.18 Reply
    • Yeah – I have a few eye creams I love but this is gentle so you can skip eye cream and use this instead. It’s really good on crows feet. Honestly it’s kind of like a 3 in one. It’s definitely expensive but if you use it you don’t need a serum or eye cream.

      And you don’t need both creams. I tried both for the sake of review but really only use the rich cream as my skin is so dry. Just depends on your skin type/what you need!

      5.2.18 Reply
  4. Lindsay:

    This sounds awesome, thanks for putting it on my radar! Although I’m curious, how you are going to include it in your skincare regime in the future? I know you have a lot of products you like to use and you mentioned that you’ve been using this every day, morning and night….do you love it enough to continue doing that? I love the idea of this, but with my current routine (salicylic acid and vitamin c in the a.m., alternate between retinol and glycolic acid in the p.m.), I’m not sure how I would work this in. Sound amazing though!

    5.2.18 Reply
    • I kind of just develop these “core products” that I go back to in between testing. I’ll always test other products – it’s part of my job. But when I am not testing something new I will be going back to this. It’s truly amazing!!!!

      5.2.18 Reply
  5. Valentina kythas:

    Im intrested in this line

    5.2.18 Reply
  6. Beth Trapani:

    Thanks for recommending these ridiculously priced creams. Of course, we all have $530 to spend….. Next time, save it for the rich and famous!

    5.2.18 Reply
    • Well you actually only need one… and if you use them you don’t need a serum, but to each their own!

      5.2.18 Reply
    • dux:

      I think Beth’s comment is totally fair and the blogger’s response came across at best disingenuous and at worst snarky (+ therefore inappropriate). It reminds me of outgoing Rep Paul Ryan’s support for doing away with medical deductions in the US federal income tax: he posited (to the NYT) that it’s a “choice” to spend money on medically necessary items. I wonder how many wheelchairs or catheters or g-tubes Ryan has made the “choice” to purchase for either himself or a family member. I wonder if the blogger understands the difference between their flippant “you don’t need a serum” in addition to this Cream vice saving for retirement or something truly vital, like food or medical insurance … not their fine lines and redness.

      8.29.18 Reply
      • parker j:

        the bloggers comment is upbeat, supportive and accurate. everything is a choice – don’t be a hater bc she is excited about a product and is sharing her views on it. these 2 products are the bomb and you can invest 80$ for 15ml to try out which lasts quite some time.

        1.6.19 Reply
      • Christian:

        I don’t understand the analogy, to be honest. The blogger’s post is about a cream, so it’s posited with the assumption that you’re reading about something not necessary, let alone vital, no matter its price.
        I think we all agree that it is NOT a choice to spend for medical support/retirement/or whatever you think it’s vital for you, while it is a choice to splurge on a luxury item, if you have the funds to afford it.
        What I have found snarky and un-necessarily rude, is Trapani’s response to the review. One can express bewilderment for the price of a luxury item without needing to offend the person who reviews it.

        1.6.19 Reply
  7. Shanna Spalding:

    Just as expensive as Botox… Except it’s not lol…

    5.3.18 Reply
  8. Mel:

    Hi there,

    I love reading recommendations for beauty products! I’m wondering if you could post before and after pictures of your skin. Given that is 200+ bucks, it’s be great to see how it’s worked for you. Thanks!! Mel

    5.3.18 Reply
  9. Amy:

    Hey Grace! I saw there’s no added perfumes, but is there a strong scent with the creams? Thanks!

    5.13.18 Reply
  10. ap:

    A bit confused…
    Given that he set it up to help him improve scar treatments, why is only 10% of the profits to charity?
    I’d be interested to know where the rest of it is going. If it’s to making scar treatments then why isn’t that part a charity?
    Although tbf this probably isn’t the right place to ask
    Also if you’re not sure which cream were to be right for your skin, is there a way of finding out without dishing up $500?

    5.18.18 Reply
    • It probably isn’t the right place to ask – the skincare company isn’t a non profit; I know he started it to help fund doing scar treatments! I’d assume the rest of the money goes toward paying back investors + investing it back into the business as they’re still pretty small.

