Arctic mushrooms, lichen, and berries, along with root extracts and seeds are full of vitamins and antioxidants. The power of plants from the high north is due to the distinctive climate of the region. What potential do these arctic plant ingredients have for natural cosmetics? Industry insider Elfriede Dambacher asked experts from Sweden and Finland at this year’s Vivaness Fair.
“Four wonderful women that are passionate about what they do,” said Elfriede Dambacher about the participants of the forum “The Power of the North” on February 16th, 2018 at Germany’s largest natural cosmetics fair. The four experts in trading, raw material sourcing, founding a start-up, and trend analysis explored the potential held by Scandinavian natural cosmetics in the German market.
From Finland, the land of the midsummer night sun and thousands of lakes, came Jaana Elo. The forest owner and representative of Organic Finland, the Finnish association for organic products explains the benefits of the harsh climate for plant growth in the high north and the nutrients provided by the earth. She also described how 75% of the country is covered by forest. With 12 million hectares of organic-certified forest, Finland has the largest organic-certified land in Europe.
“Superfood” in cosmetics
Autumn is the time of year to collect the wild berries and plants. The long winter has a rejuvenating effect on the plants. Therefore, the plants are especially rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. “Sprouts, berries, mushrooms, and unique seed oils are truly vitamin-boosters for the immune system.” The food industry already uses the benefits of the pesticide-free and high-quality raw plant materials.
“We just want to bring the power of the North into natural cosmetics,” hoped Jaana.
For her, the future is in natural cosmetics. The next generation will be responsible for demanding more natural products that care for both the environment and their health.
Natural cosmetics are a Lifestyle
“We know what’s green and what’s good,” said the owner of GreenGlam, Dr. Christina Kraus as she shared her deep and well-founded knowledge of natural cosmetics specialty stores. Coming from Sweden, Dr. Kraus has spent the last 10 years putting her heart and soul into her online store and showroom for GreenGlam. She has worked with new natural cosmetic brands along with other high-quality brands from Scandinavia to create her successful company in the heart of Augsburg, Germany. For the distributor, the power of the North is very clear with its combination of highly-effective plant materials and high-tech natural cosmetics.
“We have many Scandinavian brands that work really well for us.”
The use of natural cosmetics is, for her, a lifestyle, and no longer just a trend. Brands from northern Europe are coming into play, bringing products that are not only effective and innovative, but are also beautifully designed and stand out from the designs of other European brands.
Emma Bergquist, former Nordic Marketing Manager for Weleda in Sweden and founder of Tree of Brands, also founded the Natural Organic Cosmetics Association in Sweden. The enthusiastic Swede described how important the appearance of a brand in Sweden is.
“We love to decorate our bathrooms.”
Scandinavian design is simple, practical, and is designed with clear lines and intense colors. Swedes want attractive packaging design as much as they want appealing interior design, and they want to show that off to their family and friends as well.
“The ingredients aren’t as important as the appearance of a brand.”
Overall, more money is spent per person on cosmetics in Sweden than in the rest of Europe. According to trend research, 72% of women in Sweden are willing to buy organic products. Again, this is important: “We want to lead a conscious life and demonstrate that too,” said the industry expert from Sweden. Specifically, however, in Sweden, customers are switching directly from conventional cosmetics to natural products. “Organic” is especially relevant in the field of natural cosmetics.
A new blend for natural skincare
The founder of INARI Arctic Cosmetic, Sirkku Hahn, also knows how effective the arctic plant world is. Having grown up on the edge of the Finnish Lapland, she is fascinated by the power that comes from the barren landscape of the Polar Circle. The extremes of light and darkness act in very special ways on both humans and nature. The start-up founder has developed an active ingredient complex of six arctic plants for her new skincare line. The anti-aging mechanism of the active ingredients of INARI Arctic Beauty’s skincare line is based on the high antioxidant properties of the utilized plant ingredients.
“The air in northern Finland is, along with Iceland, the cleanest in the world.”
As the climate conditions are strenuous for the plants, the plants have developed a protection mechanism to overcome them. That together with the clean environment is their advantage, described Sirkku Hahn. The start-up founder and expert in northern natural cosmetics knows why natural skincare products from Scandinavia are convincing; it’s the high efficacy of the ingredients together with the subtle scent and Scandinavian design.
How will the market develop in the future? In her closing statement, the brand and market expert Emma Bergquist emphasized:
“The only way to produce and to consume is natural cosmetics.”