Behind Augustinus Bader and Melanie Grant’s New Australian Partnership

Discovering which skincare brand to stock can be a tough decision for any salon owner. On a recent trip to Sydney, world renowned Professor Augustinus Bader, a director and professor of applied stem cell biology and cell technology and award-winning skincare specialist and author Melanie Grant sat down with Anita Quade to discuss their skincare partnership.

Melanie Grant

Melanie you are known for curating an exclusive collection of skincare at your signature spaces – How did you find Augustinus Bader (AB)?

“I was first introduced to AB through my friend Karla in Paris more than five years ago when the brand had just launched. I was given both The Cream and The Rich Cream to try and was instantly taken with the fact that – not only was the formula elegant and a pleasure to use – it was so effective. It was a particularly cold winter in Paris and my skin was sensitised, dry and red from the harsh wind, cold temperature, heating and the hard water in Paris. I used The Rich Cream before going to bed one night and the results were incredible, my skin continued to improve throughout the week – I was hooked. I’ve used it on my own skin and worked with the range in each of my studios ever since.”

What draws your clients to the brand?

“There really is a shared sensibility between my practice and the Bader philosophy – that is in championing a “less but better” approach to the treatment and maintenance of the skin. My clients are used to adhering to very specific, high- performance regimes but most of them are only following a handful of steps morning and evening. Being able to trust a formula’s ability to do the heavy lifting for you and create true and tangible changes in the skin is rare, but these are formulas that really deliver. It’s quality over quantity, which is why Bader has become such a core range for us over the years.”

Why is it so popular and a top seller for clients looking for the ultimate glowing skin?

“Augustinus Bader and its celebrated TFC8 complex has emerged from over 30 years of biomedical research and development, proven to activate and harness the human body’s capacity to heal and reawaken cells that have become dormant through ageing or trauma. This means that each formula is highly adaptable, working with the unique needs of the particular skin it’s being applied to with the intention of rebalancing, curbing inflammation and boosting your own innate functions of regeneration and repair. It works cohesively with the skin’s own innate processes rather than relying on topical actives to deliver a result.”

Any favourite products?

“While travelling, I find I become quite loyal to the range because the products work so well together – it’s really easy. Taking the fuss out of packing and trusting that my skin will be best prepared to navigate the stresses of long haul flights, jet lag and variations in climate without much reactivity is half the battle for me. When I’m home, I use The Rich Cream every evening, or I’ll do a firm massage with The Cream Face Mask and tissue off the excess before hopping into bed if my skin is feeling a little dull, devitalised or lacklustre. The Serum is a beautiful addition to any regime – it’s so multifunctional that you don’t need much else. It plumps, firms, hydrates, brightens and shields against pollution, oxidative stressors and environmental aggressors.”

“It’s quality over quantity, which is why Bader has become such a core range for us over the years.” – Melanie Grant

Professor Augustinus Bader

You are a bio-scientist – how did you make the leap to being the founder of one of the most highly acclaimed skincare brands in the world within such a short amount of time?

“Creating a skincare product wasn’t something I had previously imagined. My work has always been in medical research as a professor and a physician. I initially created a medical-grade hydrogel to treat patients, and in particular, children with severe burns, aimed at providing scarless healing. When Imet Charles Rosier (Augustinus Bader’s Co-Founder and CEO), he had the vision to apply my medical background and knowledge of cellular renewal to create a new generation of especially efficacious consumer skincare products.”

How did this result in the cult brand now lauded around the world?

“We integrated this science into specific and uniquely different cosmetic formulations to deliver the best results for all skin types. Another major point for me as a physician is to never compromise so that our formulations are among the cleanest on the market.”

Your background in stem cell research has contributed to the brand’s development – what sets your skincare brand apart from others on the market?

“I am a scientist by profession and don’t have a traditional beauty product development background. I spent three decades at the forefront of regenerative medicine, researching and developing technologies that activate and harness the human body’s capacity to heal and renew itself in conditions of trauma and inflammation. That research paid off in 2008 when I developed a revolutionary wound gel that would provide scar-free healing for patients without the need for surgery or skin grafts. This all led me to the creation of a non-medical skincare mechanism, TFC8® Trigger Factor Complex TFC™, our proprietary technology that targets common skincare complaints like the appearance of wrinkles, dryness, etc. Our DNA is different from other companies. We have built the identity of Augustinus Bader through the quality of our skincare.”

