Discovering natural beauty | ICELAND
When we booked our trip to Iceland, we knew we had to check out the hot springs, but we had trouble finding natural beauty stores and products. It was likely because none of our searches were in Icelandic. We knew the only way to discover new things was to actually get out and explore, and that's just what we did.
Want to get in on all of our finds? See below for details!
First off, we know you'll want details on the hot springs.
Honestly, they are everywhere, and you can experience it for a lot or a little bit of money. Outside of just being hot and relaxing, and smelling like rotten eggs (thanks sulfur), the springs offer a wide range of benefits.
Sulfur is often coined a key mineral for beauty. The good news is that it is already widely found in our bodies and is the third most abundant mineral we already have! Taking a dip in one of the hot springs increases our exposure to sulphur, which in turn enhances the benefits we receive from it.
- Detoxifies the body by maintaining breathable cell walls.
- Boosts collagen production to keep you looking and feeling younger
- Natural allergen blocker to improve your resistance to allergens
- Helps with insulin production and artery and vein elasticity, which in English means that blood can flow more easily through your body and your blood sugar levels are more effectively regulated. This helps to maintain a healthy heart and for weight and diabetes regulation.
- Helps to improve acne by soothing skin and through the absorption of badass acne-fighting minerals. Hot water opens your pores making it easier for you to absorb natural nutrients and to remove any clogs.
Natural Beauty Shopping
This is the equivalent of a Target in our opinion, but it did carry some higher-end brands as well. You will see signs for this department store all over Iceland. It is highly accessible and usually the anchor to shopping centers and malls.
There was a section devoted to natural beauty products. They had a wide selection of skincare, haircare and makeup. The only thing that you should know is that the makeup complexion ranges are quite limited. Our favorite find was Benecos, an Austrian natural beauty brand. We tried one of their 8-free nail polishes in a nude shade.
We discovered this store while wandering the mall. They carried a curated selection of natural beauty brands from Europe, Canada and the United States. We were excited to see a few brands we had not heard of before including Meraki, a Scandinavian brand, and Evolve, an organic brand from the UK. We picked up the Meraki face wipes and foot cream which we thought would be perfect to refresh on the plane.
This store was also in the mall and we considered it very similar tot he beauty section of a local pharmacy like CVS. It carried a wide range of products, including some specialty natural beauty brands. We were particularly excited about Purity Herbs Iceland, Villemy Iceland, and Anna Rosa.
Purity Herbs is the first all-natural skincare company in Iceland. The company specializes in the use of herbal extracts from the Icelandic wilderness. The very first product, Wonder Cream, is still one of the most popular products today. It treat skin irritations and helps to soothe eczema. For the lovers out there, the company also offers two aphrodisiac oils and a stimulating, aphrodisiac lubricant gel.
Most products are between $25-45 USD. International shipping rates range from $40-50 USD. If you want to try the products before committing tot his high shipping, there are a few products available on the Amazon US site.
Villemy specializes in creams and oils derived from Icelandic herbs that target specific parts of the body. All products are certified organics and range from ~$45 USD to $100 USD. The least expensive item is the lip treatment, which is ~$13 USD.
Some standout products were the belly cream that helps with stretch marks, the muscle and int cream that helps to soother muscle pain and aches, and the Youth Charm anti-aging facial oil. The good news is that they do ship worldwide, with free shipping within Iceland and a flat fee of ~$30 USD everywhere else.
The founder of Anna Rosa is also an author. While we could not translate all of the details of the site, we did discover her book, which is available on Amazon US. In the book she details the medicinal benefits of 9 Icelandic herbs, 85 of which are also available in North America.
This is actually a specialty store that we would call a "classed-up" Flying Tiger Copenhagen, but still quite reasonably priced. It was founded by two sisters, Anna and Clara, in Aarhaus, Denmark. We were originally enticed by the clean styling of the home decor, but we also discovered that it has the perfect tools for any home natural product DIY kit. They also have a Youtube channel devoted to your DIY dreams.
Please note, you should visit this store while in Iceland because they DO NOT deliver. You can get a sneak peek of their offering here!
We know, "What the heck? Why this store?" We were surprised too. In the U.S. we would never consider H+M as a destination for beauty products. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw beauty products right at the front of an H+M store. It made us walk right in because we had to see what was available.
The store carried a wide selection of your typical brands like Revlon, Loreal, Garner, etc, but the good part was what was up front. They featured the natural brands first, including Marilou BIO, a no-fuss, French, natural cosmetics line. The truth is, Iceland is expensive as heck, and we quickly figured out that H+M provided locals with a more affordable selection than most places we visited.
Let us know your favorite places to shop for natural products in Iceland!