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Five from Finland

Finnish natural cosmetics

Finland has a lot on offer for those considering switching from conventional to natural cosmetics and skin care.

VectorMine / Adobe

These five Finnish brands bring the best out of what nature has to offer to create high-performance cosmetics that are kind to both the skin and the planet.

Finns have a long tradition of living in harmony with the natural environment and know first-hand that nature can provide people everything they need to stay beautiful and healthy. That’s why Finland is home to a growing number of companies and brands offering a wide range of skin care products made with the purest natural ingredients.

This Finnish quintet will help you to enhance your natural beauty in the most natural way.

On top of looking very appealing, Luonkos’ face cleansing and body care cakes are anhydrous, additive-free and contain no synthetic chemicals.

Luonkos / Facebook

Founded in 2018 by aspiring female entrepreneurs, Luonkos motivates people to make more responsible choices and lead an eco-friendlier everyday life with its natural cleansing and care products for the face, body and hair. The oil bars (or “cakes”, as the company prefers to call them) are handmade in Naantali, and the plastic-free and biodegradable packaging is instantly recognisable for its hexagonal shape.

Luonkos finds itself at the forefront of using sustainable raw materials, such as Finnish birch bark, oats and barley, and is open to innovation. In 2020, it became the first cosmetics company in the world to utilise Reconnecting Nature, a forest microbial extract that supports and strengthens the body’s immune system. The invention was developed by fellow Finnish company Uute Scientific. Luonkos’ unique “forest-powered” beauty cakes haven’t gone unnoticed and were recognised at the international 2022 Beauty Shortlist Awards.

In 2023, Luonkos was acquired by eBrands Global, a Helsinki-based company which specialises in consumer brand development and international online shopping with a special focus on the North American market.

“Luonkos products deserve to get ‘out there’ to help people across borders,” commented Piritta Fors, co-founder and CEO of Luonkos. “We have innovated brilliant products that represent the best Finnish knowhow.”

The raw ingredients used by Niki Newd are of food-grade quality, with over half of them sourced from Finland.

Niki Newd / Facebook

This natural cosmetics brand has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the skincare industry: it uses food-grade ingredients instead of cosmetic-grade ones, believing that the principles of healthy food and nutrition should also be applied to skincare.

“Fresh skincare is freshly blended of 100 per cent traceable, 100 per cent natural ingredients without any additives, preservatives or alcohol,” said co-founder Kirsi Kaukonen. "And on top of that, we focus on using food-grade ingredients instead of cosmetic-grade ones.”

Hand-manufactured at the company’s laboratory in Espoo, the products are made in small batches, by order, to stay fresh and ensure minimal waste. The production methods are gentle, preserving the delicate and versatile nutrients in the best possible way while being mindful of Mother Nature's resources.

Furthermore, Niki Newd places a strong emphasis on eco-friendly packaging and opts for carbon neutral delivery services.

Henua Organics views beauty as a holistic experience and delivers carefully formulated skin care products with a touch of luxury.

Henua Organics / Facebook

When beauty professional Jenni Tuominen developed skin problems caused by some of the ingredients found in regular cosmetics, she started looking for a solution and decided to broaden her expertise by studying organic skin care. Joined by her sister, Anu Nurmela, Tuominen founded Henua Organics in 2017 and set out to create an efficient skin care formula that would celebrate the Finnish nature and guarantee maximum transparency of ingredients.

The duo opted for active natural and organic ingredients while shunning raw materials that have no effect or put a strain on the environment. For example, Henua products don’t contain water or fillers but loads of birch sap, known to Finns for hundreds of years for its healing properties. Among the other Nordic raw materials used by Henua are oats, sea buckthorn, lingonberry and pine bark.

“The time for synthetic cosmetics is beginning to be over,” predicted Tuominen, who is the company’s director of product development. “I want to believe that people want to use more organic products that do good to the skin and do not burden the environment.”

With its forest-inspired products, Hetkinen aims to bring people closer to nature in their busy everyday lives. 

Hetkinen / Facebook

Finnish forests have always been the biggest source of inspiration for Hetkinen and its founder and CEO, Mona Isotupa. The story of the natural cosmetics and lifestyle brand began after Isotupa won in 2017 the FDS Award, a design competition organised by Finnish Design Shop. Her winning entry was unique: a lip balm containing pine essential oil and packed in a container made of pine.

Now sold in over 40 countries, Hetkinen’s natural cosmetics line consists of lip balms, hand balms, body butters, deodorants, soaps and more. Targeting all senses, Hetkinen also offers scent diffusers and candles, as well as perfumes formulated using tree leaves, needles, bark and resin.

In addition to keeping its products as minimalistic as possible in terms of ingredients, Hetkinen focuses on practical and sustainable packaging materials. The wooden jars for cosmetics are manufactured from Finnish pine heartwood, which has high rot resistance and natural antibacterial properties. In the design, one can feel some influences of Japanese culture, which the Hetkinen team admires.

“The Finnish soul has always been linked with the forest,” Isotupa highlighted . “Finns feel good in the forest. Not alone, not lost – the forest provides protection and peace. We want to share this feeling with all who use Hetkinen products.”

Celebrating the healing power of spruce resin, HAVUKA offers artisanal natural cosmetics based on Elias Lönnrot’s recipes.

Havuka / Facebook

If you’re into Finnish culture, you surely have heard of Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884), who is best known for compiling the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. However, it might be a less known fact that Lönnrot was a physician and a pioneer of natural sciences who built profound knowledge of the most potent natural ingredients and their healing properties during his journeys across Finland.

HAVUKA is on a mission to introduce Lönnrot’s recipes for natural remedies to modern eco-conscious consumers. The artisanal cosmetics brand uses genuine natural ingredients, such as spruce resin, beeswax, wild herbs and rapeseed oil, for its handmade creams, balms and soaps.

HAVUKA’s flagship product, 30-per cent spruce resin balm, became the winner of the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards 2020, a yearly contest celebrating the best natural cosmetics made in the Nordic and Scandinavian countries. The jury took note of the all-purpose balm’s regenerating, repairing and naturally antiseptic properties.

Late 2023 marked the beginning of a new chapter for HAVUKA, as it was acquired by technology and consulting company Aidine with the intention to turn it into an international success story.

“The demand for natural, additive-free and multi-purpose cosmetic products is growing,” noted CEO Henna-Mari Nyblom. “The antibacterial properties of resin are undeniable, the Finnish forest and the gifts of pure nature offer many interesting opportunities for the further development of the product portfolio.”

By: Zhanna Koiviola