      Ackk – I wish there was a better way to try before you buy! Wish he made sample packs like some brands do. I poked around his site and couldn’t find a store finder (where you could sample the product) but could not find one.

      5.18.18 Reply
    • Mildred Broselow:

      There is always somebody……..

      7.16.18 Reply
  11. ashley:

    Hi Grace – would you recommend The Cream of The Rich Cream for combination skin? La Mer cream can make me breakout occassionally on the cheeks.

    5.22.18 Reply
    • It’s hard to recommend a product w/out knowing you/seeing your skin… but if you break out I would probably say go with The Cream!

      5.22.18 Reply
  12. M kane:

    M Kane, I am a low income 68-year-old female any chance I could purchase a cream but at some kind of a discount?

    8.15.18 Reply
    • Amy:

      I feel like I’m the only person who doesn’t like this cream. I purchased on your recommendation (as well as a few other bloggers) and it came totally separated and only dispensed a water-like liquid even after vigorously shaking it. I finally contacted the company and the customer service was terrible. They said I could return it at my cost and I said, fine I would like to do that and then they never responded to my inquiries again. I ended up finishing the bottle because of the price, but I will never repurchase. It was a miraculous skin care product for me. PCA hyaluronic acid boosting serum with Elemis in the evenings and Yonka phyto lotion during the day and it’s far superior in my opinion.

      1.21.20 Reply
      • elayna:

        Amy, I really think there was something wrong with your product. I’ve been purchasing this product for over a year and have never had one that separates. Have you tried following up with them again??

        2.10.20 Reply
  13. Joy Horvath:

    Would these two creams be safe for a melanoma patient to use since there are stem cells?

    9.16.18 Reply
    • I honestly don’t know! You should definitely ask your dermatologist!!!

      9.17.18 Reply
    • Christian:

      These creams do not contain stem cells, but a signature combination of aminoacids and peptides that work to activate and boost the optimal function of your own stem cells (not their age-related function).
      That being said, if you had melanoma, it would be probably wise to counsel with your doctor.

      12.20.18 Reply
  14. Mariann:

    Hi, You mentioned that this cream needs to be the very first thing goes on to your skin. How about using a toner?

    10.18.18 Reply
    • Toner is fine – I’d say toner is more of an extension of the cleansing product if we want to get technical 🙂

      10.19.18 Reply
    • Elysa:

      I use Skinceuticals CE Freulic and have been using that in the AM before the Rich Cream. Would you recommend using that on top of the Rich Cream?

      11.29.20 Reply
      • Hey Elysa,
        For Bader, you don’t want to use a serum – that’s kind of the brand’s “thing,” and one of the things that makes it work so well! I just do it after toning and mayyyybe essence. Serums nevvvvvvver go over moisturizer so I wouldn’t do that. If you are really obsessed with the CE Ferulic and can’t live without it I would recommend using a different moisturizer and skipping Bader. The Sobel Skin hyaluronic one is a favorite of mine. Hope that is helpful!

        11.29.20 Reply
    • Christian:

      that was just a gimmick they used at the beginning to make you think you could “save” on other products cause the cream was all your skin needed. Now that they’re out with some other outrageously expensive products, like the essence and the face oil, it’s obviously perfectly fine to layer….

      11.29.20 Reply
  15. Amy Bennett:

    I am in my early fiftes an need to up my skincare regime. Would live to try a sample. ☺

    10.20.18 Reply
  16. Katerina P:

    Hi Grace! I’ve been using La Mer’s soft cream for a while now. I live in a very humid place (Puerto Rico) and find that the original La Mer is a bit too heavy here. I use it when I travel in the fall and winter. Which one would you recommend, the cream or rich cream? How heavy is it? Thank you!!

    1.10.19 Reply
    • Hey Katerina, thanks for your comment! I would say that you will probably like the regular cream best! The rich cream is heavier, like the original La Mer which I personally LOVE but does not work for everyone!

