Maybe you know her. Maybe you’ve used her products. But whether or not you’re into the clean beauty movement, you’ve surely read about her in your favourite glossies and online publications. Offering an all-the-beauty-products-you’ll-ever-need-and-more collection that features percentages of active plant ingredients which are especially high in organic, natural ranges, Susanne Kaufmann has taken the beauty world by storm.
As one of the pioneers and constant re-inventors of botanical-based beauty, Susanne created a skincare line after inheriting her family’s Hotel Post Bezau in Austria — and adding a sumptuous spa to the mix. Deciding that it was worth developing her own products to use for treatments, Susanne’s vision blossomed and thrived.
Sourcing almost all of her wholesome ingredients from the surrounding Bregenz Forest, Susanne’s formulations are pure, sophisticated and packaged in pared-down, elegantly labelled glass vials and bottles. Her ingredients list, too, is an apothecarist’s dream. Think cuckoo flower seed oil, silk protein, St John’s Wort and even broccoli seed oil — the key component in the men’s Line M selection.
Still, putting success, fame and fortune aside, Susanne and her team advocate for social responsibility and an all-around approach to conscious living. Her company only produces 1,000 products a week to maintain quality standards. A herbal garden adjacent to the hotel grows the herbs for her products’ formulations. And for utmost happiness and well-being, Susanne practices what she preaches, surrounding herself with family and friends, eating healthily and exercising outdoors regularly, to name a few examples. All while leading an entrepreneur life and being a mother of two.
“People should recognise that plant ingredients can be as effective as chemical ingredients.”
The Susanne Kaufmann Spa in the Hotel Post Bezau
Tell us about the most interesting/important lesson you learnt about the healing power of medicinal plants from your time growing up in the Austrian Alps.
We’d known about the planting forces in antiquity. Flowers, plant leaves, roots and bark have been used for many centuries — perhaps even for thousands of years — as healing herbs, powders, tinctures, ointments, creams and lotions. Old knowledge about the effect of planting has always played an important role in the development of new cosmetics because all of the important drug or cosmetic ideas have their origins in nature.
In what ways have you applied your knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to your product formulations?
We’ve integrated the TCM principles of balance and harmony in our [spa] treatments and in our products as we believe that everything has to be in balance.
What’s the biggest difficulty you’ve faced in extracting beneficial actives from plant ingredients?
We’ve noticed that using pure extracts can cause allergies. As such, all our ingredients go through a biotechnical process to free them from molecules which can cause allergies.
“Old knowledge about the effect of planting has always played an important role in the development of new cosmetics because all of the important drug or cosmetic ideas have their origins in nature.”
We know that the Eye Cream Line A is your favourite product and everyone we know who has used it swears by it. What does Line A mean, and what is so unique about its formula?
The ‘A’ stands for anti-ageing. What’s unique about its formula is that the entire dosage of active ingredients in it is 37 per cent. We use four important ingredients and together, they fight the worst signs of ageing.
What is the best way for one to switch to a cleaner, more conscious skincare routine?
I’d recommend getting a good consultation about your skin type and recommendations on how to best care for your skin. Perhaps start with a new cleansing regime. Natural cleansing keeps your pH level balanced and removes tension away from the skin.
Susanne uses this Eye Cream Line A product every day
Sceptics believe that clean, naturally sourced ingredients aren’t very effective or potent. What is your response to this notion?
I would ask them: “Why should a natural ingredient be less effective as the chemical counterpart?” The skin is organic and will absorb natural ingredients much better than anything unnatural.
Which three products would you recommend for a man’s basic skincare routine, and why?
If you shave, shaving cream. It prepares the skin perfectly. If you have a beard, beard oil as it will keep the skin under your beard soft and moisturised; and the hair shiny.
Besides your own range, what are three of your favourite skincare brands and products?
If you could create one dream skincare product, what would it be and why?
My son has a birthmark on the right side of his waist and I would like to create something to free him of this.
What is your one wish for the organic beauty industry?
People should recognise that plant ingredients can be as effective as chemical ingredients.
Susanne’s offerings are rooted in the knowledge of the healing power of Alpine herbs
What does conscious living mean to you?
For me, conscious living is not only a term. It is a holistic way of taking care of your health, well-being, happiness, beauty, fitness and more. To keep both body and mind in shape, the use of creams will help but it is far from being all you need to do. Eating fresh produce, moving constantly, practicing de-stressing rituals, getting treatments, using natural cosmetics and getting good sleep — which is most important — seems to be the right combination.
“To keep both body and mind in shape, the use of creams will help but it is far from being all you need to do.”
Images courtesy of Susanne Kaufmann