Everything You Need to Know About Lagom Beauty, the Scandinavian Skincare Trend Taking Over
You don’t have to live in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, or Sweden (or the surrounding territories) to reap the benefits of 2019’s hottest beauty trend. Often referred to as lagom beauty, which translates to moderation, the Scandi skincare category is as far from Korean beauty that you can get. It has a less-is-more mindset when it comes to your beauty routine, and focuses on utilizing natural ingredients (think plants that thrive in harsh weather and pure water). “Nordic-derived ingredients are incredibly potent and active due to the harsh climate they come from,” says NYC-based plastic surgeon Yael Halaas. “The plants, roots, and algaes that grow there have learned to adapt to a general lack of sunlight. They absorb high amounts of nutrients from the intense short-lived sunlight which allows for antioxidant-packed ingredients.” That, coupled with a minimalist approach (both in packaging and formulation) delivers glowing skin.
Keep reading to learn about five Scandi brands all about that lagom life.
1. Verso: The Swedish skincare line touts its Retinol 8 as its raison d’etre. While performing clinical tests at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Lars Fredriksson discovered a formulation of the vitamin A derivative that went on to be his brand’s foundation. Retinol 8, included in many of the products, is just as effective as retinol with about half as much of the irritation. Brit + Co Pick: Verso Super Eye Serum ($85)
2. skyn ICELAND: The Icelandic skincare brand relies on the country’s plants and marine elements to fuel their products. “Iceland specifically has volcanic soil, which is rich in minerals that also add to the potency of the plants that grow indigenously,” she says. “Icelandic waters are amazingly pure and mineral rich and are incredible for skin.” Brit + Co Pick: skyn ICELAND Arctic Face Oil ($35)
3. Lumene: At Lumene, it’s all about harnessing the hydrating properties of Finnish spring water and organic birch sap to create products that nourish, according to Tiina Isohanni, Lumene’s vice president of research and development. The spring water is naturally filtered through a layer of gravel which ensures purity and results in a natural pH that is gentle on human skin. “Organic birch sap is very rich in minerals and amino acids, which hydrate and protect the skin. It also contains malic and citric acids that help to brighten the skin,” she says. Brit + Co Pick: Lumene Lähde Arctic Dew Quenching Aqua Serum ($25)
4. Blue Lagoon: The Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland is a geothermal spa supplied by water used in the nearby Svartsengi geothermal power station. And while not everyone can book a stay at the spa retreat, lagoon-sourced silica and algae are the primary ingredients in the signature skin care line. “Silica strengthens the skin’s barrier function, which is one of the key components in maintaining healthy and radiant skin,” says Blue Lagoon’s director of research and development Ása Brynjólfsdóttir. Brit + Co Pick: Blue Lagoon Silica Mud Mask ($115)
5. Eleni & Chris: Founders Inger Ellen Nicolaisen and daughter Christinah Nicolaisen looked to Scandinavian glacier water sourced from the Svartisen glacier as the basis of every skin care product in their Norwegian beauty brand. “Pure spring water contains potent minerals and electrolytes that have extraordinary benefits on skin physiology,” explains Sadick. “For example, electrolytes in the water play a critical role in maintaining the skin optimal pH and hydration.” Brit + Co Pick: Eleni + Chris Hydrating Day Cream ($57)
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