The making of “hygge” might have started with Denmark’s appeal as the happiest country in the world, together with the rise of Scandi design in everything from home accessories to architecture. According to the last nine books published on this topic (and a 10th parody), plus dozens of articles online, “hygge” teaches us the art of living well and happily ever after, with scented candles, Danish pastries and coffee, cozy blankets and slippers taking over our homes. What started as a philosophy of decluttering and focusing on the essential things in life, as the Scandinavian minimalist style shows, ended up as a marketing trend luring consumers to fill their homes with a plethora of products that they didn’t even know they needed (like the suggestive, yet so cryptically named hygge scented candle). A quick search for ‘hygge products’ will have you scrolling between indoor plant pots, pastel cushions, knitted jumpers, cooking books and wooden chairs…
Beauty brands made in Scandinavia
Best known for their proprietary ‘Retinol 8 Complex’, a revolution in anti-ageing, the Stockholm-based brand combines cutting-edge science with award-winning pack design to bring true luxury into your skincare routine. Entirely safe and fresh, this modern range knows no limits when it comes to reversing ageing.
Worried about the effects of stress on your skin? Treat yourself to some Nordic “hygge” with this Iceland-inspired range aiming to bring your skin back into balance, erasing signs of accelerated ageing, adult acne, dullness, irritation and dryness. Free of a long list of harmful substances, the products’ mission is to bring you only pure, potent ingredients for stress-free beauty.
Estelle & Thild
Named after the founder’s daughters, this best-selling Swedish brand made it a mission to offer sustainable and effective skincare solutions with only organic ingredients and raw materials. The innovative formulas abide by Ecocert’s strict manufacturing rules to bring you only the very best in natural skincare.
This combo of ancient eastern medicines with western biotechnology is meant to reverse signs of ageing at a deep cellular level, using the frequency of gemstones and precious minerals to increase the absorption of active ingredients. This cult Swedish brand is sure to bring a touch of luxury to your daily routine.
Made in Denmark in small batches every 12 weeks to maintain ingredients’ freshness and potency, this stylish skincare brand believes that beauty products should be regarded in the same way as food, challenging the status quo of shelf-life. Combining high efficacy and pure formulas, Nuori offers products housed in innovative protective packaging (with a very cool Nordic design too!)
Our journey through Scandinavia could not end without a stop in Finland, the birthplace of Lumene, a brand taking its inspiration from the Arctic nature. Lingonberry, cloudberry and birch sap are just some of the radiance-boosting and antioxidant extracts in their formulas, with beautiful collections of both skincare and makeup for the brightest of skins.
Founded by a famous Icelandic actress, who took inspiration from her great-great-grandmother’s herbal expertise, this brand uses only the most pristine natural ingredients from the highlands of Iceland to heal your skin with the legendary power of plants. Their absolute star product is the luxurious GRÆÐIR Healing Cream, famed for curing even the most damaged of skins (I tried it on my hands in the Reykjavik airport after a few days of Icelandic winter winds and it instantly relieved my chapped and dry skin).
Yet another Icelandic brand, Bioeffect is based on high-tech cellular activators made in plants, inspired by the Nobel prize winning research of EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor). If you’re willing to invest in luxury anti-ageing care with an ethical approach, look no further than their revolutionary EGF Day Serum.
This legendary luxury fragrance line brings you the scent of Sweden, combining unique romantic notes to crease some of the most popular perfumes to date. Gypsy Water, Mojave Ghost and Bal d’Afrique, together with the three collaborations with Oliver Peoples, are some of the house’s most successful creations.
This range of professional hair and body care is based on Ocean Silk Technology, to bring maximum shine and volume for healthy looking locks, and a patented anti-wrinkle technology for the youngest of skins.
Created by the eponymous Danish-born make-up artist, Kjær Weis offers a sustainable approach to luxury, with refill pans, recyclable carton outer packs, with formulas that are 95% certified organic, mostly vegan and generally free of chemicals. Bestsellers range from creamy blushers, bronzers and highlighters to all-natural mascaras and lip tints.
True Organic of Sweden
With only three products on offer, including the suggestively named Undercover Agent unisex deodorant, Face It Antioxidant Serum and All You Need Is Me Multitask Balm for any skin troubles, deemed as the organic and all-natural equivalent of Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, this quirky Swedish brand is committed to saving your skin and the planet. With packs made of entirely renewable resources and formulas high in organic extracts, I can’t wait to see what new products the Swedes will bring! Their 99% natural deodorant has become one of my daily staples.
Unsurprisingly, Scandinavia’s largest organic wholesaler could only offer 100% natural products, with body care and shampoo ranges meant to treat sensitive skin to absolute goodness – and at a decent price too! Derived from the Danish word “urtekræmmer“, an old-fashioned term for a spice/herb merchant, the Copenhagen-based brand uses Nordic extracts to pamper even the most allergy-prone skins. This is definitely one of my favourite budget brands of all-body products.
Björk and Berries Skincare
Creator of ecoluxury beauty derived from Swedish nature and culture, Björk & Berries has all the credentials for a sustainable 21st century brand. Using a minimum of ingredients for maximum quality effects, the range of skincare, perfumes, body and bath products, hand care and hair care based on birch extract, traditional of the Swedish flora. Packed with other natural organic extracts, waters and oils, the products promote the Scandinavian way of beauty, to keep a natural, healthy and flawless skin.
& Other Stories
You might know them for their fashion collaborations with world-class designers, but the younger sister of the legendary H&M brand also does beauty! With an impressive array of unique fragrances and exquisite textures, & Other Stories takes pampering to the next level.
Have you tried any of these Scandinavian brands? What are your favourite hygge products?