‘Abigail Gurney-Read’ and ‘detox’ are two terms that are rarely seen or heard uttered in close proximity of one another. However, in the case of Susanne Kaufmann’s 15-day skin-cleansing regimen, even an old stickler like me can be persuaded to break the habit of a lifetime. Funny that...

Released to coincide with the wellness brand’s 15 anniversary, the Pollution Skin Defense System is a potent restorative cure that’s built from three servings of five individual ampoules – each one containing an elixir that promises to deeply treat your skin and invigorate complexions in the face of urban living.

Given the onslaught of car exhausts, construction fumes and general rubbish we’re subjected to on the daily, it’s hardly surprising that city-proof skin treatments, from full-spectrum sets to targeted powerhouses, are gaining momentum right now. Even if we were to barricade ourselves indoors with the latest binge-watch (would that that were an option), recent studies have shown that it wouldn’t make a blind jot of difference to the quality of our surrounding air.

The Pollution Skin Defense System takes all of the above and more in its stride – also preventing the excessive damage caused by ‘blue light’ emitted from our computer and smart phone screens. Coordinating a course of Vitamin C, Ectoin and Q10, it both boosts the body’s innate repair mechanisms and amplifies its defences against external environmental factors.

Proceedings kick off with a five-day course of Vitamin C, known to counteract free radicals and eliminate inflammation; next comes Ectoin, a holistic serum that protects against premature skin damage and combines QT 40 and antioxidants from Magnolia extract; completing the series is Q10, a key factor in cellular metabolism that simultaneously defends the skin against oxidative stress.

It all sounds rather impressive, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

Sure, this is a detox that cleanses and rids the epidermis of the impurities of everyday life – but it also feeds, nourishes and plumps up your skin to give you a complexion that looks as if it’s never left the countryside.

I spoke to Susanne Kaufmann to find out more…

Congratulations on your 15-year milestone! For those who remain unaware of the brand, please could you introduce it in a nutshell?
The idea with our products and the philosophy of our brand is to use age-old knowledge and then leverage it in a very effective and modern way. It all began with the treatments that we use at our spa in Bezau. Most of our ingredients are indigenous to the Bregenz Forest, which is where I’m from. It’s a really healthy region. We get quite cool winters there, so you can’t cultivate whatever you like, but plants like lavender, thyme and rosemary thrive! You collect them fresh and from there they go straight into grind with a mortar and pestle.

I use almost everything in our range. Right now, I’m loving the Skin Lightening and Radiance Complex – it protects against hyper-pigmentation and sun spots, so I start to use it in April when I’m going to be outside more. When it gets really cold in winter, I use my Cold Cream that has active ingredients derived from pansies and black-eyed susans that support the natural regeneration process of the skin and prevent dryness. Then there are products that I use the whole year round, like Sun Cream Cell Protection SPF 25, Eye Cream and the Anti Aging Body Serum with our patented Pro Contur ingredient.

So, where did the idea for the Pollution Skin Defense System come from?
After travelling and meeting a lot of women, I decided the next challenge was to create a product that prevents damage from pollution. There’s a big difference between places that have a high pollution count to those that don’t – and it’s hard for our skin to adjust and fight against such things when in a city environment. Ten years ago, nobody really knew about the effects that pollution can have. Now, we know you have to start early to prevent the skin from aging badly.

What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received, and who’s responsible for it?
It was actually my Grandma. She always said, “Protect yourself against the sun!” While she didn’t use sunscreen – it didn’t exist back then – she always wore a hat and long sleeves, and she had the most beautiful skin at 93 years old. So, for me, good advice for maintaining healthy skin is to use sunscreen.

With 15 years behind you, what do the next 15 years look like for the Susanne Kaufmann brand?
We’re growing quite fast, which is wonderful. Growing and getting attention and being attractive as a brand is a beautiful thing, but we want to make sure that we can stay with our principles and our philosophy when it comes to production and the ingredients we use. It means staying true to who we are, and not cutting corners in order to speed up any of our processes.

Click here to discover the Pollution Skin Defense System from Susanne Kaufmann. Abigail wears Morera shirt by Kitri and earring by EK Thongprasert.

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