Nordic women seem to have the effortless beauty thing covered—dewy skin, piercing eyes, silky-soft hair—even in a climate that’s often harsh and highly unpredictable. Seriously, how on earth do they do it? Is there just something in the water? Maybe! After all, Iceland is home to the Blue Lagoon, a Geothermal Spa popularized for its milky seawater filled with natural healers like silica, algae and minerals.
However, after chatting with my dear friend Noelle Riemslag, a Swedish-born lifestyle blogger of Dutch, German and Vietnamese lineage, I’m convinced that this look can be achieved even if you don’t have access to the beauty benefits of the Blue Lagoon! With the right healthy habits and clean products integrated into your daily routine, anyone can get that highly coveted Nordic glow. So, here are some of Noelle’s top Scandi beauty tips—with a few additions from me—to prep for the lowering temps ahead.
It seems counter-intuitive during the winter months, but browse through any Scandinavian blogger’s feed and—while you might notice layers of knit, cotton and wool—there’s one thing you won’t see layered: makeup. That’s because these ladies have mastered the art of restraint. When others cake on cosmetics, the women of Northern Europe complement their natural beauty with unmatched subtly. To take a similar “less is more” approach, try UNE natural products. And make sure to use them sparingly. For instance, if you do choose to wear a statement color, balance it with a neutral shadow and wear it without eyeliner.
Scandinavian women have this three-step cycle down to a science, mostly because they live in a climate that can turn any extremity into an icicle at a moments notice. To maintain a natural blush, buoyancy and dewiness to your skin during drier times, do the following:
• Hydrate: Apply creams and lotions to vulnerable areas like the corners of your nose, elbows, hands and feet before the day starts. This organic healing cream from Soley Organics—made with wild Icelandic herbs to combat skin irritation among other ailments—should do the trick.
• Protect: This one is simple. Remember to apply sunscreen, even when it’s grey outside. Avoid using chemical sunscreens if possible, which can be replaced by a safe mineral brand.
• Repair: End your night with a dose of nourishment, encouraging skin rejuvenation with a healing facemask like Emma’s Overnight Repair Mask.
• Repeat: Do it all over again!
Another brand worth highlighting is Lumene, which uses potent ingredients only found in the Arctic to keep your skin radiant. It’s basically the closest thing to bottling the Northern Lights. And who wouldn’t want that glow?
People often emphasize skin maintenance during winter, but forget that your hair is just as important. To preserve smooth locks, Noelle recommends Hydration Heaven Hair Oil, which is a product of Löwengrip Care & Colors founded by Isabella Löwengrip, one of the largest bloggers in the Nordic region. This oil in particular can be applied evenly to wet and dry hair, making it easier to untangle while adding luster and shine.
Another beauty trend that’s garnering hype in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland is Nordic Spa treatments. If you can’t travel to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon (mentioned above) or Stockholm’s Yasuragi—a Japanese-Inspired Spa that has been a big hit amongst Swedish influencers—there are plenty of other ways to get a similar experience at home.
The Blue Lagoon features an online skincare shop where you can purchase “Masks by Nature” that are made from the mineral-rich water and mud from this wonder’s geothermal baths. And while there might not be an exact replica of Yasuragi in the states, there are many relaxation centers that offer a comparable tranquil space to swim, soak and steam your skin clean or perhaps enjoy a Swedish massage.
If you’ve heard of it, it sends an instant shiver down your spine, literally! If you haven’t, get ready to face the freeze. While Cryotherapy isn’t necessarily a true “Scandinavian” beauty tip, it’s a great way to experience the metabolic and cosmetic benefits of living in a colder region.
I personally went to CryoZone in Santa Monica, California namely out of curiosity. After standing near-naked in their CryoSauna, which misted my skin with subzero nitrogen gas for a total of three minutes, I can honestly say it’s the closest I’ve ever been to feeling like Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. But in all seriousness, I did experience some benefits from this “holistic, wellness solution.”
After stepping out of the CryoSauna for the first time, my body was buzzing with life. I could sense my blood circulating, my skin (and cellulite) tightening and my metabolism transforming into a calorie-burning machine. And these aren’t the only benefits of Cryotherapy. This new health craze can be linked to muscle and skin rejuvenation, increased collagen production and reduction of inflammation.
Because many of the brands Noelle and I chose to feature are only sold in Nordic/European countries, you may experience difficulty when purchasing their products through their websites. If you run into this, we kindly suggest you search for them on Amazon or eBay.
We hope these tips help you unleash your inner Nordic glow!