We’re endlessly fascinated by the beauty secrets of our fellow women in arms around the globe. What do our Korean counterparts slather on their faces? How do South African women keep their skin so glowy year-round? With that in mind, we asked makeup artist, natural beauty guru, and skincare line founder Lina Hanson to scope out all the latest and greatest in natural skincare on her most recent trip to Sweden. Hanson travels all over the globe to source ingredients for her eponymous line (the Global Treasures Balm, $105, is the most luxurious-feeling balm you'll ever try), and we knew she would return with new skincare secrets to divulge.
Hi, ishonest readers!
Discovering natural ingredients around the world is what inspired my product line. For thousands of years, humans have relied on nature for their health and skin ailments. I spend months at a time traveling to various countries to learn about these ingredients, as well as their purposes. For my most recent trip, I decided to go to my home country, Sweden, to seek inspiration for a new product.
The Swedish forest is filled with treasures, and here are a few of my favorite ones…
Birch (Essential Oil)
Birch trees are found in many forests throughout Sweden. It’s been regarded as a medicinal plant for thousands (you read right) of years. It protects the skin from bacterial infections and reduces wrinkles. Its astringent properties are known to tighten sagging skin.
How to use it: Add a drop of birch essential oil to purified water to use as a skin toner.
Blueberries can be found virtually everywhere in Sweden in the fall. Blueberries have been eaten by Swedes for centuries due to their numerous antioxidants and rich vitamin A and E content. Not just delicious snacks, blueberries actually brighten dull skin and fight acne by controlling hormones.
How to use it: Mash a handful of blueberries, and mix with a tablespoon of yogurt. It’s great as either a delicious breakfast or a brightening face mask.
It’s no secret that mushrooms are highly beneficial for your health. But what I also recently learned was that chanterelle mushrooms are very effective for treating acne and skin inflammation due to their high vitamin D content. Chanterelle mushrooms are also high in selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen hair and prevent hair loss.
How to use it: Consuming chanterelle mushrooms or mushroom extract keeps those pesky pimples at bay.
The beautiful heather flower is grown in the Swedish forests and used as an anti-inflammatory tea. This tea is a powerful detoxifying cleanser and is often used for the common cold and flu.
How to use it: Find heather flower tea in your health food store or brew your own by boiling the flower petals in a pot of water. Let it soak for 15 minutes before consuming.
Rich in flavonoids, lingonberries have been the staple of Scandinavian cuisine for decades. The antioxidants in lingonberries reduce inflammation in the body and can even lower blood-sugar levels. This sour berry is filled with nutrients to boost overall health.
How to use it: Eat a handful of lingonberries each day to keep your skin smooth and clear.
Rowanberry is known for its high antioxidant content. It’s astringent and works to stimulate blood circulation. High in carotene and vitamin C, rowanberries are wonderful to detoxify and boost immunity.
How to use it: For a beautiful skin glow, combine washed and mashed rowanberries with honey as a face mask.
Extra Tip: Dry Brush + Sauna
Here’s one last tip. Most Scandinavians know the benefit of the sitting in a sauna. It cleanses the skin, flushes out toxins, and relieves stress. Dry brushing the skin before going into the sauna will further detoxify your skin and keep it healthier and smoother overtime.
How to do it: Dry brush the skin in an upward, circular motion. It helps blood circulation and gives your skin a healthy glow.
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