Why is the brand so successful?

“We are backed by 30 years of science and undergo rigorous testing to ensure the efficacy of our products. The key to our success is creating formulations that genuinely work.”

What has been one of your most memorable moments in the skincare industry since launching?

“It is gratifying to see how many people have been helped by our skincare. Word of mouth by satisfied users has been the best response and has driven significant brand awareness, making us proud to realise this, and helping us to further push our ambitious plans.”

Any lessons you can share with skincare creators?

“Healthy skin means a status of physiological harmony of the biological system. In this condition, everything functions to the best of its innate capacity. We can’t disconnect our skin from the rest of the system. Our appearance is reflected in the quality of our whole lifestyle, from emotional health, nutrition and even the air we breathe. That is why I developed our products based on my understanding of the body’s protection and care needs for our skin cells. Keeping your skin healthy will give you an abundance of protection for the rest of your life. It is a part of being healthy as a human being.”

“We are backed by 30 years of science and undergo rigorous testing to ensure the efficacy of our products. The key to our success is creating formulations that genuinely work.”

Tell us about your hero product The Rich Cream – what makes this such a cult stand out?

“The key to our success is creating formulations that genuinely work. They work because they’re based upon the physiological knowledge of the skin’s intrinsic repair code that originated from my medical research. The Rich Cream and The Cream are our original hero products, and they’re beloved by our customers including celebrities, makeup artists, and estheticians. The Rich Cream leverages our proprietary TFC8® technology along with other key active ingredients to target common skincare concerns such as anti-aging, hyperpigmentation, and elasticity while also deeply nourishing and hydrating the skin. The results speak for themselves — we’ve won more than 100 global industry awards, and people’s skin is visibly healthier just weeks into using our products.”

How long does it take in the research and development process to launch these products?

“The complexity of translating medical technology into consumer skincare was situational. The wound gel came from a situation where we had open skin wounds in a clinical setting. It was complicated to change the approach for intact skin as it has to navigate the body’s natural healing code differently. After nearly two years of research and development, I created our proprietary technology, TFC8® which would provide a similar self-repair reaction through a complex cocktail of high- grade vitamins, amino acids, and compounds.”

Tell us about your plans here on your visit to Australia?

“It is my first time in Australia so I am very excited to see everything, meet people and understand their skin concerns and needs. It has beautiful beaches and the sun is great but I also see that sun exposure is a real concern here. I see that our products are very relevant for the Australian consumers as it helps address the concerns of sun damage, premature aging and we have a sunscreen in the pipeline which I believe will be very suitable for Australia.”

You are stocked at Melanie Grant salon – how important is it to develop a synergy with the right salons across the globe and how do you decide where to stock?

“In our never-ending quest to offer the very best in skincare and treatments, we have partnered with luxury resorts, first-class hotels and salons worldwide to offer the ultimate combination of science and luxury in a professional setting. ‘The Circle of Excellence’ as we call our selection of high end professional doors is guaranteed to the consumer an extraordinary journey as well as the service excellence in performing The Method AB in a bespoke and best possible way. The understanding of the skin, our proprietary technology embedded in an outstanding environment allows to expect the best experience possible – in alignment with the promise of AB skincare to serve the skin at the highest individual level according to the needs in the here and now!”

You have also worked on collaborations with celebrities including Victoria Beckham – how important is this to align with well-known people for launches?

“Our partnership with Victoria happened in a very organic and natural way. Victoria had always posted about loving our creams. She then approached us to help develop a protective product that would not only combine well with makeup, but also improve the health and structure of the skin. It seemed like a no-brainer for us to extend into the makeup space. Augustinus Bader is so much more than a skincare brand – it’s a lifestyle and a way of thinking. We are committed to building a collective of like-minded individuals that have a similar brand ethos, and we love combining our vision, expertise, and teams to make these collaborations happen.”

Can you share with us your plans for the year ahead?

“Since the brand’s launch, we have always focused our efforts on constant research and innovation, creating the most technologically advanced formulas and growing our portfolio of products to address customer needs. We are always in the lab looking to improve and innovate, and are committed to bringing forth only the highest quality products that truly work for our consumers.”

This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2024 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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