In the unwritten beauty dictionary, "reformulation" is a dirty word. After all, beauty is personal, and when you find something that works for you, a brand's decision to tweak an existing formula can feel like a direct betrayal — as evidenced by the one-star reviews of "BRING BACK THE OLD FORMULA!!!" you can find on thousands of product pages across the internet. There are myriad reasons why a company might change the ingredients of a beloved product — to cut costs, account for ingredient shortages, remove controversial chemicals... — but for Professor Augustinus Bader, there is only one: to make that product better.
Bader, co-founder of his eponymous brand, is careful to refer to the new version of his best-selling The Rich Cream as an upgrade, not a reformulation. Indeed, all of the qualities that have earned the moisturizer its loyal fanbase of celebrities and beauty editors since its launch in 2018, like the patented Trigger Factor Complex (or TFC8), remain untouched. They didn't have to change the formula, but Bader and his team just see things differently — they want to stay on the cutting edge of what you can find in consumer skin care. And so they make small tweaks to improve upon what's already there, the way you might start with one recipe and add a little more brown sugar or a little less salt to taste the next time around. It's The Rich Cream 2.0, not 1.0 redux.
"We are always in the lab looking to improve and innovate," Bader says. "The Rich Cream upgrade takes all the best of the original award-winning formula and raises the bar. We saw unparalleled clinical and user trial results, the texture is rich and nourishing, and as a plus, this version is also vegan." The Rich Cream was originally formulated with beeswax and lanolin; without them, the formula is now 100% vegan, which Bader calls "the ultimate sign of respect for nature." Hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed rice protein joined the lineup for additional hydrating and skin-strengthening benefits. (The results of a clinical trial of 30 participants over one month reported a 145% improvement level in skin hydration.)
I've used the original Rich Cream formula on and off since I first got my grubby hands on it soon after its initial launch, and its stem-cell technology that essentially tells your own dormant cells what to do has been a revelation for my dehydrated yet acne-prone skin. In the spirit of transparency, the only reason I ever swap in something else is because, used morning and night, I go through a full-size bottle in about 30 days — and, at $265 for 50 ml, The Rich Cream is not the kind of thing my monthly budget has room for once my free press sample runs dry.
After using the updated formula at night for about a week, I found it to have the same transformative results that have kept me hooked on the original, clearing pigmentation from breakouts past and smoothing out the dry patches around my nose with equal efficacy. The new Rich Cream feels better to me sensorially; it blends to a silky, balanced finish, whereas the original sometimes felt a little sticky to the touch and on my pillowcase (likely due to the beeswax or lanolin). TBD on the long-term benefits, but so far the difference is negligible in the best possible way. I will happily continue to have a very real feeling of dread every time I sense I'm starting to run low — but first I'll finish my half-full bottle of the old formula, because I'll be damned if a drop of The Rich Cream ever goes to waste.
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