A chat with Susanne Kaufmann, brand founder and wellness extraordinaire

I am sure today's Muse & Heroine star does not need any introduction. She is the founder of one of the clean beauty industry's pioneering brands, and her holistic approach and wellness expertise have changed the beauty world forever. We are honored to introduce to you the one and only, Susanne Kaufmann.

Get ready to meet Susanne Kaufmann: in this exclusive Muse & Heroine interview, she reveals some beautiful and inspirational insights on her career, her love for wellness, and her amazing brand.
Firstly we would like to thank you for sharing your time and your knowledge with us. It’s a true pleasure to have you here. Would you like to start by telling us how you got into the beauty industry?

I inherited the wonderful Hotel Post Bezau from my parents. Originally known as a cure hotel, as the word ‘spa’ didn’t exist in those times, the philosophy of the hotel was about caring for clients and enhancing their lives by sharing with them our values of positive physical and mental wellbeing. This meant I grew up surrounded by a world of health and beauty, which formed my passion and curiosity for natural healing ingredients and powerful formulations. This led me to where I am today, with a full cosmetics line, Susanne Kaufmann™, Spa Treatments and of course, Hotel Post Bezau where it all comes alive!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned growing up in a family of hoteliers?
I have learned that an excellent product is the key to success. If you can offer a really good product that surpasses expectations in quality and results, it will go a long way. But to find the perfect product you don´t only need to find the gap in the market. You should also go with your instinct and listen to what your heart and mind are telling you. Most importantly, you need to believe in your product!
 We would love to know the story behind your brand. Did you have such a big vision from the beginning? Or were you surprised when it became so highly recognized?

I first joined the family firm in the 1990s and one of my initial projects was to develop a spa with an offering of signature beauty treatments. I quickly realized that I also needed to create my own in-house spa product line to support the service. One that espoused the same natural, regional, and sustainable values as the hotel itself, a line that that looked and felt as premium as the results it delivers. In 2003 the Susanne Kaufmann™ cosmetic line launched. At first, it was meant for hotel guests only, but as cult boutiques and customers sought out this niche and locally produced, sustainable clean beauty range, it soon became a global luxury beauty brand.

Let’s dive deep into your knowledge. Where do you source ingredients from? And why choosing only the best is key to achieving such high-performance products?

Uncompromisingly natural. Consistently results-focused. That is our promise at Susanne Kaufmann™ and we are fully committed to keeping to it when it comes to your skin and all of the ingredients we use. We source the active ingredients for the Susanne Kaufmann™ range in the rich environment of the Bregenzerwald around us, here in Austria. Unique, powerful plants such as arnica, chamomile, marigold, lavender, or rosemary are found in abundance here. Our Mallow Blossom Bubble Bath with skin caring mallow extract and effective oils from mountain pine and juniper have a supportive effect on the immune system and the respiratory tract. The products for our Essence Line like Evening Primrose Ointment Soothing, contain valuable medicinal plant extracts and pure, healing evening primrose oil. The Susanne Kaufmann™ Incense Lotion Relieving, contains valuable medicinal plant extracts from incense, white willow, and St John's wort.

What are your favorite active ingredients to formulate skincare products with?
Q10 is a highly efficient antioxidant skin collagen booster
Liftiss (originBaobab pulp) contains AHA and xylose, which have a strong antioxidant effect and balance the loss of moisture. Valuable minerals, vitamins have a positive effect on the skin functions soothing and anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin C hydrates the skin and is a brightening an­tioxidant resulting in a radiant complexion.
Ectoine stabilizes cell membranes and lipids, protecting the skin against harmful environmental influences. Ectoine increases the skin’s capacity to store moisture.

    Face, body, hair, and the list goes on. What are the challenges of creating an extensive and diverse beauty range?

    When building a full, effective face, body, and hair range, you cannot think that ‘one size fits all’. For each product we create, we consider everything from the packaging to the ingredients to the usability of the product.  For example, when we created the Leg & Vein Spray, the biggest challenge was to find the right pump to distribute the product evenly and easily. When we first developed the spray, I took it with me on a trip to test it. During the flight, I tried to spray it onto my legs while seated, but it did not quite work because I had to keep the bottle straight. It took a while to find the right pump for the spray but finally, we found the perfect one and it was worth the wait. Now you can spray this product even when you keep the bottle upside down!

