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July 26 2014

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An All-Natural, Austrian Beauty Secret

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In 1850 in the Austrian Valley, Susanne Kaufmann’s great-great-grandparents opened the Hotel Post Bezau, which thrived happily for more than a century as a place to undergo “la cure” (i.e., a doctor-supervised health break via massages, water therapy, and good old-fashioned mountain air). In 2003, when Kaufmann expanded by adding a spa with the requisite beauty treatments, she knew one thing: The products would have to match the natural, alpine-clean, and health-promoting ethos that made the hotel so successful.

An intensive search for a beauty partner that fit her rigorous criteria of no chemicals, no preservatives, and no color amalgamators turned up nothing, so she decided to create her own range. To realize her goal, she called upon a neighboring farmer to pitch in. “Hotel Post Bezau has always sourced regionally—our menu came from local produce, and the materials for the hotel as well, so we knew we wanted to stick to that spirit and maintain the Austrian authenticity,” explained Kaufmann. “We called on our neighbor Ingo Metzler, a farmer who was making cheese but who also started his own cosmetics line from alpine ingredients, and we decided to collaborate.”

To create the formulas, they literally foraged through meadows and fields of the Bregenz Forest, plucking a myriad of plant-based ingredients such as rosemary, marigold flower, broccoli seed, yarrow, chamomile, thyme, and sage. Then, along with dermatologist Seppl Waldner, they combined them with energy-rich oils like rosehip seed and cuckoo flower, resulting in a series of products that are both restorative and curative. Not only is aging addressed, but also everyday problems like eczema, psoriasis, and even a stiff neck. An added bonus: The sleek and modern packaging make the bottles and jars pretty enough to keep out on your bathroom counter.

So it comes as no surprise that people started noticing them outside of the Austrian hills. 10 Corso Como and Greenwich Village’s Aedes de Venustas, as well as a host of well-edited shops around the globe, are stockists. Up next for the burgeoning brand? A cellulite “peeling” cream—and early next week, an edit of their line will launch on Net-a-Porter.

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