Aside from great sense of fashion, there’s another thing the stylish Swedes of social media are known for: They love beauty and taking care of their skin. Scandinavian beauty products and skin-care formulations are some of the best of their kind, and with the Scandi girl trend only becoming bigger, more and more Swedish brands are becoming available in the States.
I was fortunate enough to take a trip over the summer to sunny Stockholm and experience the booming beauty industry there firsthand. I walked through every beauty store and many many, Apotek pharmacies (the largest chains in the country). My suitcase was basically all skin care and makeup on the way back to Brooklyn, and I was so proud to unveil it all and organize it once back at my apartment.
Read on for the 10 best Scandinavian beauty buys I scored from my trip to Stockholm. Luckily, I was able to track down where you can get them in the states. And if you’re planning a trip, take down a couple of these links for related products to keep an eye out for when in Sweden. They won’t disappoint!
You may have seen Lumene carried in Target before. Truthfully, I thought they were known for their vitamin C products exclusively, but, upon walking into the Swedish pharmacies, it was clear this brand dominates in Scandinavia. There were so many products I hadn’t seen before including this eye cream. It has pre-retinol (a gentle, plant-based way to deliver vitamin A) derived from nordic berries and it is mild enough for daily use. I have yet to see it in stores at Target, but it is available online.
Idun Minerals is a brand that has been on my radar for quite some time—they’re the reason for my Sweden trip! I’ve been fortunate enough to try products both sold in the U.S. and in Sweden from them as they begin to integrate their full product line in to the States. This moisturizing day cream is the perfect lightweight summer moisturizer. It’s a gel formula and it is very, very hydrating. It leaves me looking like I just walked out of a facial appointment—the dewy glow is just that good. Plus, it’s a great consistency to blend with bronzing drops.
This versatile balm has been a trusted companion in the harshest Nordic conditions for generations. Its natural ingredients, such as beeswax and vegetable oils, provide exceptional moisture and protection for the skin, making it a go-to solution for soothing dryness, chapped lips, and even minor cuts and abrasions. Embraced for its simplicity and effectiveness, this Swedish classic embodies the essence of Scandinavian beauty by prioritizing quality and functionality in skin care.
One thing that surprised me as I strolled through the pharmacy aisles in Stockholm was the hand cream choices. There had to be about 80 different kinds, dedicated to an entire aisle. Most were familiar brands like Neutrogena and Eucerin, but I had never seen the formulas before. A lot were labeled “Norwegian” or “Swedish” formula, and some contained sunscreen or touted how they could fade dark aging spots. One thing is for sure, the Swedes are serious about their hand care regimens.
I was excited to see the deodorant options in Europe, as deodorant has been something difficult for me to find. I like natural deodorant, but I also have very sensitive skin under there so finding a balance is key. This product caught my eye as I love La Roche Posay skin care, of course, and this product touted it was for sensitive skin. It feels a little more “wet” than I would like when you first roll it on but it dries in a couple minutes and becomes comfortable. It smells fabulous and hasn’t irritated my armpits one bit.
Truly a cleanser that everyone must try. It’s something perfect to keep in your skin-care arsenal when you need a gentle, yet effective, deep cleanse. It uses black elderflower to restore your moisture levels and protect your skin barrier. It left my skin feeling softer and hydrated, not at all stripped, which is how my skin can sometimes feel in the warmer months after cleansing.
ACO is a brand you won’t be able to escape if you ever visit Sweden. It is literally everywhere and has such a massive presence in the pharmacies, grocery stores, and beauty sections in department stores like Ahlens. I quickly found the Scandinavian Online Store (yes, it is reputable and I have purchased from them), which luckily sells many ACO products and ships to the States. This Face Glow Vitamin C Booster is one of the best vitamin C products I’ve tried and leaves a healthy glow behind like no other product has for me. They also make fabulous hand creams if you experience irritation from eczema or psoriasis.
Idun Minerals has great makeup staples within their collection, too—my favorite being their Oil-Infused Tinted Lip Elixir (but it is only available in Sweden at this point in time). I carry one in every single bag I own, and I gifted one to each of my friends as a souvenir. However, this under-eye concealer has been my summer secret weapon to make it look like I got all my beauty sleep. The shades are flexible, and I’ve been blending a little of the Ivory and Honey colors together.
Another gem from Lumene that required a little extra digging to find stateside. I’m a huge fan of liquid blush, and when you add skin-care-grade ingredients into one, it makes a permanent home in my makeup bag. I’m such a fan of the no-makeup-makeup-look and have perfected a short, 10-minute makeup routine before rushing out the door. This liquid blush is light, easily spreadable, and gives the most lively poppy color to your cheeks. Hot tip: Lumene also makes glowy bronzers with the same formula.
Sachajuan is another beauty brand I had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with while I traveled. I went to one of their salons in Ostermalm and experienced a really amazing blowout. I was walking around with such Scandi girl confidence, and I appreciated seeing so many gorgeous cuts and colors being performed when I was there. They have a big presence in the stores over there and are becoming quite popular in the U.S. as well. Given I have fine hair, I love a volumizing shampoo. This one smells fresh like the ocean and provides incredible bounce.
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