Is Swedish Beauty the Next Korean Beauty?

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Perhaps it’s a generalization, but the Swedes have it figured out. Don’t believe me? Sweden has given the world IKEA, H&M, Spotify, Stieg Larsson novels, the beautifully bone-structured Skarsgård family, ABBA and the delightful Swedish royals. Did I mention they’re regularly named the happiest people on earth? Perhaps that’s evidence enough that they know what’s up, but it’s also worth mentioning that their beauty companies are on the rise.

It’s no secret that Swedish women have incredible skin (and style), so it’s not necessarily a surprise that “Swedish beauty” has been trending upward according to Google Search data. And, as we American beauty aficionados strive more and more to find the next big thing from our friends overseas (hello, Korean beauty), it’s only a matter of time before Swedish beauty enters the zeitgeist in a more major way.

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About K-Beauty

swedish beauty woman applying serum
LightFieldStudios/Getty Images

1. What Is Swedish Beauty?

For all intents and purposes, I’ll classify it as Swedish-founded beauty companies that are developed with Scandinavian skincare pillars at their core. (FYI: Scandinavia includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and associated territories like Åland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.) The Scandi beauty philosophy is simple: Use natural but effective products with a less-is-more mentality.

Since Sweden is known for its rich natural resources, you’ll often notice ingredients like glacier water, cloudberries and botanicals. It’s also a place that gets incredibly cold in the winter, so hydration and moisturizing skin products are of the utmost importance. All these facts make for a genre of beauty that packs a punch without sacrificing the overall health of your skin or exposing you to harsh chemicals. In short, Swedish beauty is all about the end game.

2. What Are Some Swedish Beauty Brands I Can Try?

Scändic Beauty

I first became aware of the wonders of Swedish beauty when a friend introduced me to the female-founded, cruelty-free, vegan and gluten-free Scändic Beauty. Crafted in Colorado by a Swedish nurse, the brand doesn’t use phthalates, sulfates, parabens or SLS. It’s also incredibly effective while remaining gentle and all natural. I’ve been using the Ung/Young Line Smoothing Serum ($85), which is harkened to natural Botox and has visibly reduced my forehead crease, and the Skön/Beautiful Rejuvenating Moisturizer ($75), which brightens, plumps and calms the skin. I love the range’s emphasis on natural ingredients that you can pronounce. Also, the packaging is pretty chic.


Though I’ve yet to try Apolosophy, a kind of clean-beauty-friendly Swedish drugstore brand, I was drawn to its commitment to conscious packaging, innovative formulas and bettering the health of all who use it. Scroll through the Apolosophy site and you’ll notice things like the Face Intense Moisture Eye Cream ($6), which notes ingredients like creatine and is entirely vegan, and the Cleansing Gel ($5), a soap-free cleanser that uses glycerin to moisturize and remove impurities without upsetting the most sensitive of skin. It’s also super affordable.


Founded by Sweden-born Petra Strand more than 20 years ago, Pixi may have been launched in London, but it definitely holds Scandinavian beauty values close to its heart. The entire product range is created to make you appear rested and naturally radiant with the help of botanicals and beneficial ingredients like ceramides and rose oil. I’m partial to the Glow Tonic ($15) with glycolic acid and the gold-, cucumber- and coconut-infused DetoxifEYE hydrogel eye patches ($24), having used both after a particularly tiring trip to Coachella.

If you’re on the hunt for the next big thing in beauty that’s in line with your clean and nontoxic ideals, try Swedish beauty. Your skin certainly won’t mind.


Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.