Six anti-aging secrets from Scandinavia for women over 60

Senior Swedish woman outdoors

Scandinavian women have a beauty mystique about them: perfect skin, minimalist makeup, and healthy bodies all contribute to their ice queen beauty at any age.

Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman are among the most famous Scandinavian beauties, as are Ann-Margaret, Britt Ekland and Anita Ekberg.

OIngri Bergman profile black and white

Fortunately, it’s not all about genetics.  Scandinavian beauty is a result of some very specific anti-aging habits.

1. Clean, natural skincare

Scandinavian women embrace clean skincare with ingredients rooted in nature.

Most Scandinavian brands use raw materials that are native to one of the few remaining unspoiled sanctuaries on earth.  Scandinavians take great pride in their natural resources, such as cloudberries, lingonberries, heather flower, sea buckthorn, cotton grass, and other ingredients that manage to survive and thrive in the unbroken winter darkness, a phenomenon particular to the Nordic circle.  In addition, the cold pristine waters in the heart of the fjords offers an abundance of fish and algae, rich in Omerga-3 fatty acids and vital for maintaining the skin’s lipid barrier.

One of the most beloved skincare brands of Scandinavian women is Lumene, a brand that differentiates itself from traditional beauty brands by incorporating the benefits of natural ingredients that are native to Scandinavia, as well as Finland and Iceland, considered Nordic but not technically Scandinavian.

In addition, a brand called Manasi 7 that originated in Stockholm uses raw materials extracted from minerals, wild plants, and flowers to harness the potency and natural effectiveness of their properties.  Could these brands be the secret to that flawless Nordic skin that seemingly defies age?

Lumene Nordic-C Glow Reveal Moisturizer

skincare from Scandinavia

Buy it at

Manasi 7 Botanical Multi Balm Kaede

Manasi 7 Botanical multi balm microbioskin

Buy it at

2. Hydration

Scandinavian women know the importance of good hydration.

 If you have ever tried to find bottled water in Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden, you may have been perplexed by how difficult it is to find.  Why?  Because Scandinavians consider bottled water to be unnecessary. Their water, straight from the tap, is clean and tasty, without the overpowering taste of chlorine and other additives.

In a study conducted in Sweden at Lund University, researchers tested what would happen if chlorine was omitted from drinking water.  While there was an increase in bacteria, there was also a surprise: a harmless, predatory bacteria grew quickly and ate most of the bad bacteria.

Scandinavian women know the importance of water to the skin (it’s the only real moisturizer) and they drink it all day long.  Of course, that’s a much easier thing to do when your water is really good.

3. Spending time outdoors

Scandinavian women–this includes those over 60–spend a lot of time outdoors.

Exercise is a natural part of life for most Scandinavians.  Scandinavian cities are designed for easy biking and easy walking, even when factoring in single digit temperatures in the winter.  In snow, sleet, or cold, you’ll see people out biking or walking.  And then, of course, there is Nordic walking, which originated in Finland and adds modified ski poles to involve the upper body as well.

A powerful part of the Scandinavian philosophy for living a natural, healthy life is friluftsliv, an unpronounceable word with Norwegian roots that translates loosely into “free-air-life”.  It’s a shared philosophy that our place is in the natural world and gets Scandinavian women outdoors and into nature practically every day, no matter the weather.

4. Frequent saunas

Scandinavian women love their saunas.

This may be hard for us to grasp, especially the cold plunges after the hot sauna.  But here are the facts about saunas, particularly as they relate to anti-aging and the skin.  Saunas originated hundreds of years ago in Finland and have been used for centuries as a way to relax, purify the body through the release of toxins in sweat and relieve chronic pain.

But what does the science say?

One study of men in Finland showed a 63% decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in those who used saunas and the benefits increased with frequency.  Sauna use improves lung function in just about everyone, very important for those with asthma, bronchitis, and COPD.  Improved sleep is another reported benefit of sauna use, since an increase in body temperature helps to restore natural circadian rhythms.

One of the main reported benefits of saunas is as an integral part of a detox program. The idea is that sweating helps to detox substances that lodge in our bodies like heavy metals and even prescription drugs.  While sweating does contain trace amounts of metals and other chemicals, it is the liver and kidneys that do most of the work when it comes to getting rid of toxins.

Sauna’s effect on skinicare

One of the proven benefits of saunas is their effect on the skin and perhaps this is where that glowing, flawless Nordic look comes from.  According to Dr. Erin Gilbert, MD, PhD., saunas are like “exercising your pores”.  Spending time in a sauna means you are getting improved circulation to your skin and more blood flow, as well as opening your pores to clean them out.  Dr. Gilbert suggests that if you can brave a cold shower afterwards, it will “create a circulatory shock of sorts that can be very rejuvenating for the system”.  If you are not up for that kind of system rejuvenation, a shower with water of any temperature is just fine.

5. A diet of superfoods

The Nordic countryside and oceans provide an array of superfoods.  Collagen-rich herring is a staple as is other seafoods from the pristine water.  (Have you ever wondered why Norwegian salmon is so coveted in North America?  That’s because although it’s farmed, it’s farmed without the antibiotics and hormones that Atlantic salmon is).

Cloudberry is also used in both skincare and cooking—it contains four times as much Vitamin C as an orange.  In Scandinavia, produce is used for both food and face.

6. Scandinavian women accept their age

This one factor might be the true key to Scandinavian beauty.  No desperation to look younger, no shame, no hiding their age.  Most Scandinavian women don’t get injections or plastic surgery.  In fact, older Danish women are believed to be the happiest in Europe.  Scientists think it’s because with age, we learn what makes us happy and live our lives that way. This factor alone gives Scandinavian women a beauty and a confidence and a comfort in their own skin–and is something every woman can achieve.

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