11 innovative beauty forerunners
From the Nordics and beyond, the forerunners in the beauty industry care as much for the environment as they do for their users. Here are 11 innovations for the ­advancement of our face, body, hair, and — yes — teeth.
2 Dec 2020

ALGICA — Anti-polluting algae 

Startup Swedish Algae Factory cultivates a type of algae called diatoms and extracts its unique shell material. The material is branded under the name ­Algica and is ECOCERT and COSMOS approved. It lays claim to being a moisturiser, cleanser, rheology modifier, and anti-polluting ingredient, and is already included in True Organic of Sweden’s face cream, Make My Day. A recent in-vitro study also showed that the material works as an SBP booster. In-vivo SBP boosting tests are planned for the end of this year, followed by UV filter tests. 

BAST — A functional fighter

The French-Swedish brand, founded by well-recognised French perfumer and professional kick boxer David Frossard, joins the growing functional body care trend. Developed for athletes, the products are created to help people prevent injuries and muscular pain as well as for daily hygiene. They’re all produced in Sweden and based on natural ingredients, with a noticeable effect. The Bruise Control, for example, helps to reduce swelling and pain to intensify the recovery process. The key ingredient is Arnica Flower extract, which has been used throughout the ages to ­reduce swelling.

DERMYN — Well-developed dermatology 

This new brand introduces a range of products for face and eyes with a strong focus on firming and lifting. It includes patented formula Tricutan, developed in collaboration with dermatologists at one of Europe’s premier health facilities, Swedish Karolinska University Hospital, which shows measurable results within 45 minutes. The target consumer is a busy young woman that demands fast results, sustainable products, and desires natural and healthy skin.

SELAHATIN — Luxurious paste  

Founder Kristoffer Vural, named one of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs by Monocle recently, describes Selahatin as the artisanal oral care brand. The toothpaste combines crafted blends, minimalist aesthetics, and Swiss science in an industry that has solely been focused on function. That has opened doors to high-end stockists — Selfridges, Rinascente, Andreas Murkudis and more — in 15 countries and has, thus, taken the category places it’s never been. 

RESEROL — Anti-aging activation 

Founded by a group of researchers, entrepreneurs, and creators, Reserol’s aim is to make the latest research available to consumers through innovative products, packed in Nordic minimalism at an affordable price level. The line includes Resveratrol Boosting Films, a high-end dietary supplement containing the bioactive substance resveratrol. Long known as nature’s own anti-aging molecule, ­Reserol’s unique technology, FFT, enables absorption of active compounds via the oral lining and facilitates a fast uptake and distribution to the tissues. 

ZARKOPERFUME — Scent of science

Founder Zarko Ahlmann Pavlov believes that we’re in a new era, where customers demand to know the nose (industry-speak for perfumer) behind a brand, rather than just using machine-made fragrances. His brand is a pioneer in innovative molecular fragrances, representing the highest level of craftsmanship within fine fragrances. ”I’m fascinated by what attracts humans, and what specific molecules trigger pheromones to be elevated, and how they fit into the brain and the responses they create,” he says.

SKINTOLOGY STOCKHOLM — Tech-based skincare

Always looking for the latest and most innovative technologies, this Swedish duo works a lot with bio-tech and extraction of plant substances through ultrasound. The range includes a cleanser, serum, day and night cream, and sheet masks with a patented bio cellulose technology for the demanding consumer. The latest addition, The Basics Oil Gel, comes with an unusual gel consistency that melts into an oil. And they’re all developed in their own laboratory, or micro factory, in the heart of the Swedish capital.

MAKE THE MAKE  — Makeup with benefits

Skincare-infused makeup has been spotted as this autumn’s major beauty trend and e-tailer Skincity’s in-house brand was one of the first to jump on it. They add active skincare ingredients to enhance your look and benefit skin health at the same time. The products are both versatile and affordable so you can build a full routine from what’s called a new generation of makeup products at a reasonable price.

EXUVIANCE — Extracurricular activities 

The innovators of innovators? Exuviance was founded by two dermatology professors, who also discovered one of the industry’s major ingredient categories; fruit acids, better known as AHA and PHA. Over the years, they’ve also introduced several other patented technologies: Bionic PHA, the third generation acids with additional moisturising and barrier-strengthening effects on the skin; amino sugar NeoGlucosamine, and CitraFill and Aminofil, the latest generation of anti-aging technologies. Earlier this year they launched a major brand update, including a new name: Exuviance Professional.

OLAPLEX — Healing hair

The products feature first-of-their-kind, patented, bond-building technology, which relinks the broken disulfide bonds caused by damage to the hair. The line contains shampoo, conditioner, leave-in cream, oil, and rinse out treatments. The latest launch — professional-inspired, intensive treatment Olaplex No.0 — contains the highest concentration of the special technology of any Olaplex at home product.

KEVIN MURPHY — Friendly packaging 

Since 2018, when being the first beauty brand to offer packaging made with 100% Ocean Waste Plastic, Kevin Murphy has saved an estimated 360 tonnes of plastic from entering the ocean each year. His brand also utilises recyclable or biodegradable packaging and only uses natural ingredients from sustainable and renewable sources, harvested in a way that does no harm to the environment. The latest innovation is their new SCALP series, a two-product offering with an exfoliating scrub and a specially formulated shampoo designed with micellar water and celery seed extract to sooth and cleanse the scalp, leaving the hair feeling clean and ­moisturised.

Key takeaway 

Brands that are honest about their sustainability efforts and transparent about ingredients are in a good position to win.