      1.11.19 Reply
  17. Marsia:

    Hi! Do you know if this can be used in combination with RetinA? (I would continue retinA a few nights a week and use this on off days)

    1.29.19 Reply
    • I would talk to your dermatologist! The thing with the Dr. Bader cream is they want you to have it be the first thing that goes on your skin (after cleansing and toner) so that the active ingredients can really penetrate. As the Dr. Bader cream is expensive I would not waste my money on it if I were putting something else on before! Keep in mind, I am NOT a dermatologist and have zero experience with RetinA!!!

      What I’d probably do is use the Dr. Bader and on nights I use with RetinA and use this on the off days – but don’t use them together?

      1.29.19 Reply
  18. Cristina O’Brien:

    Would he ever give a code for your readers?!

    2.12.19 Reply
    • Claire:

      Hi! Not sure if it’s helpful but I bought my Bader Cream after reading Grace’s raves via Blue Mercury when they were having a 20% off sale. That happens every couple of months.

      1.14.20 Reply
  19. Allison:

    How does it compare to Weleda Skin Food and La Mer? Are there benefits you notice from Dr. Bader’s skin cream over the others?

    4.2.19 Reply
  20. Nicole:

    Just ordered this, thanks to you, Grace! Can’t wait to try it. Do you recommend using it every night since you recommend not using a serum while using the cream?

    4.5.19 Reply
  21. Christian:

    I’ve been using this for more than a month now and I can tell that it did absolutely nothing for my skin.
    The texture is nice and leaves the skin very smooth and hydrated, but that is all it does. You will notice some faster turn over, but I believe that is mostly due to the retinol present.
    $225 for this results are definitely a robbery. I’m only glad some of it will go to a good cause.
    But I definitely won’t repurchase.

    4.7.19 Reply
    • Ally:

      Completely agree. I feel like such a chump for buying this. It’s. A. Face. Cream. It’s not magic and it’s certainly not worth the price.

      1.14.20 Reply
  22. Allison D:

    I use the Skinceuticals c e fertulic in the mornings-which is already $165, and then use a fairly expensive moisturizer so I’m considering giving those up to try bader. I’m curious if the dr Bader has any of the same benefits of the vit c?

    1.14.20 Reply
    • Mmmmm… it definitely brightens and helps with a more even skin tone BUT if you love your skinceuticals I would recommend doing Bader at night, and Skinceuticals + a less expensive moisturizer (maybe one from Weleda) for daytime. Since Skinceuticals is so active you don’t really need a super expensive moisturizer.

      That’s just what I would do – always caveat that I’m not a derm and it’s hard to provide personal recs without knowing you/your skin!

      1.14.20 Reply
      • Julia:

        Saw my dermatologist today and she recommended keeping Skinceuticals CE (which she loved) in the morning and alternating Bader and prescription retinol at night. Love Skinceuticals too and saw a lot of skin improvement with it, but not as dramatic as Bader.

        1.14.20 Reply
        • Great advice! Thanks, Julia!!

          1.15.20 Reply
          • Allison D.:

            Thank you both! This is exactly what I’ll plan on doing – I already do a prescription retin A a few times a week.

  23. Meg:

    I do feel the need to share a differing POV, just because I don’t really think any are offered here and wouldn’t want anyone to do the same thing I did. This just didn’t do anything for my skin (I’m 28 with dry skin) but bought it because I adore Grace and she has the most beautiful skin. But just because someone loves a product who YOU love, doesn’t mean you should buy it. At this price tag, I’d seriously consider. It’s a face cream. It’s not going to do anything magical and reverse aging and give you a new face, it’s just not. Not Graces fault at all, because obviously she loves it! I just wish I’d been a bit more of an astute consumer.

    1.14.20 Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your perspective! I really appreciate it, and am bummed it didn’t work for you! That’s why I do recommend buying the smaller size from Nordstrom to see if it works for you – if it doesn’t, you can return it!

      1.14.20 Reply
  24. Kate:

    So on board with Dr. Bader. Have been using it for almost 2 weeks after reading all of Grace’s reviews. Already my friends are complimenting my skin and makeup looks better too! Had sticker shock at the price point, but it’s worth it. On nights I use it, I’m not using a serum so it’s actually reducing the number of products I’m investing in.