    We know it’s hard to choose, but… do you have a favorite product from your range?

    I swear by our Eye Cream Line A, it’s one of my favorite products. I always recommend applying an 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. A personal tip of mine is to use both the cooling Eye Rescue Stick and the Eye Cream Line A. I apply the Eye Rescue Stick below the eyes and then apply a small amount of Eye Cream Line A to the outer corner of the eye, applying any remaining product to the upper eyelid. The combination of both products counteracts wrinkles caused by dryness and keeps my eyes looking fresh and alert.

    What is the most requested treatment at your Susanne Kaufmann Spa Bezau?

    The Bespoke Rejuvenating Facial. This powerful treatment combines functional herbal complexes with fascia massage influenced by the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The 90-minute facial is personalized for the customer to effectively target all signs of aging while addressing the harmful effects of environmental pollution. Employing lymphatic drainage and proprietary connective tissue massage, the Susanne Kaufmann™ Bespoke Rejuvenating Facial stimulates the skin’s metabolism while relieving stress-related tension. It also features the use of one of our most powerful products, the Susanne Kaufmann™ Pollution Skin Défense System, comprised of three different complexes, Vitamin C, Ectoine, and CoQ10 in three beautiful dosage ampules. The Pollution Skin Défense System is incorporated into the facial using various massage techniques. As a result of the treatment, microcirculation is improved, collagen production is stimulated, and natural rejuvenation mechanisms are accelerated to reveal beautiful healthy skin with a youthful radiant appearance.

    Since you are a green beauty legend, we would love to know more about your personal beauty secrets. What is your daily beauty regimen?

    First, I use the Cleansing Milk, then the Tonic Soothing from my range to clean my face and remove any impurities. Then, before applying my day cream, I will apply our Hyaluron Serum – it supports the skin cells in retaining moisture, giving you that extra boost of hydration. I always finish with the Eye Cream Line A around my eyes. For my body care, I will always reach for the product my body needs that day. I will use the Body Butter when my skin is feeling dry, or one of our Body Oils when I need more nourishing care. I love the fact that our products are tailor-made for all skin problems.

    What is your favorite way to pamper yourself?

    With a good treatment/massage or a home spa day. To create a spa-like ambience I like to light some candles and put some jazz music on. Depending on the time I have I will take a bath in the evening which is great for unwinding and relaxing your mind. I love to do a body and face peel before the bath, apply a rich moisturizing face mask during the bath, and finish with a thick layer of our Body Butter mixed with our Firming Oil for after. Footbaths are also a great way to look after yourself, and it’s important not to forget our feet. I’ll apply our Cooling or Warming Foot Cream depending on what I need and then put on some of my cashmere socks for the ultimate foot pamper.

    Are there any beauty secrets that your mother or grandmother passed down to you?

    A lot of people constantly increase the hyperacidity of the body. This is so bad for body and skin because, in an acidic environment, bacteria grow so much better. Due to this, it is so important to neutralize the ph value of your skin and recreate a basic mileu. For this, I love to drink our Acid Alkalizing Tea or Alkali Water. For your skin, I recommend bathing with our Alkali Salt Deacidifying, and try cleansing your face with alkali water where possible.

    What are three beauty products that you always have in your handbag?

     Hand Spray, Eye Rescue Stick, Lip Balm.

    What is the last thing you do before going to sleep?

     Kiss my kids and husband goodnight. 

    And the first thing you do in the morning?

    I start my day at 7 am with breakfast and my family.

    Your favorite thing about your birthplace, and what would you say is your favorite way to spend time back home?

     I’m very lucky to be able to call my workplace my birthplace. My hotel, Hotel Post Bezau, is next to our Susanne Kaufmann™ cosmetics line headquarters and our production house is only 15 mins away. My home is surrounded by the most beautiful paradise of nature, which inspired my whole philosophy and lifestyle.


    Share your Susanne Kaufmann self-care rituals on Instagram @muse_and_heroine.