When the cold wind blows, turn to Arctic ingredients to nourish your skin and keep it glowing this winter.
As winter settles in, let’s take our beauty inspiration from Finland, which despite the dark and the cold, is home to not only Father Christmas but the happiest people on earth – really!
‘Finnish people have a holistic approach to beauty,’ says Tiina Isohanni, of Finnish skincare brand Lumene. ‘Our secret is a healthy lifestyle and balance in everything we do. We believe that skincare should work in synergy with the skin’s mechanisms and rhythms. Respecting nature and the changing seasons are at the core of our philosophy, and this also applies to the way we look after our skin.’
Saunas and cold water
The climate is also a key driver when it comes to beauty routines, and rich textures are important during winter to lock in moisture. ‘Of course there’s also our cultural love of saunas and cold water – us Finns have always understood the importance of activating blood circulation to keep a beautiful glow. Even when they don’t have a daily sauna, many Nordic women finish their cleansing routine with a splash of ice-cold water.’
And water is an essential part of Finnish beauty – as part of a skincare routine and as an ingredient. ‘The water in Finland is exceptionally pure, with a pH similar to that of the skin, which makes it soft and gentle,’ says Tiina.
Blessings of a cold climate
Finally, Finland’s extreme climate blesses it with natural ingredients that bring myriad skincare benefits. ‘In Northern Finland, berries, seeds, plants, tree saps and even mushrooms have evolved over thousands of years to survive and thrive under a challenging annual light cycle: eight months of unbroken winter darkness followed by four months of 24-hour intense summer sun,’ says Tiina. ‘This stimulates Arctic plants to produce unparalleled high levels of potent nutrients and antioxidants to protect themselves against the environment.’ Brands such as Lumene utilise these active ingredients to protect and hydrate skin.
‘From its immense forests, to its seacoasts and marshes, Finland is blessed with an exceptional natural generosity,’ says Tiina. ‘Finns discovered the healing and nurturing properties of their clean and diverse nature centuries ago and they still trust in the power of nature.’
Water-based products are big in Finland, and why not when they have the purest water in the world. Lumene uses Arctic Spring water from Finnish Lapland – its pH
is skin-friendly and also has extremely low levels of potentially skin-drying minerals.
Birch has been part of Finnish beauty for centuries. They use fresh birch twigs to make a whisk, which they dip in water and then use to gently whip the skin while in the sauna. Birch trees also provide sap, which is used to hydrate skin.
The cloudberry plant grows in the marsh areas of the Northern hemisphere and its fruits are a potent source of vitamin C, antioxidants and omega fatty acids. They’re in a range of anti-ageing formulas.
Peat has been used as a healing agent for thousands of years. It contains biominerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids. In skincare it’s used to absorb impurities and is part of the Finnish sauna ritual.
Arctic spring water is a rich source of algae – a super complexion hydrator, which plumps and smoothes skin.
5 to try
Brave the elements with these hardworking hero products:
Lumene Nordic Hydra Arctic Dew Quenching Aqua Serum (£24.90, feelunique.com) gives skin a blast of hydration thanks to Arctic spring water, birch sap and hyaluronic acid, with a welcome side effect of softening fine lines.
Flow Cosmetics Lingonberry Bright Mask (£34, flowcosmetics.com) used once or twice a week can give you radiant, clearer skin. Arctic lingonberry powder, Arctic strawberry powder plus pineapple and papaya enzymes naturally exfoliate and brighten.
Inari Midsummer Magic Water Cream (£105.60, ecco-verde.co.uk) is a light cream that’s ideal for normal or oily skins that need more balance and hydration. Hyaluronic acid and wild Arctic plants combine to work against ageing free radicals.
Frantsila Detox Peat (£20, frantsila.eu) is fine pure peat, which you can use as a face mask or cellulite treatment. Apply to your body, take a warm bath for 20 minutes and let the mineral-rich peat cleanse and revive your skin.
Henua Organics Nourishing Oil Cleanser (£79, henuaorganics.com) uses vitamin-rich oat and lingonberry seed oils to dissolve make-up and grime. It also soothes, hydrates and increases the elasticity of your skin.