Iceland is known for its surreal beauty, but did you know Iceland is known for its skin care practices? It might surprise you to learn that Icelandic skin care involves some of the world’s best-kept beauty secrets, making Iceland a hotspot for skin care connoisseurs worldwide.
Many people know about the Blue Lagoon, the acclaimed geothermal spa that carries the same-name skin care line, but fewer people know Iceland is also home to some of the world’s smartest skin care habits.
I’ve met Icelandic women whose skin glowed well into their 50s, and I wondered how they maintained such flawless complexions. I even wondered if there was some mystery mineral in the water. Whatever their secret was, I had to know. So, I did some research to find out. Here is what I learned.
1. Icelandic skin care is a science.
Icelandic skin care is rooted in both tradition and science. For instance, Bioeffect, a top-selling Icelandic skin care line, has the data to back it.
Developed by scientists, Bioeffect EGF serum transforms skin in a flash. For $165 per bottle, youthful skin can be yours in two to three months. This award-winning serum isn’t cheap, but it’s packed with seven natural ingredients your skin will love.
For instance, Bioeffect contains Barley EGF, a potent natural 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.
The serum isn’t cheap, but long-time fans swear it’s worth the splurge.
“It’s worth every penny!” says Gina Sinclair, a 45-year-old substitute teacher from Denver who began using this serum after a trip to Iceland in 2019. “Seeing how [Icelandic women] took care of their skin inspired me to take care of my own.”
And Gina’s skin inspires me. Seriously. Her skin has visibly transformed since I saw her four months ago. Unlike before, Gina’s skin looks lit from within, as though she just returned from a wellness spa or a ski trip.
2. There really is something in the water. Icelandic skin care includes geothermal baths to rejuvenate skin and relax the mind.
Blue Lagoon and Mývatn are two geothermal spas with skin care lines that have amassed a cult following in recent years. Praised for their skin-healing powers, geothermal baths contain minerals that calm inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin ailments. Sulfur and other minerals revive lackluster skin, improve texture and tone, smooth fine lines, and hydrate.
Now, you can enjoy the Blue Lagoon at home. The Silica Mud Mask and Lava Scrub Mask are two top-sellers from the Blue Lagoon line. 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 silica mask has become one of my favorites. 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 determine what works best for your skin.
One of my favorite tricks is to prep the skin with steam first. Before you apply the mask, drape a warm washcloth over your face for a few minutes. The heat opens the pores, helping skin soak up the ingredients. Next, apply the silica mask and wait 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water or a washcloth and, voilà. Your skin will amaze you.
Lava Scrub Mask: Exfoliate and Renew, $49
The lava scrub comes straight from the Icelandic volcanoes, with gentle exfoliants to slough off dead skin and reveal a younger, fresher you.
The Mývatn skin care line offers affordable products to suit all skin types. The facial cream contains Icelandic herbs and nutrients to moisturize skin, smooth fine lines, and even skin tone in just four weeks.
Mývatn Facial Cream, €38/ $45 USD
3. Homegrown ingredients are the key.
Soley Organics and Skyn Iceland are two Icelandic skin care lines 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. Now, U.S. customers must purchase products from Soley’s Amazon shop, which only sells hair care products.
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 sleep-deprived you are.
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.
To learn about Northern Iceland’s latest spa-resort hotspot, see here.
Or check out these stunning spas in Malta to get ideas for your next vacation.