In Susanne Kaufmann’s world, a curated life that looks pulled from the pages of Architectural Digest—even the rows of recyclable cardboard boxes in her factory in the Austrian alps—has an aspirational vibe to it.
Skeptical? Scroll through her Instagram or take a peek around her brand website and it becomes crystal clear that Kaufmann has taste for days. But whether she’s seated in front of a roaring fire in a berry-red sweater, wishing us all happy holidays, or taking a stroll through the forests of her native Bregenzerwald Valley, none of it feels forced. Instead, the message of tapping into your slow, contemplative Zen side, and viewing nature as a pathway to beauty and wellness, is inescapable.
A fifth-generation hotelier, Kaufmann joined the family business in the 1990s, and was quickly tasked with developing a spa for Hotel Post Bezau that offered signature, high-performance treatments steeped in Alpine ingredients.
Almost immediately, Kaufmann began envisioning a product line that would support the spa services, “one that adopted the same natural, regional, and sustainable values as the hotel itself,” she recalls, “a line that looked and felt as premium as the results it delivers.” Making its debut in 2003, and now encompassing the face, body, and hair categories, Susanne Kaufmann Skincare has honored that promise, and then some.
Kaufmann credits her grandmother for teaching her everything she knows about plant-based beauty. “We made healing tonics, marigold cream, and arnica schnapps.”
But First, About that Spa . . .
Clocking in at roughly 6,500 square feet and housing 15 treatment cabins, the Susanne Kaufmann Spa is airy and spacious, awash in blinding white. The recipient of numerous awards, it offers a comprehensive mix of retreats, ranging from three to 10 days. Serving up a little something for everyone, the list of programs includes Mindset, Immune Boost, Detox, and Holistic Beauty. For sporty types, there are even yoga and tennis retreats.
For à la carte spa treatments, Kaufmann says the new Collagen Renewal Treatment has been an instant hit. It combines products from the brand’s Age Restorative collection with a focus on acupressure points and, per Kaufmann, “soft movements to relieve stress, while boosting collagen in the skin for a youthful, renewed complexion.”
As for south of the neck, Kaufmann says the signature Detox Body Treatment is the ticket. “It’s a must-have when guests first arrive at the hotel,” she notes. “The full-body massage supports blood circulation and reduces hyperacidity while releasing toxins for improved energy flow for the whole body.”
Not surprisingly, properties near and far have sought to offer Kaufmann’s spa protocols and skincare, and she now counts among her partners Stue Berlin, Portugal’s São Lourenco de Barrocal, Waldhaus Sils Schweiz in Switzerland, Four Seasons Surf Club Miami, and Bürgenstock Hotels.
Sleek Skincare, Steeped in Plant Extracts
Asked to name the product she’s most proud of, Kaufmann doesn’t shy away from the challenge. “The Eye Rescue Serum is my most sworn-by product,” she shares. “Formulated with green coffee extract, hawthorn, hyaluronic acid, and baobab, it helps plump delicate skin and has an energizing effect on tired-looking eyes.” Housed in a cooling rollerball bottle that boosts circulation, it’s a jet-setter’s best friend. “It allows for a hygienic application, so you don’t need to touch your face with your fingers,” she says. “It’s perfect for on-the-go.”
Other standouts in the line include Enzyme Exfoliator, a gentle, pore-refining peel; toxin-zapping, de-acidifying Alkali Salts; ultra-rich Body Butter, and the truly stunning Bath for the Senses, adorned with a floating sprig of rosemary.
While the sleek, minimalist packaging was her idea, Kaufmann credits her grandmother for teaching her everything she knows about plant-based beauty. ‘’We made healing tonics, marigold cream, and arnica schnapps,” she says. “This is where I formed my passion and curiosity for skincare, natural healing ingredients, and powerful formulations.”
Launching with 24 products that were crafted to work in concert to support the skin’s natural functions, and were initially used only in-house, the line quickly caught the attention of major beauty retailers, including Selfridges and Liberty in London and KaDeWe Berlin. Today, it comprises 80-plus products.
Ahead-of-the-Curve Champion for Sustainability
From the get-go, Kaufmann has had planet-preservation front and center. Not only are her products produced locally in Austria and Switzerland, her production facility, now in its 18th year, runs entirely on solar, thermal, and green electricity sources.
“The regional production, the sourcing of local partners, and the longstanding cooperation with our suppliers gives us a big lead when it comes to sustainability and the implementation of our principles,” she shares, adding that it’s an “ongoing journey” that evolves as new research and technological advances surface.
“For me, terms like ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ go much further than the high-quality, natural, and effective ingredients. It’s about the whole picture.”
Dana Wood is the Contributing Beauty Editor at InsidersGuidetoSpas.com. She has been writing about beauty and wellness for decades, and no matter how many times she taps the words “hyaluronic acid” or “healing modalities” into her keyboard, it never gets old. Dana spent a total of 20 years at Condé Nast, serving as Beauty Director for W, Cookie, and Brides. A transplanted New Yorker, Dana now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her peak spa experience? Dana says it’s impossible to decide between the Coco-Mango Body Buff at the Driftwood Spa at Jakes in Treasure Beach, Jamaica, The Land of Beautiful Waters Anti-Aging Facial at Four Seasons Nevis, and the 80-minute 5 Senses massage at the Spa by JW in Marco Island, Florida.