From the iconic Ingrid Bergman to actress Alicia Vikander and influencer Matilda Djerf, Scandinavian women have been an inspiration for natural, simple, and effortless beauty for decades. A lifestyle, rather than a beauty routine in a literal sense, Scandinavian beauty principles are more than a range of products used and steps taken towards healthy skin, hair, and body.
Scandinavian women strive to find balance in all aspects of life, and when it comes to health, it’s a combination of a healthy diet, enough sleep, organic ingredients, spending time in fresh air, exercising, and taking care of their wellbeing.
Here are the ten secrets behind that healthy glow Scandinavian women tend to radiate:
1. Healthy Diet
Healthy skin starts with a healthy diet, and Scandinavian women know it. Similar to the Mediterranean diet, Scandinavian focuses on healthy, seasonal eating based on local fruit, vegetables and seafood. In general, the Scandinavians tend to eat more whole foods than processed foods, which includes fruit (especially berries), root vegetables, fish rich in omega three fatty acids and collagen, whole grains, and yogurt, and stay away from fast food, sugary drinks, food with added sugar, and excessively salty food.
2. Natural Ingredients
The importance of organic, locally sourced ingredients reflects in the skincare products that Scandinavian women choose. If the organic ingredients are better for your overall health, it’s easy to conclude that they are also beneficial for your skin. Scandinavian skincare products are predominantly rooted in nature, using organic and natural ingredients such as Scandinavian glacier water known for its purity, the iconic cloudberry with anti-aging ingredients such as Vitamin A, B, C and D, and pure omega oils coming from the depths of their seas.
3. Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is a foundation for a healthy body and mind, and the Scandinavians have a special approach to sleep. They find time for analogue bedtime rituals such as reading or brewing a cup of tea, go to bed early and wake up early, always take care to make the room dark, and sleep with their windows open as fresh air is known to promote better sleep.
4. Active Life in Nature
Scandinavians spend a great deal of time out in nature, using the benefits of fresh air, cold water, and sun. A playwright Henrik Ibsen coined the term Friluftsliv already in the 19th century to express the joy of being outdoors. Scandinavian women like to exercise out in nature, but also to reconnect- it could be simply taking a stroll in a park, a picnic with friends, al fresco dinner, or a coffee in fresh air. That’s especially important during the winter, when the days are short, and the body needs to catch some sunlight.
5. Hydration-Focused Skincare
When it comes to skincare, Scandinavian women put emphasis on hydration, both internally and externally. Drinking a lot of water is paramount, and the Nordic countries have some of the cleanest tap waters in the world. Due to cold temperatures in the wintertime, both traditional and modern Scandinavian beauty rituals focus on hydration- meaning using cleansing oils, serums, hyaluronic acid, rich creams, face mists, and weekly masks.
6. Seasonal Skincare
Scandinavian connectedness with nature extends to skincare by adjusting the skincare routines to the seasons. With huge differences in temperatures and moisture levels between winter and summer, Scandinavian women take special care to give their skin more moisture in winter and use lighter formulas in the summertime. No matter the season, Scandinavian women never forget a good sunscreen with 30 SPF or more.
7. Sauna and Ice Cold Water
Finnish sauna culture is world-famous and even listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. But not only Finns use the sauna – the other Scandinavians also have a culture of using the benefits of heat and steam interchanged with ice cold dips. Some research has shown a decrease in casual skin sebum, more stable epidermal barrier function and regulation of skin pH in people who used saunas regularly.
Scandinavian women claim that the hot and cold combination of sauna and ice-cold water clears the mind and works beneficially for the skin. Some Scandinavian women also swear by ice facial, whose benefits are elimination of puffiness (especially around the eyes), reducing wrinkles, soothing sunburned skin, and boosting the skin’s healthy glow.
8. Less is More
In life and in approach to beauty, Scandinavian women lean towards minimalism and simplicity – they strive for effortless, natural looks. That means having healthy-looking skin without wearing too much makeup. We’ve already talked about achieving dewy complexion in one of the previous posts, and Scandinavian beauty is all about that healthy, natural glow.
9. Skincare Extends to Hair and Body
Taking care of the scalp, hair, and body is an extension of Scandinavian beauty routine- a healthy scalp is a base for healthy, shiny hair, and taking care of the skin on your body is as important as taking care of your face. Regular exfoliation, hydration and sun protection is a must, as well as choosing the best products to take care of your scalp and hair. We talked about choosing the right products for your hair type here.
10. A Spa Day From Home or Swedish Beauty Routine by FOREO
As indulging it is to go for spa and skin treatments to professional studios, repeating those treatments costs time and money. That’s why FOREO came up with a beauty routine that you can indulge in from the comfort of your home.
Swedish Beauty Routine is a minimalist approach based on using a handful of carefully curated products: LUNA™4 to properly clean your face, BEAR™ to firm the muscles in your face and neck, UFO™3 for immediate and long-lasting hydration, and ISSA™3 to take care of your oral hygiene. You can learn more about the Swedish Beauty Routine in this post.
Finally, Scandinavian beauty secrets are all about maintaining a healthy life and work balance, slowing down when it’s needed, finding time for family and friends, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, connecting with nature, and finding beauty in little everyday rituals. Scandinavian approach to beauty is holistic, and it starts with a healthy body and mind – taking care of yourself from inside out.