Little known to the general public, admired by skincare fans, Susanne Kaufmann is one of the first women to consider beauty in its entirety. The Austrian who grew up between the mountains and the forest in the Bregenzerwald region, a valley in the Alps, provides a comprehensive and holistic response, both in the care of her brand and in her wellness center, one of the most popular from Europe. In addition to the benefits for the skin, it is committed to taking well-being into account and attaches particular importance to the naturalness of the ingredients, without setting aside cutting-edge active ingredients. Global issues that we talk about daily today but which, a few years ago, seemed incidental or even futile. The expert returns to this marginal path.
SHE. Tell us about your beginnings. How did you launch your brand?
Susanne Kaufmann. My parents left me the Hotel Post Bezau. It was originally said to be a spa hotel because the word “spa” was not yet used. The philosophy of the hotel was to take care of guests and improve their lives while sharing our values of mental and physical well-being. In other words, I grew up in a world of health and beauty. Hence my passion for natural ingredients as well as powerful formulations. In 1994, I officially took over the management of the hotel and my mission was to create a modern spa that combined ingredients from the Bregenzerwald region and effective treatments. My idea being to develop a space where well-being was honored, I wanted to offer a holistic and clean approach. In 2003, I launched the Susanne Kaufmann brand with face and body skincare. My philosophy ? Helping the skin to be at its peak. At first, the products were only available to hotel guests. But people quickly researched the range, after which it became a luxury beauty brand in the whole world. My philosophy is to help the skin to be at its peak.
SHE. With the development of the brand, why did you stay in Austria?
Susanne Kaufmann. Regional production, sourcing from our local partners and long-term cooperation with our producers offer us major advantages in terms of environmental sustainability. Producers and suppliers have grown with us and we have grown together. This is the only way to implement the latest scientific findings in active ingredients, to do our own production and to have ecological packaging. There are also unique and powerful ingredients in this region such as arnica, chamomile, lavender, and rosemary, which are found in abundance.
SHE. The holistic beauty and green are sometimes seen as trends that brands surf. What do you think ?
Susanne Kaufmann. I think beauty is increasingly taking on a holistic dimension. And I have always believed in it since I created my skincare brand. Today, more than ever, with the pandemic, with the constant stress and the change of life to which we are exposed, it is essential to choose a holistic approach in a very serious way in order to obtain long term results.
Eco-responsible beauty fascinates me. I would like us to pioneer new solutions that will be good for both the skin and the planet. When it comes to green-washing, I think the key is to be authentic. You have to be honest and transparent with consumers.
SHE. What are the challenges of tomorrow for beauty brands?
Susanne Kaufmann. Natural beauty is inevitably linked to nature because this is where we get our ingredients. We can no longer envision nature without thinking about ecology. Environmental sustainability and ecological awareness are great values to be had in the industry today. I don’t see it as a trend because it’s always been a part of my life. It’s great that everyone is talking about it because it’s exactly what everyone needs.