As the ancient Chinese healing technique Gua Sha took over our beauty routines two years back, I want to look into and share some traditional Nordic health and beauty routines too. One of the oldest traditions in the Nordics is the Sauna, which has been used for ages as a relaxation and beauty tradition to unwind and sweating out all the toxins from the body. Not only used for stress relief and natural beauty, the many benefits of taking a sauna regularly has to do with the increased blood flow – it’s good for your brain, your heart and your skin.
Treating oneself to regular sauna sessions improves the mood as well as sleep and overall relaxation, help the heart function properly and exercises the blood vessels. Sauna together with ice swimming, have even been linked to reduce anxiety and light depression - not to talk about the community part. There’s something very unique and honest with naked sauna discussions.
Traditionally sauna beauty consists of a birch whisk, that is slapped on to the skin to enhance blood circulation. Birch leaves are renowned for its ability to help clear your body from toxins, and for its beautifying properties. The extract of the leaves, as well as birch sap water (which are used in cosmetics as well as refreshment), helps reduce inflammation and restore skin radiance as it is super hydrating, rich in vitamin C and minerals.
Besides a bath whisk, which will make you highly popular in the sauna, an innovative beauty product with the same function as the warming sauna and cooling ice swim, is Ole Henriksens Pore-Balance Sauna Scrub.
Inspired by the traditional Scandinavian spas and saunas Ole Henriksen’s Pore-Balance Facial Sauna Scrub will make you rethink physical exfoliators. With ingredients such as volcanic sand, glycolic and lactic acids, active botanicals such as green tea, eucalyptus, algae and Irish moss extracts with natural antiseptic properties, this deeply purifying blend absorbs excess oils and helps unclog pores, and is a terrific option for oily and combination skin.
And now to the exciting part of this scrub! When applying the scrub onto skin it’ll warm up for 10 seconds or so, and while you're working it around your face, the scrub will turn into a cooling sensation. First time I tested it I was amazed (well, to be honest I still am and I can't get my head around on how the team of Ole Henriksen's cosmetics chemists have gotten the formulation to react in this way). The warming and cooling sensation that is developed to reminisce the hot sauna followed by an cold plunge in the sea, adds a lovely refreshing touch to the scrub. Promoting blood circulation and detoxification this facial scrub is a terrific product to bring with you for sauna sessions, or to bring a little sauna feel to your own bathroom.
What's your favorite addition to bring along for sauna sessions?