Glass speaks to natural and organic beauty pioneer Susanne Kaufmann

NATURAL and organic beauty might be the norm now but industry maverick Susanne Kaufmann was way ahead of the game when she launched her line of skincare products back in 2003. The superlative range of creams, oils and serums was originally intended only for use at the spa located in Hotel Post Bezau, a luxury property in the Austrian Alps owned by the Kaufmann family. Such was the demand by guests, though, that it was only a matter of time before the line became available in stylish boutiques around the world.

Susanne Kaufmann_Spa (14)

Susanne Kaufmann

Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, a number of special, limited edition products were recently released to mark the occasion. Glass had the pleasure of speaking with Kaufmann herself, gaining an insight into her views on natural beauty and the model for her expanding business over the past decade and a half.

Susanne_KaufmannSusanne Kaufmann

Susanne, congratulations on your 15th anniversary! What motivated you to launch your skincare brand in 2003?
I did not set up Susanne Kaufmann out of the need to create an international beauty brand, but simply out of the realisation that there was no skincare for our in-house Susanne Kaufmann Spa on the market more than 15 years ago.

I was searching for effective, but natural products (still a novelty at that time!). The texture should be luxurious, the fragrance unique and the packaging puristic yet elegant. After I could not find that, the only way was to try it myself.

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Susanne Kaufmann Anti Aging Body Cream

How would you say the range has evolved over the past 15 years in terms of its ethos and aims?
About 18 months  ago we had a workshop for the brand to check our philosophy and principles. We have done this the second time in 15 years and it was great to see that the values and principles, which drove me to found this company are still the same. Yet the aims have changed slightly. At the beginning, I had the idea to create a brand for my own hotel spa only and never thought about distribution, which started in 2010.

We were focused on getting better at our own hotel spa in Bezau but with the first opening of a Susanne Kaufmann spa at another hotel, this changed. Now we have the goal to expand our spa concept for other hotels.

Susanne Kaufmann_Spa (14)Susanne Kaufmann Bath oils

The Hotel Post Bezau in the Austrian Alps, which your family has owned for generations, was the starting point in many ways for your education in herbs and plants – ingredients that went on to become integral to your face and body products. Did you always intend to make a natural skincare range?
No, but I always loved the power of nature and was fascinated by old recipes. I studied hospitality and when I took over the hotel at the age of 23, I had to find my way first. We always had a spa in the hotel but back then it didn’t play a major role. When I realized my passion for treatments and beauty products, I completely renovated the spa and transformed it. The development of a skincare brand reflecting this came automatically.

Susanne Kaufmann Best of Body set

 What can visitors expect when they visit your Spa at Hotel Post Bezau?
Beauty expertise, deceleration, health and beauty combined, mindfulness

There is growing trend for beauty that is concerned with “wellness” – have you been surprised by this development in the industry over the past decade? Wellbeing and emotional health have been at the heart of your skincare since the start.
It wasn’t the development that surprised me, but the pace. Now it has become such a big market, which makes it even more important to follow your principals and philosophy, and not to follow trends.

Susanna KaufmannFace_Broad_Spectrum_Protection_Sunscreen_webSusanna Kaufmann Face Broad Spectrum Protection Sunscreen

Can you tell me some of your favourite products from your line? And what you would recommend for those who have not yet experienced Susanne Kaufmann skincare?
I swear by our Eye Cream Line A, it’s one of my favourite products. Use eye cream daily because the first impression of a person is always reflected through their eyes. I sometimes use the eye cream Line A as a mask and put a thick layer around my eyes. It is a wonder weapon – you will look fresh and well rested the next day.

Lifting mask Line A, because it has a particularly strong, immediately firming and smoothing effect. It’s a classic cream formula and I leave it on for about 15 minutes and rinse of with warm water. I really like the mask because it gives skin a refreshed, flawless glow.

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Susanne Kaufmann products

Our new Pollution Skin Defence System, a 15-day skin renewal treatment that helps the skin cope better with harmful environmental influences. The result is a youthful, fresh and smooth complexion. For the first 5 days, you apply every day an ampoule of the Vitamin C serum to the skin in the evening.

The Anti-Pollution Active Ingredient Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals, released by environmental stress, through eliminating inflammatory processes in the skin. Vitamin C stimulates the skin’s own defenses and releases the skin’s detoxification pathways.The next five  days you continue with 5 Ectoin ampoules. Ectoin acts as a “molecular companion” preventing premature cell damage. The Ectoin ampoule thus increases cell protection, improves the skin density and thus also the capacity of the skin to store moisture.

And you finish the treatment with five ampoules Q10. The enzyme Q10 is irreplaceable for the cellular metabolism, but due to stress and harmful environmental influences, our endogenic Q10 is quickly depleted. The Q10 ampule boosts collagen production and cell metabolism while keeping oxidative stress away from the skin.

Susanne Kaufmann_Cleansing Gel_250ml_£53Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel

Our top five products to get to know the brand would be: Cleansing Gel, Tonic Soothing, Nutrient Concentrate skin soothing, Eye cream Line A, Face Fluid Line F

Lastly, what are your dreams for the skincare range and Spa going forward into the future?
We do not have a master plan for the next 15 years. My wish is to establish Susanne Kaufmann as a brand in the long term. I would like to see the brand used and loved by several generations.

Susanne Kaufmann_15years_15products_15Susanne Kaufmann_Spa (14)Susanne Kaufmann testing out her products

by Derby Jones

Find out more about Susanne Kaufmann here

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