Scandi dramas. Love. Scandi decor. Love. Scandi holidays. Really love. But since I’m trudging through a British winter, I thought I’d investigate Scandi skincare. Plus, I’m going to the Abba Voyage concert (does that count as another reason to explore the wealth of cleansers, oils and serums now available that bring Nordic nous to your dressing table?).
‘Scandinavia’ usually refers to Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and products that hail from these countries tend to share common hallmarks: minimalism; natural ingredients native to, or inspired by, the Scandinavian countryside (think berries); thorough cleansing; power-hydrators to counteract cold weather; and sustainability.
Foreo is a Swedish brand specialising in hi-tech devices with designs that marry form with function. Its new Luna 4 series features a cleansing and firming massager in one (£269). A kind of ‘brush’ made from super-hygienic, extremely soft silicone, it uses transdermal sonic pulsations to help remove 99 per cent of dirt, oil and make-up residue, exfoliating and prepping skin for products, and providing a deeper cleanse in 60 seconds than simply using your hands to apply cleanser.
With various cleansing modes plus five massage patterns, from deep tissue to shiatsu, it’s like a spa in the palm of your hand and I adore its scrupulous cleansing. Given it’s a hefty investment, it’s worth checking out Foreo’s earlier Luna models and travel sizes. Use with Foreo’s cleanser (£41.99) or your own (just make sure it’s not grainy or silicone- or clay-based as these can harm the device).
Another way to cleanse comes courtesy of Nordic Roots by Green People, a fabulously functional natural and organic line that draws on founder Charlotte Vøhtz’s Danish upbringing and includes ingredients sourced from the region. Its Cranberry Micellar Foam (£20) contains micelles – molecules that pull dirt and make-up away from skin and pores – combined with sustainable apple cellular water to boost elasticity and antioxidant-rich cranberries. It leaves skin feeling like it’s been splashed in a mountain stream. Even its eco-friendly outer boxes are made from Storch, which, as you’re askin’, is 25 per cent grass and requires less energy to produce.
Talking of mountain freshness, facial mists are finding favour as a method of delivering active ingredients in a fast-absorbing format (layering a serum or oil on top helps to trap moisture). Marina Miracle’s Flower Berry Essence (£30), which acts as a toner and hydrator, is particularly effective. Containing hyaluronic acid, a probiotic ferment to support the skin’s barrier, and cucumber, elderflower, raspberry and strawberry, it calms yet brings
on the glow.
The brand, made in Norway in small batches, is the brainchild of Marina Engervik, who suffered childhood eczema and teenage acne, inspiring her to create plant-based skincare and study probiotic formulations. She’s a whizz with oils, a popular way to moisturise right now, known to protect skin in harsh weather and help balance sebum production. Marina Miracle’s Herbal Face Oil (£36), which is unusually fluid, is super-smoothing with a scent that isn’t skincare-
typical – rather, authentically natural.
In terms of that Nordic simplicity, skincare doesn’t get more pared down than at Fjor, a brand that so far has only one genderless hero serum for all skin types (£97). It stars a hydrolytic enzyme, developed by a Swedish biotech company, which acts as a protective film, helping to create a thriving balance of supportive micro-organisms, while hydrating, reducing redness and protecting against pollution.
All good stuff. Now for the bad… off to watch some Scandi crime.
Read last week's column: The best lip balms to banish dry winter lips