While there will always be a place in our bathroom cabinets—and hearts—for French pharmacy products (we love you, Embryolisse!), what we display proudly on our bath tops and dressing tables needs to look aesthetically pleasing. And, of course, all the while the contents need to perform brilliantly (yes, we're a tough crowd and rightly so). This is why attentions in the last year have leant towards another part of Europe—to Scandinavian beauty brands that tick all the boxes. Chic packaging that calls to our inner interiors lover, check; no nasty ingredients, check; and sophisticated formulas that deliver results, check. Keep scrolling for the best brands from our Nordic neighbours taking over our bathrooms and makeup bags.
Ethos: Freshness. Products are created in small batches using natural ingredients and housed in protective opaque packaging, which means they are preserved without chemicals. A clever Start Using By date ensures that buyers use the products when the formula is at its most efficacious.
Hero Buy: Supreme C Serum (£100)—an intensive 20-day treatment product that improves skin texture and tone by targeting and preventing melanin production in the skin while boosting collagen synthesis.
Good morning everyone! Ready to start the day? I love sitting by the pier under the house with a hot coffee and a blanket to keep me warm. Hygge means coziness in Norwegian and I know it's cold, but the coffee , the blanket and my Hygge candle keep me warm and cozy! Some tunes don't hurt either! Have a great day everyone! #senseofscandinavia ( Photo from the personal archive of @onlydecolove )
From: Copenhagen and Stockholm
Ethos: Founded by two English men, Shaun and Gerry, who fell for two Scandinavian women; Shaun lives in Copenhagen and Gerry resides in Stockholm. Scandinavians use more candles than any other nation, so it made sense for the duo to create a line of candles inspired by Scandinavia for a nation that can’t get enough of them.
Hero Buy: Ro (£25) is the brand’s candle for traquility, the aromas of fresh grass, crumpled leaves, woods and dunes instantly help to calm any environment.
Ethos: Created by Danish-born, New York–based makeup artist Kjaer Weiss, the gluten-free natural and organic cosmetics are free from any nasties. Housed in luxurious packaging, the formulas and colour pay-off rival more mainstream brands.
Hero Buy: The Cream Foundation (£49) is seriously popular but a good entry level product is the Lip Tint (£32) in Beloved, a dark magenta that is pigment-rich but has beeswax and jojoba oil so it’s seriously nourishing.
Ethos: Founder Mia Höytö’s enthusiasm for organic food then expanded into an interest in natural and organic beauty. She wasn’t able, however, to find products that worked for her sensitive skin so she founded her own brand in 2012. All the products are Ecocert organic.
Hero Buy: It’s a concise line of just eight products, and a good place to start is with the Kaunis Facial Cleansing Gel (around £30); it contains aloe to calm and cornflower to detox and soothe the skin.
Explore the many ways of our Radiance Cream and bring luminosity and brightness to dull-looking skin. Infused with Vitamin E, this highlighting multitasker can be used according to different needs and preferences, and goes just as well under as over the foundation. It's an all-year-round beauty hero that caters to all skin tones, moods and occasions. #andotherstories
Ethos: Part of the H&M group, & Other Stories believes beauty is integral to creating a top-to-toe look, so it has an extremely well-crafted collection of products to choose from. For the launch, they enlisted the expertise and guidance of makeup artist Lisa Butler and Ben Gorham (founder of Stockholm perfume house, Byredo).
Hero Buy: Unsurprisingly, the fragrances are incredible—Fig Fiction Body Mist (£12) contains pink pepper, fig and rosewood and smells like exotic, balmy summer nights. We also rely on the Cotton Care Plush Multi Balm (£7) that you can use on any dry spots: Hands, elbows, lips.
Ethos: Karmameju founder Danish-born Mette Skjaerbaek believes beautiful skin comes about through living healthy and adopting a solid beauty routine. The entire range is split into three groups based on their aromatherapy properties: Regenerating, Soothing and Energising. All the products are free from a long list of nasties including parabens and sulphates; the formulations are driven by science.
Hero Buy: Try the award winning More Exfoliating Salt Balm (around £35). Himalayan salt is blended with argan and kukui oil to exfoliate and nourish the skin while a blend of spearmint, grapefruit, lemongrass and patchouli help to wake the mind.
Ethos: Founded by former model Alexander Sprekenhus, this handmade beauty brand was founded because he wanted a product that would tame his unruly, frizzy, curly hair. The brand now spans body and skincare, as well as the lineup of hair products.
Hero Buy: the argan-based Hair Styling Elixir (£23), which prevents frizz and when applied to towel-dried hair can reduce drying time by up to 40 percent. It also comes in a light version for finer hair.
What Scandinavian beauty brands and products do you love? Let us know in the comment box below.