I Tried Augustinus Bader's £270 Retinol for 6 Weeks—These Are My Honest Thoughts

Say the words "Augustinus Bader" in a room full of beauty journalists and you can bet that it will get the conversation rolling. Many beauty editors—myself included—swear by Augustinus Bader's luxurious line of skincare products, which in turn command a luxe price tag. This begs the question: Is Augustinus Bader really worth it?


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden for Who What Wear UK)

As someone who has tried The Ultimate Soothing Cream and The Eye Cream, I have to say I sit in the camp that says it is worth it. If you are looking to invest and have the cash to do so, then I'd highly recommend the brand. The hero products are The Cream and The Rich Cream, but our beauty contributors also rate The Serum, and you'll find celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Hailey Bieber singing its praises. Of course, it's an expensive purchase, and there are plenty of other affordable alternatives out there, but there is something special about Augustinus Bader's products. The patented TFC8 (or Trigger Factor Concentrate) technology jumpstarts skin renewal, helping to repair the skin, fade pigmentation and plump out lines to name but a few of the benefits. In fact, it was inspired by Professor Bader's research into wound healing that inspired the skincare line.


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden for Who What Wear UK)

So, when Augustinus Bader announced the launch of The Retinol Serum, I had high hopes for the £270 (ouch!) serum. I was lucky enough to get my hands on it to test it myself, so I've shared my honest review below.

Augustinus Bader The Retinol Serum Review

I tested The Retinol Serum for the past six weeks, and I think that the below before and after pictures speak for themselves. But first things first, what's actually in the formula?

The Formula

Retinol is one of the few skincare ingredients that is proven to really work, helping to target fine lines, pigmentation and even help those with acne-prone skin. This retinol, like all products in the Augustinus Bader range, contains the patented TFC8 formula, and I really believe that this is what sets it apart from other retinoids out there. "The Retinol Serum leverages the powerful synergy of pure, therapeutic retinol—known to gently yet effectively accelerate cellular turnover—and our high-performance proprietary TFC8 technology," says Augustinus Bader. "Working together, the formula optimises the body’s natural capacity for self-repair for skin that is measurably refined, restored and more youthful-looking without discomfort or redness." As for the consistency, it has a serum-cream texture that melts into the skin to a soft, non-greasy finish.

Before Using Augustinus Bader's The Retinol Serum


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden for Who What Wear UK)

Before using Augustinus Bader's The Retinol Serum, I had redness and pigmentation leftover from hormonal breakouts.

Six Weeks After Using Augustinus Bader's The Retinol Serum


(Image credit: @eleanorvousden for Who What Wear UK)

Six weeks after using Augustinus Bader's The Retinol Serum, I've noticed that my complexion is more even and glowy.

And I'm inclined to agree with the brand on its impressive consumer and clinical trials. As someone with sensitive skin and past eczema flare-ups, I'm quite particular about the skincare products I choose to test. I'm pleased to report that I experienced zero irritation while using this, which is quite unusual for me. It's encouraged by skin experts to gradually build up your retinol usage, especially if you are new to using any retinoids in your routine. I have already been using Medik8's Crystal Retinal Serum (another of my favourites) over the past couple of months, so I opted to use The Retinol Serum three times a week, applying it as part of my evening skincare routine. I did pause using it for a couple of days when I went abroad, making sure I diligently applied my SPF before picking back where I left off for the remaining two weeks of testing.

Over the course of the six weeks of testing, I have noticed that my complexion has become more even-toned, my pigmentation from hormonal acne breakouts swiftly departed after just a few days of use, and my skin now has bucket-loads more radiance. In fact, I've since had a few compliments on my skin recently, which feels like further confirmation that this serum really is working. The fine lines on my forehead have also softened, and my skin texture in general looks much smoother. As such, I'm less inclined to wear foundation and feel that skin tints or just concealer are enough to cover any areas of concern.

The Verdict

Honestly, I really, really love this retinol serum and the results it has achieved for my skin. But the price tag? Not so much. It would be remiss of me to not mention that if it weren't for my job as a beauty editor, I would never be able to justify spending this much on a retinol—or any skincare product, for that matter. But, if money were no object, or I wanted to splurge, I would absolutely purchase it. I know my skin and I will miss using it when it does run out. I also have to add that my skin doesn't have huge signs of ageing, but I'm confident those with more mature skin will also see results on deeper lines and more stubborn pigmentation. If you're looking for some more affordable retinoid options, however, I've rounded up some more bank account–friendly ones below that beauty editors love too.

Shop The Retinol Serum:

Shop more game-changing retinoids:

Up Next, I've Tried 100s of Serums—These Are the Best 14 for Every Skin Type and Concern

Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.