Iceland is famous for its surreal beauty, but did you know Iceland is also known for its skin rituals? Icelandic skin care involves some of the world’s best kept beauty secrets, making Iceland a hotspot for skincare connoisseurs worldwide.
Many people know about the Blue Lagoon, the acclaimed geothermal spa that carries the same-name skincare line, but fewer people know Iceland is also home to some of the world’s smartest skincare habits.
I’ve met Icelandic women whose skin glowed well into their 50s, and I wondered how they maintained such flawless skin. I even wondered if there was something in the water. Whatever their secret was, I had to find out. So, I did some research, and here is what I learned.
1. Icelandic skin care is a science.
Beautiful skin begins with healthy habits, but proper skin care is also rooted in science. For instance, consider Bioeffect, a top-selling Icelandic skincare line that uses the highest quality ingredients.
Developed by scientists, Bioeffect EGF serum transforms skin in a flash. For $165 per bottle, youthful skin can be yours in just two to three months. This award-winning serum isn’t cheap, but it’s packed with seven natural ingredients your skin will love.
Bioeffect serum contains Barley EGF, a potent compound that plumps skin, boosts collagen production, smooths wrinkles, and helps skin retain its moisture. In addition, this serum rewinds the clock, erasing up to five years from your face, some say.
Although this serum might strain your budget, long-time fans swear it’s worth the splurge.
“It’s worth every penny!” says Gina Sinclair, 45, a substitute teacher who first tried this serum after visiting Iceland. “Seeing how [Icelandic women] took care of their skin inspired me to take care of my own.”
Gina says her skin has reaped the benefits from months of daily use.
And for what it’s worth, Gina’s skin does look pretty amazing these days. Compared to six months ago, her skin looks more radiant and rested, like she just returned from a wellness retreat.
2. There really is something in the water. Icelandic skincare involves geothermal baths to rejuvenate the mind and skin.
Research shows that geothermal water heals the mind and body, which is one reason geothermal baths are so popular in Iceland. Geothermal water contains minerals that calm inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin ailments. Plus, sulfur and other minerals revive dull skin, improve texture and tone, smooth fine lines, and hydrate skin.
This combination of heat and minerals boosts circulation to produce an enviable glow. Another benefit? Geothermal baths improve sleep and reduce stress, which also helps skin, researchers say.
Two Icelandic geothermal spas, Blue Lagoon and Mývatn, also carry their own skincare lines, which have amassed cult followings worldwide. The Silica Mud Mask and Lava Scrub Mask are two top-sellers from the Blue Lagoon line that contain skin-healing minerals.
Unfortunately, both masks fly off shelves, so don’t be surprised if they’re out of stock.
Blue Lagoon Silica Mud Mask: Deep Cleanse and Strengthen, $49
The Blue Lagoon silica mask has become one of my favorites, and it’s safe for sensitive skin, so you can use it as often as you’d like. Some weeks, I use it daily, but I recommend following the instructions and waiting a few weeks to see how your skin responds.
But here’s one insider tip: Before applying the mask, steam your skin by draping a warm washcloth over your face for two or three minutes. The steam opens pores and helps your skin absorb the minerals.
Then, after you’ve steamed your skin, apply the silica mask and wait 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, rinse with warm water or a washcloth and, voilà — all done. Your skin will amaze you.
Afterward, follow with a dab of rose oil and a skin-plumping hyaluronic serum. Then wait five minutes before you apply moisturizer and sunscreen.
Lava Scrub Mask: Exfoliate and Renew, $49
This Blue Lagoon lava scrub contains minerals straight from the Icelandic volcanoes, with gentle exfoliants to slough off dead skin and reveal a younger, fresher you.
To use, apply to damp skin once or twice per week. Massage the scrub into your skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Then, rinse with warm water and pat skin dry. Follow with serum.
The Mývatn line is another popular Icelandic skincare line that carries affordable products to suit all skin types. The facial cream contains Icelandic herbs and minerals that moisturize skin, smooth fine lines, and even skin tone in about a month.
Mývatn Facial Cream, $45
3. Icelandic skin care uses homegrown ingredients.
Homegrown ingredients are the third secret to any Icelandic skincare routine. For instance, Soley Organics and Skyn Iceland are two skincare lines that carry natural products made with homegrown plants and herbs to improve skin clarity, texture, and radiance.
Soley Organics is a family-run operation whose recipes have been passed down for generations. Unfortunately, Soley no longer ships overseas, so U.S. customers have to purchase from Soley’s Amazon shop, which only sells hair products for now.
In the U.S., however, Skyn Iceland has gone mainstream. The Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels are a best-seller at just $18. Made with hexapeptide technology, Hydro Cool Gels are easy to use and work best when chilled.
The cold blasts tired eyes awake, making you look alert no matter how exhausted you feel.
So there you have it. Glowing skin comes from science, nature, and the Blue Lagoon. Better yet, geothermal spas heal the mind and body. If anyone has tried these products or visited a geothermal spa, feel free to share your experience.
Featured image credit: Anna_Om / iStockPhoto