SKINBOSS: Iceland’s Secret to Healthy Skin
Natural, organic skin care products are all the rage, and rightfully so. Choosing what we apply to our skin impacts our entire body. In Iceland, the natural skin care market is still fairly new, and a brand new company is making waves with quality, carefully developed products that incorporate homegrown ingredients as well as herbs and oils from around the world.
Natural, organic skin care products are all the rage, and rightfully so. Choosing what we apply to our skin impacts our entire body. In Iceland, the natural skin care market is still fairly new, and a brand new company is making waves with quality, carefully developed products that incorporate local Icelandic ingredients as well as herbs and oils from around the world. SkinBoss is a new skin care line developed by Svandís Ósk Gestsdóttir that is cruelty free and consists of natural and organic ingredients. Her products are free of harmful toxic chemicals instead focus on incorporating wild Icelandic herbs, exotic oils and other fresh ingredients. Her flagship product, a coffee scrub, is simply delightful. The scents of coffee, cocoa butter, and essential orange oil waft out of the package. SkinBoss’ coffee scrub smells like fancy chocolate with a citrus twist. It’s heavenly.
While some exfoliating solutions can be dehydrating or irritating, SkinBoss’ coffee scrub is nourishing, gentle and rejuvenating which is exactly what your skin needs. “It sloughs off dead skin cells, gives you a rosy glow and most importantly makes your body feel super clean and moisturized,” says Svandís. “The blend of powerful antioxidants coffee and birch leaves handpicked on Icelandic mountains combined with rice enzymes and skin soothing cocoa butter, make this a must have for the cold winter months as your skin needs extra love and attention.”
Skin care can be a challenging product category to work in. “It’s difficult because people think that every wheel has been developed, that there is nothing new in skin care,” she says. “But, when you think about has every kind of music been made? Has every movie been filmed?”
The journey to skin care extraordinaire has been an interesting road for Svandís, who used to work in a pharmacy. “In February 2014, I started my company SkinBoss Ltd. and worked hard to get the skin care line to take off,” says Svandís. “After six years of developing the products, I quit my job at the pharmacy and dove head first into the project, writing applications for grants and to find housing for the business.” Svandís received a grant from Íslandsbanki as well as Suðurnesja for ISK 1,000,000 and by the summer she found an elegant space at Ásbrú and her life as an entrepreneur began.
“The scents of coffee, cocoa butter, and essential orange oil waft out of the package. SkinBoss’ coffee scrub smells like fancy chocolate with a citrus twist”
Indeed, Svandís started SkinBoss after her experience in the pharmacy. “I worked in a pharmacy for several years and I also did public relations for cosmetics,” she says. “I have always been interested in anything related to health, nutrition and skin care.” Her personal skin-related struggles also influenced the launch of SkinBoss. “I had eczema on my thighs since I was 18 years old with really bad deep cuts,” she says. “I went to doctors for a couple of years and nothing was helping. Some creams have extra bad chemicals inside of them and they ultimately impact hormone levels in our bodies.” Instead of giving in and opting for creams already on the market, she decided to use Icelandic herbs and create a scrub of her own. “I wanted to make my own formula using natural ingredients and the results were amazing,” she says. After three months, the wounds were gone and three months after that, the scars also disappeared. “I knew I had something good in my hands which led to me experimenting on my friends. I developed the formula with more herbs and oils and it ended up as the coffee scrub we sell today.”
Additionally, the way the scrub is processed is unique and so important. The coffee and herbs do not come into contact with water. “It’s more expensive this way,” she says. “But, this is the most effective way to manufacture the scrub. This way we manufacture the ingredients while they are sleeping and they wake up when finally mixed with water.” The lovely packaging, which resembles a paper coffee bag was designed by Tansu Iliyaz, a designer that travels between Sweden, Iceland and Turkey.
Last November, SkinBoss started producing three products—a coffee scrub, bath salts and a clay mask. “All the products have 100% natural ingredients and I always shop through Fairtrade whenever possible,” says Svandís. “The products are clean from all unnecessary additives and are not tested on animals.” Moreover, the products are diverse and addictive. After the first application of SkinBoss’ coffee scrub, users will feel softer, smoother skin deeply nourished by oils and antioxidants that will hydrate and protect your skin. So, what can users expect after four weeks of regular use? Not only does the coffee scrub firm up skin with less water retention, it also reduces cellulite and stretch marks. “We see this because blood flow to the outermost layer of the skin has been improved, and production of collagen and your immune system is stimulated,” she says. “Also, the protective balm that covers your body has repaired damaged skin and protects you from the dry and cold weather conditions.”
In the winter months, it’s easy for individuals to let important steps in their beauty routine be forgotten. “But unless you’re prepared to do some major damage control come bikini season, it’s crucial to keep moisturizing and exfoliating at the top of your beauty to-do list,” she says.
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