For Finns, nature has always been an essential part of everyday life, and it’s only natural that many local companies are transforming its splendour into a wide range of beauty, wellbeing and health products. Along with well-established companies like Lumene and Frantsila, new ones have emerged in recent years, offering the most natural ways to look your best and feel vigorous.
Below are five more Finnish companies and brands that, inspired by Mother Nature, innovate with the best Nordic ingredients, such as seeds, herbs, wild berries, tree saps and mushrooms.
Established by Riitta Jänkälä, a former hairdresser who became frustrated with dealing with all sorts of chemicals every day, Flow Cosmetics is committed to being as natural as possible. The brand’s philosophy is straightforward: if something can’t be done without synthetic ingredients, it won’t be done at all.
Flow Cosmetics offers soaps, shampoos, oils, creams, makeup and other products for face, skin and hair care, with all the recipes made by Jänkälä and her daughter Suvi Kunnari. The most important active ingredients are native Finnish wild berries, herbs and flowers sourced from Lapland and nearby farms.
“Traditionally our customers have been pretty eco-conscious, but people who used to use synthetic chemicals are increasingly turning to natural alternatives,” revealed Jänkälä. “Many have decided they don’t want to buy certain products if they don’t know what they’re actually made of.”
A brainchild of Anne Kukkohovi, who is well known in Finland as a TV presenter and former model, Supermood is taking a holistic approach to beauty and wellbeing. It offers not only premium cosmetics, but also a selection of other products, including dietary supplements and even chocolate.
To support both physical and emotional wellbeing, Supermood uses high-quality natural ingredients: for example, Chaga, a mushroom that grows on Arctic trees and is a great source of antioxidants. Gaining interest from all over the world, the brand is targeted at people who are used to using luxury cosmetics but have taken note of the rise of eco-friendliness and naturalness.
“Our idea is that beauty and wellbeing are a sum of three factors,” explained CEO Joni Kukkohovi. “The first is how you nourish yourself; the second is how you look after the largest organ of the human body, your skin; and the third is how you rest and let your body recover.”
Launched by Finnish design house Globe Hope, this premium organic cosmetics brand is a continuation of a skin care product line designed by Mia Höytö, an enthusiastic nature lover and experienced beauty industry expert. It uses ingredients like birch sap, sea buckthorn, lingonberry and blueberry that are found in Finnish forests and packed with nutritious vitamins.
All the beauty products are developed and produced domestically and can be conveniently purchased online or through resellers in different parts of the world, including in Taiwan, Japan and a big number of European countries. The Asian market is of a particular interest to Globe Hope not only due to its massive customer base, but also due to the growing popularity of Nordic organic cosmetics in the region.
“Consumers are increasingly aware of what they put on their skin, and sustainability and naturalness are new quality standards, especially for cosmetics,” pointed out head of sales and marketing Timo Ahvenainen. “We believe in the enormous potential of Finnish natural cosmetics abroad if we invest enough in sales.”
Letting nature treat the skin can be the solution also in more difficult scenarios. The idea of this medical company, established in 2006 by a group of doctors and researchers, is to harness the natural strength and healing properties of spruce resin. Repolar’s products can be used for treating wounds, burns and some infections, and are intended for both healthcare professionals and private users at home. The product portfolio also includes pet care solutions.
The main ingredient, Norway spruce (Picea abies) resin, is collected by hand in northern Lapland and then purified and refined using Repolar’s patented technology. According to the company, the possibilities for the use of resin are vast and many are yet to be discovered, and that’s why it is taking pride in its R&D activities and continuous clinical and laboratory trials.
“Nature-based products are seen positively around the world, but the challenge is their varying quality. Some work, some do not. This is why we emphasise scientific research,” the company told us a few years ago. “Everything we do and what we claim about our products is based on medical research.”
Known as the world’s leading industrial-scale producer of high-quality birch sap free of any additives and preservatives, Tohmajärvi-based Nordic Koivu is gaining plenty of traction abroad. In fact, 98 per cent of its birch sap is exported, mainly to Central Europe and Asia. China alone is buying over one million kilos a year.
But what makes the product so unique? Sometimes referred to as “the water of life”, birch sap is rich in minerals and vitamins, and has for hundreds of years been praised for its potential health benefits. Nordic Koivu manufactures birch sap as a ready-to-drink consumer product, as well as an ingredient used around the world for the needs of the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries.
“It’s a healthy natural product,” described executive vice president Susanna Luostarinen.
In late 2020, Nordic Koivu received a minority investment from Hong Kong-based Windseeker, part of the YST Group. With the new co-owner on board, the company aims to take its operations to a new level and accelerate its growth.
Originally published in March 2020