An honest review of Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream

The first pricey jar of skin cream I ever bought was Crème de la Mer. It did not deliver the Rich Girl Skin I was hoping for, but that hasn't stopped me from trying every fancy potion that has come along since. So far, the closest thing I've found to a magical elixir is Vintner's Daughter, but it's not quite mind-blowing enough to convince me to keep paying $185 every month or two. I've been reading the most rapturous reviews in years, however, for Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, so when a bottle showed up on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to try it. Here's my honest, unfiltered review.

The Rich Cream

Bader started out with two products, The Cream and The Rich Cream. I haven't tried the former, so I can't offer a side-by-side comparison at the moment, but The Rich Cream is meant for drier skin in drier climates, which is me in a nutshell. Both formulas are $170 for 1 oz., making them a wee bit less than Vintner's Daughter. But what really differentiates The Cream is its proprietary ingredient, TFCB®, a chemical developed to treat burn victims that turned out to have magical barrier-protection properties. (Note: I'm using that term instead of "anti-aging," since aging is inevitable, and the signs of such—lines, wrinkles, discoloration—are actually caused by environmental exposure. Plus, it's a term that carries a lot of fear and shame, and those two things are not welcome here at Cheryl Shops.) I love a good luxury face cream, but I love a clean one even more, and all Bader products now fall under the Clean at Sephora seal, meaning they contain no sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, talc, nor a bunch of other iffy chemicals; reportedly they did have to tweak their formulas slightly to meet these criteria, not that I had any inside information on that. ;) 

The Rich Cream comes in a gorgeous, substantial glass bottle with an airtight pump, which is a plus if you're worried about contamination or formula instability. I am a big fan of the packaging, although the cream is so thick that it often struggles through the pump. There is no scent to the cream, which should also be a plus for those with sensitive skin and/or allergies. It's recommended that you use two pumps of The Rich Cream twice daily on clean skin and—this is the important part—no other skincare products. I did not exactly follow those instructions, but with the exception of eye cream and SPF, I did stop using my other serums and creams for an entire month. Here's how that worked out. 

My honest review

What I liked: I've seen people call The Rich Cream "Botox in a bottle," but as someone who is a card-carrying member of that manufacturer's loyalty program, I can unequivocally tell you that anyone who refers to something as "Botox in a WHATEVER" has never had Botox. That said, The Rich Cream does make my skin super soft and plump, and that effect lasts all day. In spite of its richness (more on that later), this cream did not make me break out—in fact, my pores actually seem less clogged than normal. I find that The Rich Cream works quite well under makeup too, so that's a plus. And while I definitely have less redness than normal, it hasn't gone away completely. I love the bottle—it feels substantial and luxurious, and while I don't mind a jar of cream, I like the lack of mess and the control that comes with the pump. 

What I didn't like: The very name The Rich Cream evokes luxury, but the texture of said cream does not do it for me. It is THICC-thick with a glue-like texture that I find hard to warm up and effectively spread into my skin. That said, once it's on, it does sink in very well; I never felt greasy or like it was sitting on top of my skin. The bigger issue that I had is there's clearly a reason you're told not to use it in conjunction with other products; I had been absent-mindedly using an alpha-beta hydroxy toner before putting on the cream and it took me several weeks to pinpoint this as the cause of the MAJORLY irritated skin (I'm talking redness, bumps, blood vessels) on my cheeks. Once I cut out the toner, the irritation went away, but wow, it makes you wonder what exactly is in this stuff. And while I totally take responsibility for not following the instructions, still, a more detailed warning would have been preferred. My biggest disappointment, though, was that the glow and radiance that I was hoping for just wasn't there. If I'm spending $170 on a cream, I'd better be getting some major Rich Girl Skin, and while after nearly two months of usage my skin looks pretty good, it doesn't look amazing. That said, there are definitely devotees of the cream out there, and just because it didn't have transformative effects for me doesn't mean it won't for you either. 

TL:DR The Rich Cream is a perfectly good cream, but it's not $170 good. 

Where to buy it

From time to time, it is possible to score a slight discount on The Rich Cream; I suggest checking out  these retailers:

Cos Bar (a special thank you to Cos Bar for sending me a bottle for free!) 



Violet Grey

Bergdorf Goodman

Neiman Marcus

Saks Fifth Avenue


Lovely said...

I like that this cream doesn't have fragrance and the packaging look neat too! Thanks for your honest review!

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

I just wanted to sayy that I always read your post but I can't comment on my phone at your posts. So not that you think I never read it!! LOl. Have a good weekend Cheryl.

natalie blair said...

Oh girl I can help you get that perfect skincare cream that is far less than this. Skincare is all I talk about and research!!

Some of the best creams at affordable prices are:

Kiehl's Ultra Face Cream
CeraVe daily moisturizing lotion
Glow Recipe retinol melt sleeping mask
glossier priming moisturizer

If you Instagram, find me there @itsthatglow and I can totally help you out!

I wanted that La Mer moisturizer myself because I got a sample of it. It smells sooooo good! But I couldn't bring myself to spend that much. So I feel you totally!

Mica said...

It's a shame that this cream didn't work when it's so expensive! I don't like the idea that you can't use it with other products either although I supposed if you'd blow the budget on that cream you wouldn't want to have to buy other products too, haha! :)

Hope that you are having a nice weekend :) Another cold one here, but it has stopped raining!

Away From The Blue

Laura B said...

Thanks for your honest review of this! I have a hard time purchasing expensive products like this because you can't guarantee results.

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Cheryl, thanks so much for sharing this honest review! Your complete honesty is much appreciated. I have tried a few luxury skin care brands over the years and honestly, I like Pond's cold cream the best! It is actually the only face moisturizer so far that the scent doesn't offend me! Thanks for linking!


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