Augustinus Bader's secret TFC-8 ingredient Uncovered

Patented and uber luxurious, what exactly is the secret sauce of the Bader line

Almost daily, we get questions about Augustinus Bader, The Cream. The hype around this brand, specifically this product is so huge. Makes you wonder when the hype is so strong, what is real and what are paid endorsements?

The difficulty we've had finding a dupe for this particular product is their secret ingredient "TFC-8", or "Trigger Factor Complex" that's listed in the INCI. All we know is the brand’s claim that "TFC-8® comprises natural amino acids, high-grade vitamins and synthesized molecules naturally found in skin. It guides key nutrients and powerful natural ingredients to the skin cells.." and so on and so on. Doesn't it sound like they are suggesting there's a big list of ingredients represented by TFC-8 that they're not individually disclosing on the box?

Seems like a rather risky move. What if people are allergic? So that has led some blogs like Truth in Aging to suspect that maybe all the ingredients that make up Trigger Factor Complex are actually already listed in the INCI and the call-out of TFC-8 is just a red herring meant to throw us off. Well it wouldn't be the first time red herrings are thrown around in skincare marketing!

Highly unsatisfied with this conclusion however: we did more digging. We found several patents granted to the Bader brand and in these extremely complex documents (despite our legal backgrounds!), we've found what appears to be a definition for Trigger Factor Complex.

From the patent itself: "Trigger Factor Complex consists of water, ethanol, glycerol, vitamin E acetate, hydrogenated lecithin, cholesterol, L-arginine, L-phenylalanine, L-lysine, L-alanine-glutamine, L-tryptophane, L-tyrosine, L-valine, L-Prolin, L-taurine, ceramide NG, ceramide NP, oleic acid, palmitic acid, sodium ascorbate, phenoxyethanol, mustard seed oil, EDTA, oligopeptide."

So there you have it! Mystery solved! We’ve updated all the INCIs for the Bader products in Skincare Compare (and the ones he made for Posh Spice) to reflect this hugely satisfying find. We haven’t found a perfect dupe yet, but we’re getting that much closer. You can check out the latest dupe results for Augustinus Bader here.

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by Stella