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What You Can Learn From Scandinavia About Glowing Skin

I recently completed one of those DNA kits. 

Yes, me and everyone else!

In my case, most of the results were not too surprising.  Without boring you with every detail, I'll say that the bulk of my ancestry is from NW Europe and the British Isles.  Specifically, Scandinavia (Finland) and with a profile that seems to indicate I come from a forager background.  

If you have ever been to Scandinavia or been around women influenced by Scandinavian mothers or grandmothers, you'll notice their skin has more elasticity and moisture, and overall they are told they look younger than their peers of a similar age and state in life.  

This isn't an accident and it's immediate genetics.  It's about a pattern of behavior going back dozens of generations.  It's a matter of using clean, natural products, eating a lot of whole food and a diet rich in high fiber grains, omega-3 foods like fish, fish oil, flaxseed oil and seabuckthorn oil.  It's helped by the culture's high priority on being outdoors as a basic daily behavior, being on foot or on a bicycle, and generally bathing in nature.  

It's relatively easy for everyone to begin adopting Scandinavian beauty practices.  Below are some tips to help you get started. 

Here are some of the key things to remember:

1.  Hydration is key.

This isn't just about hydrating your body by drinking water, although that is key.  Hydration of the skin comes in steps.  You should be receiving some amount of moisture in your wash, your toner, and your moisturizer.  

If you apply this to SLOANE MARLEY products, you will want to layer moisture by using REN to wash (once a day only for washing unless you have very acne-prone or oily skin) and follow by tonifying with TONA on a cotton ball or washcloth to take off the excess makeup and remove environmental toxins from the skin, or TONA spritzed on the face directly when you need a hit of moisture, with or without a wash.  Follow with our moisturizing products like VÄN for oil-free and water-like moisture, and FUKTA for a heavier moisture that still soaks in instantly.  

2.  Choose ingredients that focus on natural resources.

This doesn't mean the "newest and trendiest".  It means closest to the earth + in balance.  It means putting together oil + clays + hydrosols + things that are alive so that your skin has a defense system.  Renew your connection with plants for exceptional beauty.  

In the case of our products, our REN wash is made with honey and roses, or TONA is made with hops and kombucha, our FUKTA oil is made with a base of daikon radish roots and prickly pear,  KLAR clarifying liquid is made with four types of clay, and VÄN is made with citrus acids and malolactic acid.  

3.  Strive for holistic balance.

It's ironic how often we will see people who eat very well and treat their skin terribly by using products made from chemicals and which are commercially produced.  Your skin is literally your largest living and breathing organ, so treat it with respect.  It also absorbs everything, so if you have a clean diet and awful skincare products you're still going to struggle with your "glow".  

Everything we make is alive.  It's all made with our proprietary VINOFLÖRA which includes a variety of fresh fruits, omega-rich plants, and grande vidure seeds and skins rich in resveratrol.  From our face care line to our body care line and from our baby care to our intimate oil, everything we make is alive and made to build an army of protection for you and your body to combat nasty pathogens, bacteria, parasites and all kinds of natural invaders.  

4.  Embrace ice-cold water.

If you don't wash your face twice a day (we don't recommend it for most skin types), definitely do splash or wash your face with ice cold water.  Even when you do wash your face, begin with warmer water as you use your cleanser, and as you rinse it away, move to cold water to close the pores.  

I wash my face with REN in cold water the whole time, spritz with TONA and then use a combination of VÄN and FUTKA.  When I don't wash my face, I just splash with cold water and treat it with KLAR and a spritz of TONA.  There are periods of 3-5 days when I don't wear makeup where just the cold water and the TONA and KLAR keep my skin in balance.  

4.  Minimize makeup, maximize accessories.

If you visit Scandinavia, the women are typically big on scarves, head scarves, sunglasses, and brightly colored clothing and overcoats.  Gloves, shoes, and simple but sophisticated jewelry are also a focal point. 

Makeup is not.  

Most often you'll see a woman with a light tinted moisturizer or a swipe of powder on her face with groomed eyebrows, hair clean but messy, and a slash of beautifully bright lipstick on well-hydrated lips.  

For this look, keep up your moisturizing and treat any spots out of balance with acne or oil or dryness.  For acne, spot treat with KLAR and for dry patches, try FUKTA or a combination of FUKTA and VÄN and give it at least 2-4 weeks for full recovery.  Keep your lips hydrated with LAGA or PÄRLA or a little of both, so that your bright beautiful lipsticks won't bleed or crack over a dry pout.


5. Protect your skin with a physical barrier. 

Many Scandinavian women have light eyes so you'll always see sunglasses.  It's also a great idea to use a good natural sunscreen that involves a physical barrier with the sun instead of chemicals.  There are many great ones on the market. 

Two other ways to protect your skin are with clay and wax.  In the case of winter sports, winter hiking, or anything where your skin is exposed, try using a layer of LAGA on your face over your sunscreen to prevent windburn (downhill and Nordic skiing are primary opportunities).  Though it's very emollient, it's entirely plant based, so when you wash your face with REN when you come home, you'll remove the protective layer and go to bed with clean, balanced, weather-protected skin.  During spring and summer activities, a layer of KLAR helps because the clay both wicks away sweat and bacteria and physically protects you from the sun.  I typically put KLAR on my face first, followed by sunscreen and the KLAR saves me from any clogged pores sunscreen might cause. 

If you have any specific questions about your skin and best use for the Scandinavian glow, you're invited to reach out anytime.

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