    1.14.20 Reply
  25. Lauren:

    Finally on the Bader train after watching you talk about it for two years ! Man, this stuff is amazing.

    What toner do you typically use before it? I don’t want to use any actives, and was wondering if you had a recommendation!

    1.19.20 Reply
  26. Judy Springer:

    How would you compare Bader rich cream with Barbara Sturm? Any lifting affect?
    Thank you

    2.18.20 Reply
    • Hey! I haven’t tried any of Barbara Sturm’s moisturizers so don’t have a good comparison. I wouldn’t say that this is a lifting cream but it definitely helps with firmness! For a real lift I love the Jillian Demsey gold beauty bar (think it’s similar to the NuFace!)

      2.18.20 Reply
  27. J:

    I want to try this

    But I disagree about la mer – it is so overrated and overpriced. It is Nivea cream with some algae – and you can get the exact same benefits by using a cheap Ordinary lactic acid serum followed by good old fashioned drugstore Nivea cream in a can.

    2.29.20 Reply
  28. PE:

    I really think it is fine to use p50 as it is a toner. I thought the angel was you don’t need serums but you can as they have smaller molecules?

    4.9.20 Reply
    • Christian:

      Well, guess what, now that they came out with a serum, they’re not so much against it…

      4.9.20 Reply
  29. Kelly:

    Hi! As a beauty editor, what do you think about not using Vitamin C anymore if you use this Augustinian Bader product? It looks great but I’m surprised you can’t use anything else, like vitamin c, with it. Thanks!

    4.18.20 Reply
    • I mix things up!

      I’ll still do the Kiehl’s Deep Wrinkle treatment a few nights a week… OR in the morning I’ll do vitamin c before moisturizer. I don’t do it every single day; my only hard and fast rule is that I want to use Bader at least once a day (morning or night!)

      4.18.20 Reply
  30. Randi:

    Can you layer a zinc based sunscreen on top of it in the morning?

    7.29.20 Reply
  31. Kate P.:

    Hi Grace!!! I’ve been using Bader for a while (love it) but was wondering if you’ve tried the cleansing gel and face oil and what did you think about it? Tried to order through their website but somehow they ship worldwide but not to PR ‍♀️
    Thank you!!!

    9.6.20 Reply
    • Hey! Yes I have. THey are both great and I’ll have a review sometime in the next couple months. The face oil is incredible but a nice to have. And I love the cleanser but cleanser is on your skin for so short of a time that I don’t think it’s necessary to splurge on!

      9.7.20 Reply
  32. This review was so helpful and it’s what gave me the final push to give The Rich Cream a try finally. And now that I’ve been using it for months, I can officially say you were right and it’s such an amazing product! I’ve cut out all of my other skincare products for now and literally just cleanse my face, then apply The Rich Cream (plus SPF on top if it’s morning). My skin is SO dry, and now it finally feels properly hydrated and happy. Thanks for taking the time to share your review with us!

    9.6.20 Reply
  33. Mary:

    Thank you for introducing me to Bader. I remember you mentioning a comparable cream within the last few months that is sold at Sephora and for less $$. I can’t find it in your blog. Would you mind reminding me of the cream? Thank you!

    1.10.21 Reply
  34. Tracey Boots:

    I finally dropped the big bucks on the Bader after a year of hearing you rave about it. I had to save money from working extra shifts but I just turned 40 so felt like it would be worth it. Honestly not impressed. For the price it should be amazing . I love the Weleda 10 times better. Plus for the price you can’t beat it.

    1.21.21 Reply
  35. Kat:

    Love it. To be clear though, 4 pumps/day lasts me 60 days or 2 months. I have no idea how it last you 3-4 months?

    11.6.21 Reply
  36. Pamela:

    I am currently using The Cream and I wanted to ask you if its okay if I still use P50 as a toner before applying The Cream?

    4.17.22 Reply
    • If it works for you, I think it is okay. Technically you are not supposed to but I think it’s probably fine.

      4.19.22 Reply