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Cleansers are one of those grooming products that just aren’t sexy. Serums? They can be lust-worthy. Facial oils? Definitely. Utilitarian face wash, however, rarely rises above its humble purpose: to scrub away grime. But leave it to Dr. Augustinus Bader, whose cult favorite The Cream recently earned our Best of the Best honor (and is about as sexy as moisturizer gets), to prove that cleanser can be more than just a means to a purified end.
A bit of background for those who haven’t joined the Bader Devotee Club (I’ve been a member for around three years): Professor Bader spent the first 25 years of his career studying stem cells and their ability to heal the skin, eventually distilling that knowledge into a compound that mimics the body’s own stem cells and prompts the skin to naturally regenerate itself. In other words, it boosts the body’s built-in repair system to yield fresh, glowy skin.
That proprietary formula, Trigger Factor Complex 8 or TFC8, is what pushes Bader’s new The Cream Cleansing Gel above and beyond your standard face wash. It harnesses TCF8 to jumpstart the cellular renewal process and effectively prepare the skin to reap the most benefits from any subsequently-applied products. It’s hard for me to say if it’s the TCF8 in the cleansing gel or the cream, but after using the cleanser for two weeks my skin is as smooth and evenly-toned as ever. One thing that has been a clear result of using the cleansing gel: my skin feels more balanced and moisturized, even without any actual moisturizer.
The lightweight cleanser—which, as the name implies, has a texture that’s somewhere between a creamy gel and a gel-like cream—is formulated with fatty acids and soothing ingredients like cucumber extract and aloe, which left my skin feeling more nourished than my usual drugstore face wash. It doesn’t work up the sudsy lather that one may be accustomed to—at first, I wondered if it had really washed away anything at all. But after rinsing and drying, I found my skin felt squeaky clean without being dried out. Rather than simply stripping the skin, The Cream Cleansing Gel sloughs off dirt and oil while keeping the good stuff (aka the skin’s natural moisture barrier) intact.
My general logic when it comes to cleanser has always been: for something that’s only on my face for about a minute each day, what’s the need for anything more than the most basic of basics? The Cream Cleansing Gel has changed my thinking. Particularly when used in tandem with The Cream, it has shown that all it takes are two superlative products to deliver skin at its best. Apologies to the other seductive tinctures in my medicine cabinet—for now, I’m happy to be in a committed relationship with Dr. Bader.