As a skin-care brand, Augustinus Bader prides itself on releasing products not out of frivolity or trying to up its bottom line, but out of necessity. As Charles Rosier, cofounder and CEO of Augustinus Bader, puts it: “We want to only add product when we feel we are relevant,” he tells Allure via phone from Paris, France, where he is currently self-isolating. “Our latest initiative was a reaction to something that we felt was needed by the consumer — by everyone.”
The brand’s newest offering, The Hand Treatment, is meant to be just that. As it stands, given the current COVID-19 situation, we are all washing our hands (or should be) much more than we might otherwise normally do so. However, as you’ve also likely experienced dry skin and flaking cuticles, just as is the case with everywhere else on the body, overwashing the skin on our hands can bring on a host of issues all their own. Even if you forgo washing for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, the effects can be just as profound — if not more so.
“We are seeing more and more hand dermatitis,” explains New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, who is not affiliated with Augustinus Bader. “By overwashing, we strip the good oils from our skin and leave it dry and susceptible to breakdown.”
Our skin’s moisture barrier is responsible for keeping the good things in (like hydration and natural oils) and the bad things out (like allergens and bacteria). When the lipid barrier on the hands (or anywhere on the body) becomes too dried out, it can literally start to break down and lose functionality. Simply put, in order for our skin to function and remain healthy, its barrier must be intact. However, we’re not saying that you should stop washing your hands — just that it’s equally important to replenish hydration after doing so.
That’s where Augustinus Bader’s new Hand Treatment comes into play. It’s formulated with a blend of ultra-nourishing ingredients, including vitamin E, glycerin, and shea butter, as well as honey and white peony extract — both of which also have natural antibacterial properties. However, as with all Bader products, the key ingredient is something called TFC8, which stands for its proprietary Trigger Factor Complex-8.
For those unfamiliar with the brand, TFC8 is not one singular ingredient but rather, a proprietary blend of “natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins, and synthesized molecules naturally found in skin,” cosmetic chemist Ginger King (who is not affiliated with the brand) previously told Allure. In a nutshell, TFC8 provides an ideal environment in which our skin’s stem cells can naturally regenerate — it acts as a sort of guide, helping to set the skin’s inherent repair system back on track.
“The TCF8 technology focuses on intrinsic repair processes based in intrinsic repair cells, which we call stem cells,” Bader explains. “We wanted to develop a hand cream with our technology, which helps to protect and care for the skin.”
The results of using TFC8 topically, according to Augustinus Bader himself, a German stem-cell scientist, and his many devotees (our own editor in chief among them), read like a laundry list of skin-care goals: Increased hydration, a strengthened skin barrier, faded fine lines, and dark spots. The proprietary ingredient is, of course, also formulated into the brand’s other offerings: two creams for the face, one for the body, and most recently, a makeup primer collaboration with Victoria Beckham Beauty.