The Scandinavian Beauty Secrets You Should Incorporate In Your Routine

By now, you've probably heard everything you need to know about one of the most popular skincare trends: Korean beauty. K-beauty, and all its many steps and products, has conquered the skincare industry with its maximalist approach to beauty. However, if you aren't keen on a 10-step regimen, there is another solution to getting clearer skin. Scandinavian beauty is the antithesis of K-beauty as it touts the same results but with a completely minimalist approach.

In short, Scandinavian beauty, or S-beauty, believes less is more. Founder of Swedish brand Verso, Lars Fredriksson, tells Refinery 29, "Most Scandinavians layer a couple of products and that's it. In my opinion, it's better to use one or two products in the morning and one or two products in the evening to suit your skin."

Although it's hard to imagine that only a handful of products can make a big difference on your skin, it's hard to deny that Scandinavians are known for their clear complexion despite their harsh weather conditions. With that evidence behind them, it's worth looking at Scandinavian beauty as a serious solution for your skin woes.

1. Turn on the ice-cold water

When you think of Scandinavian countries, most likely, you immediately think about glaciers and outdoor spas in blue water in ice. Well, one reason why S-beauty is as successful is that they embody the idea of using their ice-cold water to their advantage.

Although hot water does a great job of opening up the pores and helping your products reach the depths of the follicles, Scandinavians swear by cold water. Lumene's vice president of research and development and sustainability, Tiina Isohanna, tells Vogue Scandinavia, "There are many benefits to applying ice water to the skin; it decreases inflammation, reduces puffiness, improves the appearance of the skin tone, minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores and improves superficial wrinkles." Isohanna reiterates this sentiment that seems to be the key to S-beauty, and that is to do anything that can do multiple functions. Even though it is far from the most comfortable thing, using cold water on your skin gives you multiple benefits.

While your first thought might be to immediately switch to cold water forever, proceed with caution. According to Ipsy, only using cold water isn't the answer either. Ipsy recommends using cold water to wake up your face after your cleansing routine with room temperature water. Another S-beauty tip is using cold masks or getting an ice facial at your favorite spa for the occasional cold water boost.

2. Hydration is key

Scandinavia tends to come up in conversations describing their minimalist interior design or talking about their harsh cold climate. The latter is the reason why Scandinavians need to constantly keep their face well-hydrated. Because of the cold and dry weather of the region, S-beauty revolves around keeping the skin hydrated enough to counteract the dryness.

Many Scandinavian brands will include ingredients known for their ultra-hydrating properties. One example of an ingredient that Scandinavians hold dearly is glacier water. According to Covalo, "Glacier and spring water in Scandinavia are some of the purest in the world — you can even drink straight from the source, as many locals do. Arctic spring water has a low mineral content and ideal pH for skin hydration."

According to Sloane Marley, although Scandinavians don't use many products, hydration is a factor in every single one. The skincare company explains that the reason behind Scandinavian's very well-hydrated skin is that every product they apply typically will give them hydration. This includes making sure their products contain highly hydrating ingredients. Since their skincare products usually play multiple roles, if a product doesn't have a hydrating property or ingredient, it is not in their arsenal.

3. Natural is always better

One of the pros of the harsh climate in Scandinavian countries is the fact that it produces gorgeous landscapes and even more extraordinary ingredients. These ingredients are raised in difficult weather and have survived throughout centuries. Because of this, they are some of the most potent additives you can use in your skincare.

A factor that makes S-beauty different is the reliance on natural ingredients. Typically if you do not know what it is or where it came from, it's not welcomed in S-beauty. You want to be mindful of ingredients that can provide you with extra vitamins and omegas. According to Daily Scandinavian, additives like cloudberry oil are popular because of the high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants that help keep the skin plump. Daily Scandinavian also mention that products containing omega oils are crowd-favorites because they can help keep the skin hydrated and protect against environmental triggers.

Although it may be difficult to learn about every ingredient and know its purpose, Henua Organics has a simple hack. They state that "A good tip to find cleaner product formulas is to look at the length of the ingredient list. Even if you don't understand every word, simple and short is better in Scandinavian skincare." The brand also mentions that even though it's more difficult, the purpose of natural ingredients is to help your skin properly work the way it was meant to rather than get in the way as other ingredients may.

4. Protect your skin

Like anywhere else in the world, UV rays have the power to cause real damage to your skin. This is something Scandinavians know and have accepted as part of their skin routine. Even though half of their year is lived in cold and gloomy weather, Scandinavians make sure their skin is always protected with SPF.

Just because they do not get as much sun as other regions in the world doesn't mean they get to skip out on sun protection. As Christinah Nicolaisen tells Well+Good, "In Scandinavia, the weather changes quite quickly, so hydration for hair and skin is paramount. An effective serum is an absolute must for layering intense hydration for the skin." Because the sun can come out at any moment, you want to be ready for just about anything.

No matter where in the world you live, you should follow the S-beauty habit of wearing SPF constantly. Not only is SPF important to help reduce the signs of aging and hyperpigmentation, but it is crucial in helping avoid skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, everyone should use at least an SPF 15 in their daily skin routine. If you plan to be outdoors, the recommendation rises to SPF 30 or higher.

5. It's more than just products

Even though you can buy just about any product, nothing replaces a well-balanced lifestyle. This concept is something Scandinavians have taken to heart and is the most important step for their healthy life. A major component of S-beauty is considering everything that is going on inside of your body. From diet to mental health, S-beauty considers it all to be important to your skin.

Muse & Heroine mentions, "​​Biohacking for beauty can be as simple as understanding how active ingredients, often applied to the skin during your skincare routine, can actually have an even bigger impact when digested internally ... The effects are shown over time, and consistency is key to keep improving cell functions, that keep skin working, and looking fresh — without invasive treatments, the Scandinavian way."

The concept of biohacking includes paying more attention to how you can get clearer and glowy skin from the inside out. Dr. Miguel Stanley tells Elle about how Scandinavians have been able to maintain such infamous clear skin, "Balance is key, and if balance is disturbed then the largest organ of the body, the skin, will show visible signs. It is as easy, and as complicated, as that."

It is true that perhaps we have overcomplicated skincare with our countless products and 'magic solutions,' something Scandivanians have rejected and instead favored the long-term game of starting from the inside.