As self-confessed beauty junkies, we’ve long been obsessed with Scandinavian trends and the undeniably stylish streets and interiors found in this part of the world. So, what’s their secret?
Have you ever wondered how women in Iceland ensure their skin and hair is so luminous? We have! So, we’ve looked to them for inspiration and spoken to the experts to find out how we could benefit from their beauty rules…
“Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice,” says Yariella Coello, travel and beauty blogger (thebeautybackpacker.co.uk). “When you arrive, you immediately sense that everything there connects back to nature. The cuisine, countless local rituals and so much more. Beauty and wellness is no exception.” Iceland’s turquoise, milky-coloured Blue Lagoon is hailed for its natural healing properties. The mineral rich spa water features a combination of silica, algae and minerals – each offering an array of benefits, such as the relief of acne, eczema and psoriasis. Silica enhances the skin’s barrier function, bringing strength, protection, and that dewy, youthful radiance we all wish we had. While algae – the mothership – increases collagen production, nourishes the skin from within and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Fancy a trip to Iceland, anyone?
“The custom of bathing in hot springs is instilled in Iceland’s traditional society,” says Yariella. “Every single town has its own thermal baths or pools where the locals relax and unwind. This standard of practice is encouraged as it’s good for the mind, body and soul – your muscles loosen in the mineral-rich waters and your troubling thoughts float away as you steam – leaving you with a serious glow.” So, are the pure, mineral-rich waters the secret to this Nordic radiance which seems to grace the entire population? It certainly plays a big role in why their complexion is so utterly flawless. With the water being so clean and unpolluted, along with the added minerals and trace elements, is it any wonder why companies such as skyn ICELAND make use of Iceland’s water in all their products?
Once you’ve finished transforming your home into a hygge paradise, turn your attention to the world of Scandinavian beauty. Unsurprisingly, and one of the reasons we are drawn to the country, natural ingredients reign supreme. Scandi skincare brands are inspired by the amazing landscape, which isn’t surprising when they are surrounded by magnificent mountains, beautiful lakes and stunning forests.
“The country’s natural botanicals are a huge part of this, as well as the culture,” says Sarah Kugelman, founder of skyn ICELAND (skyniceland.com). “People eat from the land and use botanicals and herbs (such as angelica archangelica) for medicinal purposes, so it shouldn’t be unexpected that there is a natural outgrowth in using these rich natural resources as part of taking care of your skin. These ingredients that grow in Iceland’s landscape aren’t necessarily ‘special’, but the climate, combined with the volcanic soil also make for a unique growing environment, making the plants which grow there far more potent than the same plants that grow in other geographic locations. This is why Iceland is an amazing source for natural actives and why there are so many in our products. Being able to find natural solutions that are different but also really work is unusual, which is why you should consider incorporating the Icelandic self-care rituals into your own skincare routine.”
When searching for the perfect Nordic beauty regime, look out for ingredients such as juniper, cloudberries (one of nature’s best kept secrets), cranberry, Nordic birch sap, pine, hydrating oat lipids, omega-rich oils and Arctic or Nordic spring water.
Icelandic skincare is all about simplicity, minimal packaging and of course sustainability – many Icelandic women believe your skincare routine should be a maximum of three or four steps. Their skincare goal? To keep skin moisturised and prevent the signs of ageing. “Due to the dry, cold climate, Icelandic women are forced to prioritise effective moisturisers as part of their routine from the get go,” says Sarah. With unspoiled natural resources, the women of Iceland recognise environmental factors such as air pollution, UV rays and free radicals, all of which have a negative effect on the complexion. Consumers and manufacturers of facial products appear to collectively have the same objective towards skincare – to be clean, effective and simple. To them, less is certainly more.
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