While previous years have been centred around the timeless beauty of Parisian women, 2019 is set to feature all things Scandi. From the endless roster of cool Scandi women with great skin and hair (think Kirstin Liljegren, Freja Beha Erichsen and Elsa Hosk) to the Nordic, Danish, Icelandic and Swedish approach to pared-down beauty, Scandinavia is the region to look to this year.
Here’s everything to know about Scandi beauty, from the basic rules to the brands to buy into…
The Scandi beauty rules
1. Natural ingredients are the true heroes
There was a noticeable shift towards natural, ‘clean’ beauty in 2018 worldwide, and the Scandis were (as usual) ahead of the curve.
‘Their [Scandinavian women’s] beauty regime is simple and the products they use have ingredients that are super pure and are sourced from the Scandinavian environment,’ explains Sarah Kugelman, founder of skyn ICELAND.
‘There is a real history and folklore in botanicals, so many of the products contain locally sourced botanicals and herbs. Nordic countries have amazingly pure and mineral rich waters which are also great for skin.’
Look for products that feature locally-sourced water and ingredients like arctic berries, such as those by Lumene and Skyn ICELAND.
2. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise (and wear SPF always)
Scandi women ‘always make sure to wear their SPF,’ and due to the very cold weather (which leads to dryness) ‘are very into rich moisturizers and face oils,’ says Kugelman.
If you’re after beautifully dewy, glowing skin like the Scandi’s have, it’s all about keeping skin super moisturised at all times. While it’s usually colder in the Scandinavian regions than here in the UK, beauty fans there know how to adapt their regimes to suit the weather: a tip we should adopt if we want happy skin year-round.
‘Nordic women know the importance of adapting your skincare regime and experimenting with different formulas and textures to suit the season,’ confirms Tiina Isohanni, Head of R&D at Lumene.
Mix things up from season to season, using lighter serums and gel creams in summer, and heavier, more luxurious formulas during the harsh cold of winter.
3. Less is more
For Scandi women, skin comes first. ‘I’ve started investing a lot in skincare lately because I realized over the past two years that if I just have a really good skincare routine I don’t have to wear makeup,’ Babba Canales Rivera, MyBabba founder and Swedish native told Into The Gloss in June 2018.
When it comes to base, most forgo foundation in favour of fresh, perfectly preserved glowing skin and possibly a touch of concealer. ‘The Danish beauty attitude is very relaxed,’ explained Danish Pernille Teisbaek, Co-Founder and Creative Director at Social Zoo. ‘What I really care about is that everything I wear is comfortable. You feel good, you feel stronger, you look better when you’re comfortable.’
With this in mind, it makes sense that brands such as Lumene (which is Finnish) sell complexion-targeted products such as illuminators and concealers that are super sheer.
And this approach doesn’t stop at skincare and makeup, either. When it comes to Scandi hair, it’s all about simplicity.
‘It’s all about taking care of the foundation – cleansing and conditioning to strengthen and protect the hair’s natural condition and improving manageability,’ notes Sacha Mitic, Founder/Creative Director of SACHAJUAN.
‘The better the foundation, the easier it is to take a ‘less is more’ approach to styling.’
The Scandi beauty brands to buy into
Lumene personifies the Finnish approach to skincare, in that its products contains natural ingredients as well as a burst of hydrating oxygen-rich, pH balanced, pure Arctic spring water.
Must-have product: Lumene Nordic C [Valo] Glow Boost Essence, £29.90
Skyn Iceland contains all the good stuff your skin will just love, from mineral-rich Icelandic glacial water to Arctic super fruits and pure, encapsulated oxygen. A breath of fresh air for your skin.
Must-have product: Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, £25
The retinol-based brand from Sweden that has become an anti-ageing hero to many, Verso uses a unique ‘retinol 8 complex’ that targets fine lines, collagen depletion and dullness.
Must-have product: Super Facial Serum, £110
There’s no doubt in our minds that if you have an Instagram account, you will have spotted Sachajuan somewhere. From the minimalist packaging to algae-derived minerals in all of their products, the Swedish brand has successfully stolen the show in Scandi hair care.
Must-have product: Ocean Mist, £18
While some Scandi women are naturally blonde, a lot of them fake it. Maria Nila is designed for those who dye their hair, providing nourishing formulas and colour-enhancing treatments for all hues.
Must-have product: Colour Refresh – Pearl Silver, £19.54
& Other Stories
& Other Stories has not only made a name for itself in fashion, it’s also an affordable beauty favourite. Their bath and body offerings smell amazing and rival some of the brand’s higher-end competitors.
Must-have product: Punk Bouquet Body Wash, £7
Bjork & Berries
Designed in Northern Sweden, Bjork & Berries is devoted to providing natural formulas with a luxurious feel. Their range of body washes and bath salts are Swedish favourites.
Must-have product: Dark Rain Body Lotion, £24
The Scandinavian alternative to Aesop, L:A Bruket uses organic Swedish ingredients found on the west coast – oh, and their products work as well as they look.
Must-have product: Geranium Hand & Body Wash, £23
Feature by Rebecca Fearn.