Is it just us, or is the beauty sphere collectively moving towards pared-down skincare routines? Things like “skip-care” and “skin fasting” have become trending topics amongst those in the know, while dermatologists and experts have started encouraging consumers to embrace simplicity in their skincare routines. It’s no wonder then, that the Scandinavian skincare trend has been gaining traction as of late.
The beauty of Scandinavian skincare lies in its simplicity, much like the region’s famed design movement. Instead of layering multiple products, this trend aims to condense your routine to just a couple of items. Scandinavian skincare doubles down on multi-tasking, multi-purpose products to make up for the lack of steps – much like Korea’s skip-care trend. The ultimate difference is in that while Korean skincare focuses on a more dewy complexion, Scandi skincare focuses on a more matte, clear and “no make-up” outcome.
For example, you’d use an AHA- or BHA-based cleanser in the morning, followed by an antioxidant serum or spot treatment, and then finish with an SPF. All in all, only three steps. Notice a lack of moisturiser in the routine? That’s because most dedicated SPF products come in a moisturising base. However, the reverse does not apply – moisturisers that claim to offer SPF protection are not adequate.
At night, wash your face with an acid-based cleanser. Give your skin a few minutes before following up with a retinol-infused moisturiser – this helps cut down on the chance of irritation. With just a handful of steps, you’ve got the basics of skincare covered: cleansing, exfoliation, treatment, moisturising, and protection.
Surprisingly, there are already plenty of well-known Scandinavian beauty brands on the market; they’re just not marketed as such. There’s FOREO, maker of silicone cleansing brushes; Byredo, a fragrance house that has gained cult status amongst beauty editors; Kjaer Weis, a clean beauty brand that offers refillable products packaged in ultra-luxe compacts; Sachajuan, a haircare brand that’s popular amongst celebrity hairstylists; Verso, a skincare brand that uses a stabilised form of vitamin A that’s purportedly eight times more effective than traditional retinol. Perhaps, the success of these brands is testament to the efficacy of Scandinavian skincare and beauty.
However, keep in mind that such a minimal routine is best for people with no existing major skin concerns like eczema or dermatitis. Also, for some people, multi-step routines that run into double digits work because the added layers of product act as a buffer between active ingredients and their skin.
Browse below for our round-up of products you should consider when building a Scandi skincare routine.