Fresh from the tranquil Bregenzerwald forest, brand founder, hotelier and busy mum Susanne Kaufmann lives her life in harmony with nature and her Sunday Sessions is all about reducing everything back to essentials, authenticity and quality. For Susanne, Sunday starts with compression socks and ends with a spot of face yoga, read on to discover her full story.
The Wind Down
My office is based at the Hotel Post Bezau in Bregenzerwald, Austria, where we offer a host of Susanne Kaufmann spa treatments. I am at the hotel nearly every day and on a Sunday I often have a meet and greet with guests and so might not get home until about 9.30 pm. If i’m lucky, I might get home earlier, at around 7 pm, which means I get to enjoy a relaxed dinner with my family. The first thing I do when I get in is remove my makeup and change into comfortable clothes before sitting down to eat – this is the best winding down ritual for me. We renovated our house last year because the children got bigger and we needed more space and I fulfilled my longstanding dream of having my own bathroom – this is where my routine takes place and i’ll start the process by lighting the Byredo Bibliotheque Candle.
On a Sunday, I tend to skip wearing makeup but my skincare routine is more extended and depending on my plans for the week ahead, I will concentrate on different things. If I know I’m travelling to a big city, I will do a double cleanse and make sure I incorporate an anti-pollution skincare step to protect my skin from oxidative stress, which is a key cause of ageing.
I’m lucky in the fact that I usually have quite good skin, it’s only really stress or lack of sleep that affects it and so my key concern is radiance. I always exfoliate and my go-to product for this is a peeling mask. When it comes to skincare, I like to layer my products. A rule of thumb when layering is to start with the lightest product first and wait for one to two minutes between layers to allow the products to work. In the week when I’m in a hurry, I finish my skincare routine with face cream because creams absorb quickly, but on a Sunday the last step in my routine is an oil – it’s a special Sunday treat. I use a jade face roller to apply serum into my skin and to help stimulate blood circulation and encourage the lymphatic flow. The jade crystal feels so cool and calming on the skin and as a result, my skin looks really firm and rosy. My tip when using a jade roller at home is to always place it in the centre of the face and roll horizontally outwards. To treat the area around the eyes, place the roller under the eye next to the bridge of the nose and roll horizontally towards the temple. It’s especially effective straight out of the fridge. I finish my skincare routine with a spot of face yoga. I love this, because you activate muscles you don’t normally use, and move muscles in the opposite direction from which they normally work. This activates the muscles and the whole collagen system, leading to firmer-looking skin.
On a Sunday morning I try to do sport, and I use our anti-ageing serum for the body under my sports tights. It’s a great way to activate the skin’s metabolism. Sometimes I also like to do a body wrap, using our anti-ageing body products. Body wrapping is based on the principle of compression and it helps the body to reduce water build-up, activate fat cells and expel toxins. You need to drink a lot of fluids throughout to activate the kidneys (I drink our Detoxification Tea; however you can also drink ginger water). Starting with the feet, I apply the Detox Oil Scrub in gentle, circular movements to clean, remove dead skin cells and invigorate the supply of blood to the skin tissue. After rinsing off in the shower, I massage the Anti-Aging Serum to any areas that need more care. Then, I apply the Anti-Aging Body Cream to all areas before wrapping with cling film. Starting with my legs, I begin to wrap individual sections (not too tightly). As a general rule of thumb, the looser your connective tissue, the looser the wrap should be. I then lie down and rest for at least 30 minutes (1 hour max). Fat cells are pushed together by the body wrap. It forces water from the cells as well as toxins, which are then transported to the kidneys and expelled. I take a quick shower to rinse off and apply some oil. I love the effect of this treatment.
In the evening I like to indulge in a bath. I’ll use our Oil Bath For The Senses, which contains ylang-ylang, lavender and patchouli. The blend of these oils creates a scent that is incredibly relaxing but at the same time, this bath oil is also very nurturing for the skin. I really like the idea of taking time for regular foot baths. A foot bath slows you down, leading the energy from the head to the feet. It can also have a detoxifying effect if you use alkali salt in your foot bath. My Alkali Salt contains whey for a moisturising effect.
For my hair, I’ll wash it as usual with Susanne Kaufmann Shower/Shampoo but instead of using a conditioner, i’ll use a hair mask. I always leave my hair to air dry, but if I have an event in the week I like to style it wavy. For this, I’ll spritz towel-dry hair with Herbivore Sea Mist Texturizing Salt Spray Lavender. It adds texture and hydrates. I love that it is scented with essential oils of sage and lavender.
I don’t really have a consistent bedtime as such, but after a long day I love to read for a bit and drink a special traditional Chinese medicine tea prescribed by my doctor, Dr. Klett. For me, eight hours’ sleep is ideal, and that’s what I try to achieve, but before I switch the lights out I’ll spray my pillow with a sleep-inducing pillow spray, apply a hydrating lip balm and I love to use our hand cream as a last step – I believe the hands need to be cared for too. It’s easy to forget how delicate they are.
My alarm is set for 7 am on Monday morning and I generally feel wonderful when I wake up. I don’t have Monday morning blues and I’m always excited to start the week ahead. The first three things I do when I get up are wake up my kids, drink hot water with lemon and prepare breakfast for myself and my family.