These days, plant-based beauty products are de rigueur Stateside. But the roots of many natural skin care solutions can be traced to Europe, where alternative medicine practitioners have been bottling botanical tinctures and homeopathic remedies for centuries. Take, for example, Rudolf Steiner — the Austrian scientist and philosopher launched his Weleda skin care range in the 1920s using flowers, herbs and other extracts cultivated on biodynamic farms. Or the Vienna-born chemist Rudolf Hauschka, who took inspiration from the rhythms of nature when co-creating his Dr. Hauschka line of essential-oil-spiked elixirs in 1967 — long before self-care Sundays were a thing.
Now, a new guard of European scientists and skin experts is combining an old-world respect for nature with the latest advancements in chemistry to perfect the skin. Newly arriving in the U.S. this month: The Cream and The Cream Rich ($265 each) from Augustinus Bader, a German university professor who has spent the last three decades working as a specialist in the field of regenerative medicine. In 2007, Bader developed a breakthrough hydrogel that eliminates the need for skin grafts in some burn patients (just one of the 200-plus patents he holds). Tapping into similar self-healing technology, his creams contain a complex of amino acids, vitamins and compounds that mimic those naturally found in the skin and help minimize everything from fine lines to redness to dark spots. “It takes skin care to the next level; it’s about achieving skin health through physiologic and innate ways,” Bader says. The collection is also boosted with evening primrose, avocado and argan oils — and it gives back. Part of the proceeds from the range will fund the Augustinus Bader Foundation, which provides free hydrogel treatments to clinics that treat burn victims.