Intelligent Beauty

Scandinavian Beauty Saviours

Scandinavia can do know wrong. The world is obsessed with their minimal styling, pared-back decor and cool-girl aesthetic – not to mention their fashion brands (Acne, Cos, & Other Stories), musicians (Fever Ray, iamamiwhoami and MØ), chilling literature and terrifying TV serials (The Killing, Wallander, The Bridge *shiver*) – and they’re gradually invading our bathroom cabinets, with typically good-looking and remarkably effective skin and hair care have-to-haves.

Trust the savvy Scandos to create a weird vibrator-for-your-face. Foreo’s {LUNA} – available in a variety of shapes and sizes for all skin types – deep cleans as it anti-ages. I know, right? Coated in hygienic silicone with little skin-stimulating nodules, this drives cleanser deeper into pores to banish dead cells, oil and make up to leave skin ‘squeaky’ clean but never ‘scrubbed’. What’s more, it can be used to make your moisturiser penetrate more easily, whilst stimulating circulation to ‘feed’ cells and promote collagen and elastin synthesis. Expect some curious looks when you whip it out at sleep-overs (do those still happen?), but the rejuvenating benefits are well worth getting a reputation for…

They now also do toothbrushes which polish your pearly-whites without weakening enamel or damaging your gums. {ISSA} is a supercharged sonic-toothbrush and a feat of design – the perfect way to elevate your sink scenario.


Typically chic and understated (and infinitely Insta-worthy), {Sachajuan} is hair care for aesthetes. Beautiful against your classic ‘Metro’ tiles, this stunning range stars ‘marine silk technology’ to fortify strands and reverse signs of too much heat-styling. The best-selling {Leave In Conditioner} is a Cult Beauty staff favourite – perfect for the lazy and/or fine-haired, this strand-strengthening spritz smells amazing and leaves locks glossy and more manageable. {Ocean Mist} is ‘bed head’ in a bottle – perfect for ‘roughing up’ super sleek manes to create that effortless, disheveled vibe – and ‘5 star rated’ {Scalp Shampoo} eradicates product build up without upsetting equilibrium; ideal if your scalp is especially sensitive, or you rely on lots of styling products.


{Verso} have re-invented retinol. Their signature ‘Retinol 8 Complex’ delivers all the anti-ageing benefit without the side-effects, which means visibly younger-looking skin – fewer fine lines, more even tone and dramatically improved strength and elasticity. I’m besotted with their {Super Eye Serum} – a supercharged vitamin A formula which makes light work of dark circles and crows feet, while their {Super Facial Oil} is phenomenally youth-boosting; absorbing almost instantly to deliver a potent shot of cell-revitalising gorgeousness. And if you’re jetting off on holiday (or are just justifiably curious), try the 3-piece {Travel Kit}, equipped with hand-luggage appropriate {Foaming Cleanser}, {Day Cream} and {Night Cream} to transform your skin’s fortunes.


And although disputes are rife as to whether Iceland counts as Scandinavia – it definitely does for the purposes of this blog. Developed to counteract the damage to skin wrought by chronic stress (something we pretty much all deal with, right?), {skyn ICELAND} soothes the inflammation that goes hand in hand with elevated, stress-induced hormone levels. Their signature gel patches are infused with calming, Icelandic glacial water and Arctic minerals to reduce inflammation, replenish precious moisture and leave you looking refreshed and well-rested. Keep their signature {Face Lift in a Bag} in the fridge for extra cooling benefit, and whack on whenever you need a quick pick-me-up. Their {Pure Cloud Cream} is also amazing for sensitive, reactive complexions – our Marketing Comms Manager Jen is addicted to its light and fluffy texture, and incredible stress-relieving capabilities.


Irrespective of your age or skin type, {Pixi}’s ‘skintreats’ will work wonders. The line was created by the founder’s sister, who happened to be a facialist to Sweden’s A-List and the cult following it has since amassed speaks for itself. Rich in glycolic acid, the collection of cleansers, toners, serums, masks and moisturisers will help to tackle almost every skin concern – from blemishes to fine lines via hyperpigmentation – there’s very little that this range can’t visibly improve. {Pixi}’s distinctive orange toner is a must-have – bestselling (and beloved by Caroline Hirons), {Glow Tonic} is an exfoliating ‘acid’ formula – gently eliminating dulling surface ‘scurf’ to reveal a smooth, dewy complexion.


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…