Nordic skincare problems and solutions

Featured image credit: Eetu Ahanen/( Helsinki Marketing )


* Disclaimer: I am not a beauty blogger and I am not trying to sell any products here. I just want to talk about the real skin-care challenges I have been facing ever since I moved to Finland. This is simply another perspective on #mydaysinhelsinki as I feel, Nordic skincare problems are too real & stubborn to ignore!*

When I moved to Finland three years back in the wintry month of February, everything from the weather to the food was totally different from what I was used to before. I struggled a lot but, gradually, I adjusted myself to the new environment, acquired some new traits myself and tried understanding this new way of life quite successfully. The only part of me that could not adapt to the changes around me was my skin (and also my hair). Starting from the first week in Finland, it has been a constant struggle to find the right skin care products for my skin, all thanks to the harsh Nordic weather.

Initially, I would just browse random products at shops and try. Every product I saw on the shelves was different; incomprehensible. I tried many of them but none of them worked as I did not know how to choose the products made for my type of skin.

So by the end of the first year, I realized that I doled out lots of money on useless products and my skin was rather suffering from all the mindless experiments. They were expensive products from good brands (everything is expensive in Finland!) but they were simply not meant for me.

In fact, I think, all these products are made for Scandinavian skin types and it is, at least, very different from Indian skin type and tone.

Besides, the locals have the best skin care secret which is not so much of a secret; the sauna and the ice cold dip in the sea! But since I do not have regular sauna access, I have to suffer. Also, I can not bear to take a dip in the ice cold sea.

Plus, the language played its part in increasing my problems as I was embarrassed to inquire about every single product I wanted to buy. Thus, after the end of the year, I simply stopped buying any product I really needed and, instead, stated picking up random super market and drug store products as I was convinced that no amount of hard work was going to work on my skin.

And that was the biggest mistake to commit as, within 2 years, I feel like I have further enhanced my skin’s aging process by sheer neglect. Also, my dark circles started looking like black holes (I looked like a panda, although an unhappy one) and I was almost mortified to look at myself in the mirror. I think, it had something to do with the harsh Nordic weather and also the lack of vitamin D which is a very common occurrence in this part of the world. The dry weather also caused uneven pigmentation on my face. 

As I had read somewhere, there is no direct connection between dark circles and vitamin D deficiency but the lack of vitamin D can cause severely dry eyes which can further cause dark circles as the dry skin can cause itching and lack of blood circulation. So you can do the math yourself. For the same reason, Vitamin D intake is a must! 

Other than that. the winter time does worse as the skin breaks out into winter acnes which look like rashes appearing all over my body. No amount of body lotion or face cream helps in this time as the temperature drops down to minus 20 degree and the heating in the apartment makes it worse.

So when the panic set in at the onset of this winter, I was desperate to find a solution. This was also the moment when I realized that I am not the only one struggling with this problem. Nordic skin care problems is very much a real problem even for the locals. But the outsiders suffer more as they do not know how to deal with it.

The answer was not that difficult though. In my last trip to India, My mother had suggested that I used coconut oil as it could altogether solve all my skin & hair problems. I was apprehensive as putting oil on you face can block the pores and that can worsen the problem.

Meanwhile, I also visited an eye-care specialist in India asking for some ointment for my dark circles. He simply refused as the skin next to our eyes is the most sensitive. He gave me a simple preservative-free artificial tear eye drop. Undoubtedly, after using the eye drop my eye-itching and dryness problems have almost disappeared. So, I guess, using a drug store eye drop for daily use should also be a part of the ‘Nordic skin care routine’.

So apart from regularly using the eye drop, I took a one month coconut oil challenge to see if t works. I dabbed it 3-4 times a day under my eye area and also applied it to my face. Puhdistamo is a good brand largely available in Finland that offers high quality coconut oil products suitable for cooking and general consumption. But they are good for applying on skin as well.

 

But to avoid clogging of my pores I regularly used the Body Shop Cleansing butter with Chamomile extracts. I am not a Bodyshop products fan but this cleansing butter is a miracle! 

By the end of the 2nd week my dark circles visibly lightened. By the end of the month, my dark circles had visibly reduced. Although, it didn’t help me in getting rid of the winter acne problem. I have now extended the one month challenge to a 3 month challenge and I hope to completely get rid of my dark circles. Also, I don’t have to spend money on expensive eye creams anymore as they do not come with any guarantee anyway.

So basically, the idea was to go back to a basic skin care routine with minimum products. And it worked!!

For the winter acne problem, I found this mildly priced face cream called Aco at a drug store and my skin is reacting positively so far. Aco is a popular skin care brand from Sweden that offers a diverse range (i.e price) of skin care products. The prices are also affordable as compared to other Scandinavian Brands.

Lumene is another good brand to fight regular Nordic skincare problems! This may sound like a regular home brand but when it comes to skin care they know their trade. Perhaps some of their products are a bit on the higher side of the price-chart but so far they have some of the best products I have used in Finland. Some of their product names may sound dramatic but they have dramatic effects too! 

Surely, there are many useful brands I do not know about, but these are the products I have tried and found useful without spending a lot of money. If you too are suffering from these problems then perhaps it would be better to go back to a minimalistic skin care routine as well as simple and natural products like natural oils, masks and diets first rather than experimenting with expensive brands right and left. And yes, a hand cream is a must to fight the Nordic harsh weather conditions. But since you only need to keep hydrating the skin around your hands any moisturizer works but picking up a hand cream should not be a problem. Erisan is an affordable brand to go to.

 

If you are interested in finding natural beauty and health products online then iherb is a good place to get started.

Also, do share your thoughts and tips on the topic as I would like to know the others’ point of view. I would like to try some organic products made in Finland but I haven’t done any research yet. Your suggestions are welcome!

 

 

 


No Comments

Your feedback is important. Post one here.....