Danish People Have Notoriously Impeccable Skin—4 Things They Do That We Don't

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to find myself on the receiving end of an Ole Henriksen facial. The experience was nearly transcendental—not only did I leave with supremely radiant skin, but I felt like the treatment was holistic. My aesthetician included aromatherapy and breathing exercises to make it a complete mind and body experience. 

Ole Henriksen is a brand rooted in Danish tradition. I felt so relaxed (and glowing!) that I got to wondering what Danish beauty secrets we’re missing out on. I reached out to Ole Henriksen himself to learn more about Danish beauty secrets—and how to start incorporating them into my own beauty ritual. Keep reading to learn how to start treating beauty like a Copenhagen girl.


(Image credit: @dinahansen )

1. Hygge

Danish people subscribe to something called "hygge” in their everyday lives, and this also applies to the way they view beauty. Hygge is all about creating a cozy atmosphere for yourself and appreciating the world around you. Ole Henriksen, founder of his eponymous skincare brand, says that people in Denmark shape their lives around hygge by devoting themselves to wellness practices like winter bathing, saunas, and biking nearly everywhere, regardless of the weather. "We strive to embrace the Scandinavian lifestyle centered on joyful wellness with hygge-inspired self-care,” says Henriksen. This means minimalist beauty products and turning your beauty routine into a self-care ritual rather than a chore.

Try it yourself:

2. Soothing Treatments

In Denmark, the name of the game is incorporating soothing treatments into your beauty routine. Two soothing routines Danish people regularly do, according to Henriksen, are chamomile eye treatments and lavender facial steam treatments. Chamomile treatments are easy to try at home—just steep chamomile tea bags in cool water for a minute or two and place them on your eye area for 10 to 15 minutes before beginning your skincare routine. 

Henriksen explains that it’s also easy to try a lavender facial steam at home. "Lavender is the most calming, soothing, and healing essential oil, and the aroma in itself is very relaxing,” he says. "Fill your sink [a third of the way full] with warm water and take a tablespoon full of lavender essential oil and stir in the water. Drench a terry face cloth in the mixture and lean over the sink. Press the cloth into your face to get the stimulative and soothing comfort of the lavender. Hold it like that for at least 30 seconds and then repeat five to eight times. You feel completely revived.”

Try it yourself:

3. Locally Sourced Ingredients

"What many may not know is that I grew up in the Danish countryside surrounded by beautiful lush nature that is considered to be the home of some of the most potent antioxidants and nourishing skincare ingredients in the world,” says Henriksen. "We value the region and its rich natural resources.” Try Nordic ingredients like birch sap, snow lotus, alpine willow, white lupin, cloudberries, and mushrooms. 

Try it yourself:

4. Increase Circulation 

In Danish beauty routines, it’s common to help boost circulation to help improve your skin health. Henriksen says that it’s common to do a light facial massage with almond oil before a facial scrub to make your skin more radiant. "They like to do a firm upward outward circular motion massage for added circulation,” says Henriksen.

Try it yourself:

Next Up: I've Tried Dozens of Skin Supplements—These Are the 7 That Make a Difference

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Associate Beauty Editor

Katie Berohn is the associate beauty editor at Who What Wear. Previously, she worked as the beauty assistant for Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Prevention magazines, all part of the Hearst Lifestyle Group. She graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a major in journalism and minor in technology, arts, and media, and earned her master's degree at NYU's graduate program for magazine journalism. In addition, Katie has held editorial internships at Denver Life magazine, Yoga Journal, and Cosmopolitan; a digital editorial internship at New York magazine's The Cut; a social good fellowship at Mashable; and a freelance role at HelloGiggles. When she's not obsessing over the latest skincare launch or continuing her journey to smell every perfume on the planet, Katie can be found taking a hot yoga class, trying everything on the menu at New York's newest restaurant, or hanging out at a trendy wine bar with her friends.