Beauty


Hildur Ársæls: A life in Beauty

Hildur Ársæls: A life in Beauty

Beauty and skincare products have always fascinated Hildur Ársæls. When she was a little girl, her favourite game to play involved mixing her mother’s perfumes to make her own and then selling them in an imaginary store. She also had some signature body lotions, along with her mother’s office supplies, to sell to her friends. Hildur even learned to do her make-up and speak foreign languages when she was eight or nine years old (at least that was what her father told her). He later told her that it was a language that no one else spoke except for Hildur. It’s clear that Hildur dreamt about working in the beauty industry and travelling the world living in different countries for quite some time, and she has made that dream a reality. Reykja­ vík Fashion & Design recently spoke with Hildur about her exciting career. How did you get involved in the beauty world? It was always my aim to work in the beauty world, so as soon as I was done with college I went to make-up school in Iceland. After that, I went to an esthetician school in Denmark before moving to LA to study. After getting my head around the beauty industry, I knew I had to get some more mainstream business and marketing experience to get work in the corporate part of the industry. What was it like studying abroad? My experience in LA was amazing. I’m so glad I chose to study there because the beauty industry in California was/is booming. So many new niche beauty brands pop up all the time, and there were so many networking opportunities that I would not want to have missed for the world. I did a lot of internships while I was there in marketing and product development until…


BIOEFFECT: Success in 30 Countries

BIOEFFECT: Success in 30 Countries

BIOEFFECT is a five-year-old Icelandic skincare brand fully owned by a biotech company ORF Genetics. Fifteen years ago, ORF developed a unique technology known as ORFEUS which, enables the company to produce growth factors from a plant based system. ORF Genetics is a pioneer in the manufacturing of growth factors and other recombinant proteins in plants. ‘The importance of growth factors has been known for quite some time’ the CEO, Kristinn Grétarsson, says. Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1986 for their discoveries of growth factors. „It was principally for the discovery of the role of EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), which is one of the principal growth factors.’ It’s a unique company in the world in terms of what we are able to do. We decided six years ago to use principally one of those growth factors, EGF, in a skincare product because it is known for efficacy and potential when it comes to the skin.’ The barley plant Kristinn says that the reason why they decided to produce the growth factor in a plant based system is because the conventional methodology of producing growth factors is either to grow them in a bacterial system like E. coli or within a human tissue system like placenta or foreskin. ‘Either is ethically questionable, and then there’s also the issue of purity. If you use an E. coli system or human tissue system, the growth factor is surrounded by endotoxins, which are unwanted chemicals and substances that may have a negative impact on how the growth factor performs, either as an ingredient in a skincare product or as an ingredient in stem cell technology or regenerative medicine. The world has actually been looking for a cleaner, better-performing growth factor, and this is why the company-,…


SKINBOSS: Iceland’s Secret to Healthy Skin

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…