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The Big Chill

When the mercury plummets, combat the effects of winter the Nordic way with these nurturing & healing beauty products.


Fewer places do winter better than the Nordic countries – whether it’s building hotels made from ice, sledging through snow-laden pine forests, or delighting in the café culture of Stockholm. And, with winter temperatures averaging between 0 and a shivering -30 degrees, their beauty regimes have had to up their ante.

You’re probably wondering: which products do Nordic women reach for time and again? The following are all designed to protect, heal or nourish winter-ravaged skin, hair and nails (and some even do all three).

The Gadget – Foreo’s Luna

A true innovator (they have, after all, successfully reinvented the humble toothbrush), the Swedish company created a face brush turned global Nordic icon in the span of only three years. Made out of medical grade silicone, it uses sonic pulses at various intensity levels to gently “shake” dead skin cells, make-up and oil from pores, without the aggressive scrubbing of a traditional face brush. Better yet, its soft silicone does not foster the growth of bacteria that renders any cleansing ritual pointless. Their latest product is a smaller sized travel version that sold out nearly everywhere when it launched. The mini-pod adapts to four skin types: sensitive, normal, combination, and oily.

The Serum – Bioeffect EGF Serum (Iceland)

Used by around 30% of Icelandic women over the age of 30, Bioeffect has become a staple product in the fight against aging. This serum contains the Nobel-prize winning EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor) cellular activator, which triggers cell renewal, collagen production and even helps heal wounds. The result is noticeably improved skin texture, fewer fine lines and a radiance that’s earned this water-like serum a worldwide following.

The Mask – Verso Intense Facial Mask

Verso has gained a cult following thanks to its use of a new form of Vitamin A, which is eight times more powerful than retinol but less likely to irritate. To really kick-start the recovery of dull, wintery skin, their Intense Facial Mask takes a three-pronged approach. First, it is made of hydrogel, which helps products sink into cells faster. Second, drenched in the aforementioned Vitamin A, it boosts collagen production and decreases the appearance of fine lines. Finally, it contains moisturizing Ceramide-3 and Canola Oil to quench areas of dry skin and provide up to 30 hours of hydration.

The Moisturiser – La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Oil & Cream

This product uses extracts from three plants wily enough to survive the sub-zero temperature of the Swiss Alps. It’s made from Swiss Snow Algae (which protects against aging), Purple Saxifrage (which guards cells from damage), and Soldanella Alpina (which boosts radiance). Mix three to four drops of the oil into the moisturizer to induce the thirst-quenching hydration our winter-exposed skin needs.

The Lip Salve – Bioderma Atoderm Baume Levres

Lips are one of the first things to suffer in colder climates, which is why Bioderma’s Atoderm Baume Levres has become a beauty insider’s favourite. Made with avocado oil and shea butter, its thick texture provides instant relief to chapped skin and helps prevent further damage. It also works as a treatment for rough lips. Apply a small amount to a soft toothbrush and buff into lips before wiping off with a tissue and reapplying.

The Hair Mask – Sachajuan Overnight Hair Repair

This gel hair mask resembles a face serum, and is designed to go onto dry hair right before bed. Containing the highest concentration of Sachajuan’s beloved Ocean Silk technology (a rich blend of algae that smoothes frizz and delivers a large dose of moisture), it softens and hydrates hair parched from central heating. The best part? Its fat-free formula means that by morning it has soaked in, so you don’t have to wash it out.

The Balm – Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Comfort Balm

Though Neutrogena’s hand cream has been stealing the spotlight for over 40 years, those in the know have recognized the power of the impressive Comfort Balm. Apply it to your face and body like you would a cream, and experience its velvety smooth finish sans residue. Particularly good for sensitive and breakout prone complexions, it can also be used to calm irritated skin, windburn, sunburn (a skier’s favourite), chapped hands, and cuticles.

Amy Wilson Wyles

A native Londoner, Amy discovered her love for health & beauty while working at Harper’s Bazaar in New York before returning home to work for Conde Nast, Shortlist Media and Net-a-Porter. Eight years later, the mission remains the same: to discover the products and treatments that really work.

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