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Sweden’s best winter skincare brands


With their intimate knowledge of harsh winter conditions, Swedish brands such as Estelle & Thild, Face Stockholm and Byredo make the best cold-weather beauty essentials

Katy Young portrait
Katy Young,

Visitors to Stockholm often want to know the beauty secrets of the local people, who often have great skin and hair and a healthy glow, despite the harsh climate at this time of year. Three of the country’s leading beauty brands Estelle & Thild, Face Stockholm and Byredo could help us with our quest.

While each brand developed products to benefit national consumers, those from other countries are just as likely to find a product to suit them, particularly when it comes to protecting skin during the winter.

Flower power
Estelle & Thild harnesses the power of Swedish herbs and flowers in a very natural range. Pernilla Rönnberg launched her brand in 2007 after becoming aware of the chemicals found in the skincare products she was using on her young children, Estelle and Mathilde. Rönnberg vowed to steer clear of unnatural ingredients, a vision that she still upholds, and her items are certified as organic by Ecocert.

As well as aiming to respect the environment, Estelle & Thild’s products are effective. Our favourites include Intense Moisture Night Cream, which helps to rehydrate skin during the winter, Biocalm Anti Redness Rescue Serum, which uses black elderflowers and oats to calm down wind-beaten faces, and Soothing Moisture Day Cream, which has been formulated to help create a protective layer.

Face facts
On the make-up front, Face Stockholm is one to watch. Its focus is on naturally based products that are ‘trend forward, simple, clean, gorgeous and fun.’ The label’s barely-there nudes and bold, bright colours work beautifully against clear, healthy-looking skin and, if you need some help on this front, Face Stockholm can help. Top marks go to its Swedish Defence collection, which is ideal in the winter months: the Daily Moisturiser’s list of ingredients includes lavender, rosemary, tangerine and alp rose to help weatherproof skin, while the Eye Serum uses alp rose stem cell extract to hydrate dry eyes.

Seasonal scents
Byredo is a super cool Swedish label that’s making waves abroad. A myriad of influences can be seen in the label’s fragrances, reflecting the background of its founder Ben Gorham: with a Canadian father and an Indian mother, Gorham’s early life was spent in Toronto, New York and Stockholm. Gypsy Water, one of Gorham’s first fragrances, is a blend of bergamot, pine, amber and sandalwood and is still offered by the label.

Byredo’s fragrances and candles became well respected for their quality, leading Gorham to introduce soaps, body oils, hand creams, lotions and washes. Byredo’s Oud Immortel Body Cream is particular suited to the winter, with its nurturing and warming mix of incense, cardamom and patchouli. The label’s international standing was confirmed in 2014 when Gorham opened his first New York store, and eyewear designer Oliver Peoples has collaborated with Gorham to study the link between sight and smell and to produce a collection of scents and glasses.

This is a thinking-person’s beauty label, if ever there was one, and the man behind the brand is also a source of fascination. Gorham has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, V Magazine and Elle not just for his expertise in perfume but also for his personal style.

Sweden is known for its outstanding design, and it’s no surprise that the country is also making a name for itself in the field of beauty.

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