In 1994, Susanne Kaufmann became the fifth generation to own and operate the Hotel Post Bezau, established in 1850 by her great, great grandfather. It was in this picturesque valley in the Austrian Alps where she first began cultivating her family’s approach to hospitality, which embraces the beauty and healing power of regional herbs and plants so beloved by her grandmother. Fifteen years ago, this locational take on wellness developed into Kaufmann’s eponymous skincare brand, now 90 products strong.

‘In 2003 we were pioneers, bringing a wellness focus to the Bregenzerwald,’​ Kaufmann explains. ‘Now, we are looking to the future of the brand, while staying true to the spirit of the region that inspired it all.’

Inside the Susanne Kaufmann spa. Still from the anniversary film

Despite the considerable breadth of the contemporary product range, most are still produced locally, just down the road from the hotel. The use of glass bottles with minimal secondary packaging, also locally produced, minimises the environmental impact and allows Kaufmann to exercise her eye for quality control.

Ringing in the anniversary, Kaufmann has released a new Best of Body 15 years gift box and a Pollution Skin Defence System (topically comprising 15 vials, pictured top). In collaboration with digital distributor and fragrance expert Nose and filmmaker Mai Hua, Kaufmann has also released a video, ‘in order to let you discover the brand in its own essence’, Nose explains.

Susanne Kaufmann at work

Kaufmann at work in her lab. Still from the anniversary film

In the film, join Kaufmann on a walk through the landscape that inspires her (goat sheds and all); and get an insider look in her product development lab, where her blend of agriculture, ancestral botanical knowledge and cutting-edge technology becomes apparent. It’s a combination now all-too common to skincare designers, but Kaufmann has been unassumingly marrying these vital qualities since day one.

Take the new Pollution Skin Defense system, for example, which bottles the clean, Austrian Alps atmosphere into a 15-day, future-proofed defence-building programme; as if giving your skin a spa break when you can’t escape on one. Containing three coordinated, active ingredients (Vitamin C, Ectoin and Q10), each vial helps the skin to better protect itself against harmful environmental influences, particularly pollution, while boosting the body’s own repair mechanisms. Focussing on prevention rather than treatment, a key facet of the Kaufmann philosophy, the product is an apt way of punctuating the brand’s 15th year.

As she gears up towards her third decade at the head of the brand, Kaufmann is keen to keep innovating, while retaining a sense of heritage and locale; ‘ensuring every product remains grounded in where we come from and what we believe in – wherever we are’. With a landscape like the Bezau valley on your doorstep, who would want to be anywhere else? §