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A Skin Whisperer's Secret To A Head-To-Toe Glow

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The Violet Files

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How celebrity facialist, Melanie Grant, does allover pampering—and gets perfect skin while doing it.

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augustinus bader

The first Augustinus Bader product I ever tried was The Rich Cream. It was so nourishing and I loved that it didn’t leave behind a heavy residue, which is a very difficult balance to find in richer formulas. I tend to struggle with dry skin at the best of times, but I had been flying a lot and my skin had become particularly compromised. At that point, I wasn’t having much luck with my regular concoctions, but after only two days, The Rich Cream worked like magic. Redness, tightness, and irritation — even my dermatitis — started to subside. By the time a week had gone by, my skin was back to normal, and by week four, my team and clients had started commenting on my skin — the noticeable improvement in brightness, clarity, and elasticity had elicited compliments. Needless to say, I’ve been using and working with the range ever since.

The secret to Professor Augustinus Bader’s formulations is his proprietary Trigger Factor Complex, which is the embodiment of 30 years of research in both plastic and reconstructive surgery, predominantly with burn victims. In short, this complex boosts the communication between the cells to activate your skin’s reparative and regenerative activity. It’s a common misconception that the TFC8 delivers stem cells directly to the skin. It doesn’t. Instead, it transports a well-designed cocktail of amino acids, peptides, ceramides, vitamins, and other vital molecules that is essential for stimulating optimal skin function. That liquid gold is what’s infused into every formula.

Lately, I’ve been using The Rich Cream in the morning with SPF, and in the evenings, I’ll use the new The Cleansing Gel, which is extra gentle on the acid mantle and provides a thorough and effective cleanse without leaving skin parched. I like to work it into my skin and then let it sit for a few minutes to give the TFC8 time to sink in and the AHAs a chance to dissolve debris. I’ve also been using The Exfoliating Toner/The Essence two to three times a week in the evenings before my serums. It’s a triple threat — a toner, exfoliant, and essence in one, so it’s great if you’re short for time or prefer a less-is-more approach. With this lightweight fluid, it’s just as much about what it gives back to skin (all that good TFC8) as what it takes away, which is dullness and dead skin thanks to refining AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs. Apply it with cotton rounds and use a pressing motion rather than dragging or wiping it along your skin. Because of its lightweight consistency, I think the TFC8 in this format penetrates exceptionally well. You’ll also find that you get better absorption of any actives you apply on top. Then, I follow with some form of retinol and more of The Rich Cream, which is the one mainstay in my routine no matter what. It’s a little lush, but I always have two to three bottles in my vanity so I never, ever run out.

To boost lipid content and nourishment, my favorite trick is to add a few drops of The Face Oil into The Cream, warm the mixture up in my hands, and then press it into my face. A lot of people are intimidated by facial oils and get worried about blemishes, oiliness, and congestion, but this one is designed for all skin types and is great for those concerned with sensitivity, dullness, and laxity. It’s lightweight, absorbs almost instantly, and leaves skin feeling conditioned, supple, and comforted. On top of TFC8, there’s also conditioning babassu, anti-microbial karanja, and renewing pomegranate, plus beautiful botanicals like licorice, carrot, and seabuckthorn to brighten, energize, and shield the complexion from free radical damage. If you have a lot of sun damage or are worried about laxity, this is the product for you.

As for the skin on my body, I’m trying to pay special care because I’ve been indoors and more sedentary this year. I love dry-brushing in the morning to flush stagnant lymph, then hop in the shower and give myself a rigorous exfoliation with coffee grounds. Once I towel off, I apply a generous amount of The Body Cream. I also love The Body Oil as it’s been quite cold in Sydney lately. It’s especially genius for hands, cuticles, feet, and elbows for added hydration.

When it comes to TFC8, I don’t think you can overdo it; your skin will take what it needs and the rest is like skinsurance. With the Augustinus Bader collection, it’s more about choosing the right delivery system and consistency for you, so consider how your skin is feeling and go with that as your guide. On the days I use Bader from top to toe, I feel so indulgent, especially as it relates to the effort it takes to truly care for myself. It’s amazing how a bit of TLC can boost your mood, ease stress and tension, and help you feel more comfortable in your own skin. I know it’s not for everyone. But there is something about having a streamlined, high-performance regime that is all thought out for you. It’s quite freeing. All you have to do is dive in.


Name: Melanie Grant | @melaniegrantskin
Job Description: Celebrity esthetician
Where to Find Her: Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris
Beauty Essential: Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream