“Let’s say it was ethical, which it’s not, you can’t put stem cells in a cream and rub it on your skin,” says Ranella Hirsch, MD, a Boston dermatologist and co-founder of Atolla (now part of Beauty Features). A stem cell is too large to penetrate the top layer of human skin, so a moisturizer packed with them would probably be as restorative as a handful of drugstore body lotion.
The experts I talk to are not aware of any breakthroughs in topically applied regenerative formulas. “There have been so many supposed ‘stem cell creams’ over the years,” says one professor of stem cell biology at an American university. (He knows about Augustinus Bader The Cream, but didn’t know scientist Augustin Bader before.) “As a stem cell biologist, it’s hard for me to imagine that a cream can stimulate stem cells in a positive way.” A reconstructive surgeon who has published research on stem cells and bone healing is also skeptical of the product’s ability to induce cellular regeneration. “It is possible,” they say. “Is it likely? Probably not.”
The brand says that the thread that connects Bader’s products to its clinical success is TFC-8, or the patented Trigger Factor Complex, which “supports the skin’s innate potential for renewal.” What does such a recovery look like? Skin that is “fresh, supple, plump and smooth”. The brand isn’t disclosing the exact composition of TFC 8, but a patent Bader filed in 2017 for skin care ingredients derived from the regenerative hormone erythropoietin appears to list a “trigger factor complex” in more detail: amino acids, several moisturizers. lipids, some emollients for a good skin feel. The ingredients list on the box of the Cream includes aloe, shea butter, glycerin, ceramides, squalane, and vitamins A, C, and E. Three cosmetic chemists and two dermatologists I ask to review the possible formulation of Bader’s patent respond on a scale between disapproval and vague approval . (In an effort to get the most unbiased feedback possible, Lure he didn’t share a brand name with them.) At the molecular level, it’s chemically elegant but can lack novelty. “It’s somewhat unique to have all these amino acids in a skin care product, but amino acids have been well described as important in antiaging,” says dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, director of skin color. department of dermatology at the University of Miami. “All the other ingredients look pretty standard.
An independently conducted, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on Augustinus Bader The Cream might help assuage skepticism, but such clinical rigor is almost never applied to over-the-counter skin care products. However, Augustinus Bader had The Cream evaluated by an independent laboratory using 90 participants in a four-week (simple blinded, not placebo-controlled) clinical trial. Subjects were tested using a corneometer (to measure hydration), a profilometer (to catalog the depth of wrinkles), and an undisclosed human eye (to see their visible beauty). Results: 32.74 percent of fine lines and wrinkles were reduced and skin looked 52.94 percent younger. The amino acids, lipids, and emollients in this “trigger factor complex” really smooth and brighten the skin’s surface, and experts we ask to review the available clinical information are almost unanimously impressed with the results. Dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, emphasizes the wrinkle claim as a special grail: “Wrinkle reduction is difficult and impressive.” Chemist Kelly Dobos approves of the results, but also notes that she saw a basic moisturizer with a placebo reduce wrinkles by 20 percent in four weeks. However, based on the limited information provided, experts are unable to identify the engine behind these results. The brand refuses to provide details of a full clinical trial or insight into The Cream’s proprietary complex. It can only be confirmed that The Cream is a good product, wrapped in brain-melting, dazzling marketing. “Augustin Bader skin care is certainly genius,” says another dermatologist with expertise in wound healing. “But it’s a case study for Harvard Business School, not Harvard Medical School.