Nordic Beauty for All of Us to Embrace
An all-natural, barefaced glow is literally at your fingertips.
It only takes one glance at a classic Nordic Goddess to inspire that “I’ll have what she’s having” feeling. Sure, penetrating blue eyes are captivating, but gorgeous dewy skin and silky soft strands are what we’re after. We rounded up our favorite brands that hail from the northern regions of Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden to help us achieve that aspirational—but also achievable—effortless Scandi radiance.
Rooted in Nordic simplicity, Henua believes in skincare in its purist form. Founded by two Finnish sisters, you won’t find cheap bases like water or filler in any of their organic products. This would place them in the “waterless beauty” category – the industry’s newest trend. Instead, they use nutrient-rich birch sap as their prime ingredient. This insures that anything absorbed by skin is active, effective and wholesome. The Nourishing Oil Cleanser has already gained a cult following among sensitive skin types. Its hero ingredient is an anti-fungal oat oil that helps reduce inflammation and calm irritation. As a result, you’re left with a pure glow.
You can’t have healthy hair without a healthy scalp, period. Beloved Swedish haircare brand Sachajuan’s Purifying Scalp Scrub is packed with exfoliating sugar to unclog dandruff, dead skin and oil buildup that’s caused by everything from diet to dry shampoo. Shea butter helps to lock in moisture, while climbazole restores overall balance. Use it as a once a week to reset. Alternatively, use post-color treatment to prevent itchiness.
Once travel becomes the norm again, Skyn Iceland’s beloved Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels will be your essential for in-flight beauty prep. In 10 minutes, puffy “altitude eyes” will be firmed and toned, so that when you hit the ground, you can also hit the scene (here’s hoping). For the time being, slip them on at home whenever you need to look wide-eyed on early Zoom meetings.
Okay, so this luxury brand doesn’t exactly hail from Scandinavia. But, its new Gold Recovery Concentrate is packed with Iceland-grown micro freshwater algae. This Nordic ingredient is so potent, it’s able to survive in conditions of extreme radiation. Its sustainability makes it effective at staving off blue light pollution – an omnipresent aggressor that encourages collagen breakdown and wrinkles. And, with packaging like this, it’s bound to become your chicest desk accessory.
Based in Espoo, Finland, Lumene harvests the country’s most potent, Arctic-sourced fruits and vegetation to use in its formulas. Its Hydra Care Moisture & Relief Rich Day Cream is the ultimate winter skin buddy, as it contains Nordic bilberry to soothe dry skin, along with a thermal stress-protection against dehydration caused by temperature changes (note to those lucky enough to going skiing right now). Stay-at-home types will take solace in having dewy, hydrated skin indoors.
A Nordic beauty roundup wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this haute Stockholm home brand. Its fragrances Gypsy Water and Bal D’Afrique have a cult following. Moreover, the brand’s newly released color collection—all in its signature sleek, vanity-worthy packaging—is already becoming Insta-famous. We love this bullet-shaped shimmery bronze color stick for its versatile use on eyes, lips and cheeks.
Growth factors are all the rage in anti-aging skincare. However, those harvested from humans are somewhat controversial for how they can affect hormonal balance. After a decade of research, Icelandic scientists discovered a way to bioengineer a plant-based human replica of Epidermal Growth Factor in barley plants, which boosts collagen and elastin production to plump up skin. Not to mention, their award-winning serum is often put in the same category as products triple the price tag.
Danish makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis was among the first to make a splash in the clean beauty biz. Her creamy terracotta-toned blushes in sleek, slideable packaging became an instant hit. Her newest launch is in the form of a velvet-y eye balm that’s packed with rosehip and sweet almond oils. These ingredients not only reduce wrinkles, but also provide the ultimate canvas for which to apply her dreamy makeup.
Danish brand Nuori takes freshness to whole other level. Because ingredients can become over-oxidized after only a few months, they hand-make their products in small batches every twelve weeks. By labeling each bottle with a start and finish date, ingredients stay active in their prime, ensuring that skin reaps the full benefits from uber moisturizing rosehip and primrose oils.
This Stockholm-based brand is rooted in scientific discoveries about a specific vitamin A derivative. The ingredient is hailed for combatting fine lines, but known to cause significant irritation. Verso’s patented age-defying “Retinol 8 complex” is eight times as effective as traditional retinol, but doesn’t inflame the skin’s barrier. A mainstay of the line is the Super Eye Serum, which is packed with peptides and amino acids to reduce puffiness and banish dark circles. Perfect in times of distress.
Feature Image Credit: Lewis Parsons
Zoe Schaeffer is a former Condé Nast Beauty Editor who moved to Los Angeles to develop style shows for VH1 and later, fashion trend-forecasting. After opening her own boutique, Presse, she returned to her writing roots by launching a lifestyle blog, Macaroon Original, to share travel, home and wellness obsessions. Today she consults for beauty brands and freelances for sites such as Goop and The Helm. When she’s not pouring over her 1stdibs discoveries, she’s most likely planning a trip. Zoe lives in Los Angeles with her husband, dog, and three daughters, Gemma, Rafi and Cleo. Keep up on her Instagram here!