Six Ways to Youthful Skin: The Scandinavian Way

The Koreans are world famous for the elaborate skincare routines (and great skin), but in Scandinavia they do things a bit differently. Here, there is more of a focus on achieving great skin not only through fabulous skin care products, but also through natural means like diet and a focus on a healthy lifestyle. Here are six ways to achieve Scandinavian youthful skin.

1. EMBRACE ROSE HIPS

Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant and are commonly found in Scandinavia. In skin care, it is used for fighting hydration, scarring and irritations. As one of the richest sources of Vitamin C, they are used in a variety of ways including in teas and foods. Rose hip soup (Swedish: nyponsoppa) is a common dish in Sweden, for example. Vitamin C is considered beneficial for the skin to maintain elasticity, prevent wrinkles and minimise skin flaws. A full list of benefits can be found here.

2. SAUNA, SAUNA, SAUNA

Saunas can be found around the world, but the Scandinavians take it to a new level. They understand that nothing is more invigorating than a deep, healthy sweat every day. Even my student building in Uppsala had a sauna on the rooftop! The benefits of a sauna session include opening up and cleansing of the pores and increased blood circulation. A full list of benefits can be found here.

3. TRY SCANDINAVIAN BERRIES FILLED WITH ANTIOXIDANTS

Scandinavian berries are filled with antioxidants and grow in a part of the world where the sun doesn’t set in summer, making them plumper, richer and more powerful than any berry anywhere else in the world. They are eaten frequently at breakfast with yoghurt or as a jam to accompany savoury meals. Scandinavian berries can also be used directly in skin care. Companies such as Lumene have been harnessing the powerful elements of these berries, in particular the cloudberry, which grows between August and October in Sweden, Norway and Finland, to integrate them into various creams and skincare products.

4. SPEND TIME OUTDOORS, RAIN OR SHINE

It’s no secret that Scandinavian weather is not the best. But this doesn’t stop Scandinavians from spending time outdoors, even in the winter when temperatures regularly are below freezing. You’ll still see people outside running in January, or cycling on an icy path (how people can do this, I don’t know). There’s much evidence that living an active, outdoorsy life does wonders for the metabolism by quickly burning unwanted fat. Scandinavians take winter by the horns and reap the benefits.

5. FOCUS ON NATURAL BEAUTY

Most Scandinavian women don’t seem to wear a lot of makeup – at least during the day. Piling on the foundation day after day is not good for your skin. It is important to allow your skin to breathe in order to prevent clogged pores and breakouts while avoiding premature ageing. There is an emphasis here on enhancing what you already have, not covering anything up. Also, because of the informal Scandinavian working culture, there is less pressure here for women to look “done up” everyday.

6. DRINK COFFEE

The Scandinavians are some of the biggest consumers of coffee in the world, and caffeine has been shown to have great benefits for skin. The antioxidants contained in caffeine can attack skin-damaging free radicals and eliminate them, which improves the overall look of skin. This is why caffeine is widely used in anti-ageing day creams in combination with retinol. A full list of benefits can be found here. Caffeine should of course be consumed in moderation to reap its health benefits.

The Scandinavian lifestyle is all about balance and sustainability, and this extends into beauty and skin care. To achieve the Scandinavian look, forget the make-up and styling tools and look to more natural ways of beautifying – inside and out.

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