WWD: Augustinus Bader Applies Stem Cell Research to New Skin-Care Line

WWD: Augustinus Bader Applies Stem Cell Research to New Skin-Care Line

09 February 2018

"The new product could replace a lengyhy, multi-step skin-care routine."

Augustinus Bader Applies Stem Cell Research to New Skin-Care Line.
The new product could replace a lengthy, multi-step skin-care routine.

German professor Augustinus Bader has adapted his groundbreaking medical treatment for burn victims into a consumer-facing skin-care brand.

This was no small task, according to the expert in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering (who's also the director and professor of applied stem cell biology and cell technology at the University of Leipzig). He drew parallels between his intrinsic stem cell research and the aging process, which influenced the development of his namesake skin-care line, Augustinus Bader.

The line contains two products to start, The Cream and The Rich Cream, each retailing for $265. They launch on augustinusbader.com Monday, followed by a rollout on violetgrey.com in April. An Augustinus Bader flagship opened in Paris on the Garden of Palais Royal last month and the brand will also be carried at 10 Corso Como in Milan.

While the price might seem steep for a new brand that few people have heard of yet, Bader insisted that using just one product – The Cream, or The Rich Cream if skin is dry – could replace a lengthy, multi-step skin-care routine. He is confident in the formula's abilities to stimulate intrinsic stem cell repair to reverse the signs of aging (as well as minimize frown lines, even tone and provide "surface level support" to hydrate skin and increase volume).

From most brands this would come off as marketing spiel, but Bader's research and medical findings appear to back up his claim.

During an interview at The Greenwich Hotel in Manhattan's TriBeCa, Professor Bader pulled up a series of images on his laptop as proof. The first was of a two-and-a-half year-old girl with second-degree burns on both of her legs, from calves to feet, a result of standing in scalding water (a "freak accident," he noted). Normally, he explained, a series of eight to 20 surgeries would have been needed to heal the child's skin — but he took an approach that didn't require a single surgery.

He flipped through images that documented the toddler's healing process following his treatment. The photo he was referring to was taken 10 days after treatment, and by the next photo, taken 14 days after treatment, the burns were almost entirely healed. In the last image, taken a full year later, the skin was completely healed.

Professor Bader, who promised it was indeed the same girl in all of these photos, said that this treatment - a medical grade hydrogel he developed that could reverse the effects of burn trauma - became the foundation of what's since become a cosmetic skin-care product.

Going into more detail, he revealed that three decades of research led to the creation of this Momentum Bionics hydrogel, which contains TFC1 (the first iteration of the complex TFC8 that's in the cosmetic grade cream). Professor Bader found the key to activating and orchestrating the body's stem cells using a technology he refers to as the ABC Method. This method, he explained, addresses the three distinct functions (Activate, Boost and Commit) that must happen simultaneously for the body's natural healing processes to occur.

According to Professor Bader – with his before-and-after photographs as proof and as documented by the hundreds of patients who've undergone this treatment since 2008 - the hydrogel can eradicate the need for skin grafts or any operations at all.

For the first five years following the breakthrough, Professor Bader's focus remained on his medical research. Developing any sort of product that addressed skin aging wasn't even on his radar until he crossed paths with Charles Rosier, a Paris-based financier. The two met in 2013 while Professor Bader was seeking funding to develop and clinically test his medical findings.

It was Rosier who initially posed the question that if Professor Bader's treatment could heal skin that severely burned (and scar free, no less), what would the implications be for healthy – albeit aging - skin? It was also Rosier's idea to develop a cream that addressed skin aging for consumers at scale and build a business that could ultimately serve as a platform to generate funds for future medical innovations. Bader was reluctant to enter the world of consumer skin care, but 18 months later he changed his mind. It turned out that in this time he had quietly made the cream and was giving it to patients in his clinic in Germany, where he found the results to be "remarkable." Rosier became a partner in the venture.

"The complexity in applying a medical technology to a consumer skin care was situational. With the hydrogel, it came from a situation where we had wounds with open skin in a clinical setting. It was complicated to change the approach for intact skin. It's totally different; you can compare it a little to cooking, where you give ingredients to someone who makes a beautiful dinner," said Professor Bader, pointing out that the same ingredients can yield two very different outcomes.

Once on board, Professor Bader's research led to the development of what he called TFC8, his proprietary Trigger Factor Complex that's comprised of approximately 40 natural amino acids, peptides, high-grade vitamins and synthesized molecules naturally found in skin. The complex guides key nutrients and natural ingredients to the skin cells, creating an optimal environment for the body's innate processes to create “repair signals."

"There is a misconception that our bodies are somehow lacking in stem cells, or that we lose stem cells as we age. That is not the case. We're born with billions of stem cells, an overabundance. The challenge is not with the stem cells, it's with the communications signals. I've found that there are only two factors that can reduce these communications signals - age and trauma,” Professor Bader explained.

"It's The Cream more of an enabling technology that helps the user's own skin become healthy by physiologic intrinsic mechanisms," he continued. “The cream allows skin to assume a physiologic process of remodeling in a totally natural way. The products tap into the kind of biological wisdom innate to us, which becomes expressed naturally when using the cream."

A minimalist skin-care routine will always be core to the brand's tenets, the professor and Rosier promised, but the plan is to roll out complementary items such as a cleanser, body oil, face masks and travel-size versions of the two original creams (all containing TFC8).