As a rule, I pretty much despise any kind of beauty product designed to be slathered all over my body—mostly because I despise the feeling of stickiness, tackiness, slipperiness, or butteriness as I pull on a pair of pants or toss and turn in my sheets. Anyone else with me here?
Aside from self-tanner, which I only tolerate in order to achieve a perpetual summer glow, I pretty much avoid body oils, lotions, creams, butters, masks—you name it—at all cost. However, as any certifiably sane, beauty-loving human would, I made an exception for Augustinus Bader's brand-new, highly anticipated launch, The Body Cream ($165), which is now officially available for preorder on Violet Grey's website and AugustinusBader.com. (It will launch globally to other selected retailers in September 2019.)
At $165 a pop (or should I say crystal-blue jar?), this body cream is undeniably a steep investment. Let's also remember that this isn't an ordinary body cream. Rather, it's the fresh launch from a barely one-year-old brand that has already wedged its way into the hearts of such celebrity fans as Dakota Johnson, Demi Moore, Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner, Courteney Cox, Kate Bosworth, January Jones, Naomie Harris, Sandra Oh, Alexa Chung, and many more. Don't even get us started on the makeup artists and beauty editors who hoard the stuff.
In short, the brand's original debut—a covetable face cream available in two different formulations, The Cream ($265) and The Rich Cream ($265)—has caused a frenzy within the industry. And while something as basic as a body cream wouldn't typically give us palpitations of the heart and soul, one with the Augustinus Bader name most certainly does.
As someone who had the opportunity to meet Professor Augustinus Bader himself a few months prior to the brand's launch back in early February 2018, I had an inkling that his patented, research-backed, stem cell–studded face formulas would be a hit, but there's no way I thought the two face creams would become cataclysmic phenomena. Not cataclysmic for the brand, mind you, but perhaps borderline disastrous for every competing face cream in the biz.
Bader (a German physician, scientist, professor, and researcher who is considered to be one of the world's leading stem cell and biomedical pioneers in the realm of medical and healing treatments) currently holds over 200 patents and has authored 180-plus peer-reviewed papers. Thankfully, for those seeking practically flawless, injury-free complexions (be it from scars, pigmentation, pimples, or wrinkles), he's ventured into the industry of skincare and beauty as well.
With a unique ABC (activate, boost, commit) approach to formulation, Bader has unveiled a powerful technique designed to reawaken the body’s innate code for tissue repair. According to the brand's website and as the professor expressed to me in person, The ABC Method is a totally new approach and is unique in that it workes in tandem with the body’s own physiological communication systems in order to promote healing, glow, and overall skin health. Translation: It just might be the closest thing to a fountain of youth in a bottle the mass-market beauty industry has ever seen.
An extension of the brand's already iconic face creams, The Body Cream ($165) includes Augustinus Bader’s patented TFC8, the brand’s proprietary Complex Factor Trigger (which is what helps to reawaken dormant stem cells), and other skin perfectors like Brazilian Candeia oil and shea butter. Additionally, the formula is paraben-, fragrance-, mineral oil–, cruelty-, and sulfate-free and made with 99% natural ingredients.
As stated in a press release, "The Body Cream is the perfect complement to existing skincare regimens for a head-to-toe hydrating and anti-aging experience." This product, the brand says, was created due to popular demand, so not surprisingly, expectations and standards are running high. So, being the body cream despiser that I am, and since the Violet Grey team was kind enough to send me my very own jar to test ahead of time, I obviously had to give it a go. Another plot twist? I'm actually not a huge fan of the OG face creams. Am I an alien? Perhaps. But honestly, who better to test and review the brand's newest launch with utmost non-bias?
First, I'll start off with the texture and smell. As someone who doesn't typically wear body lotions or any kind of body moisturizer for that matter (I drink my body weight two times over in water every day), one of the only draws to a few of my favorite formulas is their delicious scent. If I'm going to be rubbing something all over me it A) better smell absolutely intoxicating and B) better keep me moisturized for more than two seconds. So, because this formula is fragrance-free (which many people will honestly appreciate), I was skeptical. Like any unscented body cream, it kind of smells like Elmer's glue. Enticing? Not particularly, but par for the course if you want something that's void of potentially irritating ingredients and won't collide with whatever fragrance you're wearing. Thus, I was able to get past it.
As far as the texture and consistency, I was impressed right off the bat. As I scooped my first helping from the jar, I noted how incredibly thick and dreamy the formula was, which made me nervous that it would be difficult to spread and wouldn't effortlessly melt into my skin. FYI: There's nothing I hate more than a cream or lotion that you have to rub and rub and rub into your skin while still being left with an annoying white or creamy cast. However, that's so not the case with this body cream.
Despite how luxuriously thick and buttery it felt (in my mind, it's more of a body butter than a cream), it melted into my skin almost instantly, which was surprising considering I had a massage (with heaps and heaps of coconut oil worked into my skin) just one day prior, and my skin was far from parched. Surprisingly, the cream sank in immediately, and within a few minutes, I was left with what I would describe as a velvety or satin finish. I could definitely feel it, but not so much that I felt I'd get stuck in my bedsheets or that more of the formula would end up on my bedding than on me.
With most lotions and creams, I expect to wake up the next morning already in need of another coat of moisture (so many body hydrators have fleeting results), but through the next day and even after an a.m. hot yoga session and shower, my skin felt like silk. Additionally, (sorry if this is gross) I noticed that more of my dead skin was sloughed off with my towel when I stepped out from the shower. Part of the cream's amazing renewal and cell turnover properties? I'm totally not sure, but my skin looked more incandescently radiant and felt softer than it had in weeks, maybe months.
For someone who doesn't like body creams and can only sometimes stan oils, this one has officially piqued my interest, landed a spot on my vanity (which is a covetable spot considering my countertop has reached max product capacity), and will likely work its way into my weekly self-care routine. I'm still not crazy about the texture. Again, I just really don't like the feeling of any kind of product on my body, but this cream is less offensive in that regard, and I love that it kept my skin so unbeatably hydrated. I honestly think it would only require a once-per-week application, which, at $165, makes it well worth the notable buck.
To maximize the results of Augustinus Bader's new cream, I made sure to prep, shave, and exfoliate my body beforehand. Keep scrolling for all of the other bodycare favorites I swear by for a radiant glow.