A Hygge Beauty Line Just Dropped At Sephora — & It's So Good

A lot of people travel to Copenhagen and come back inspired by the food, happy lifestyle, and sleek interior design. Me? I couldn't stop obsessing over the perfect skin of everyone who lives there. You know that island where no one ever gets acne? Copenhagen is kind of like that — only about 100 times colder and with way more stuff to eat. The city is full of people riding their bikes or sitting around a candlelit dinner — with their obnoxiously clear, glowing skin peeking out from under their scarves.

And while it can certainly be attributed to their dedicated skin routines, celebrity skin specialist Ole Henriksen points to something a little more folksy: Hygge, the Danish concept of warmth and coziness. "You can find Hygge anywhere. Maybe it's time around the fireplace or lighting a candle in your bathroom. It's about taking a deep breath and connecting on an intimate level. It relaxes you," says Henriksen. "Stress can overwhelm and send so much negative energy to the brain and this is a conscious decision [to control it]."

This month, Henriksen is relaunching his entire skin-care range at Sephora — complete with a sleek Scandinavian aesthetic. But nestled into the collection is something new: Balance, a set of products focused on combination skin and arguably the most "Hygge" of the bunch. With a calming Eucalyptus scent and self-warming formulations*, it's hard not to slow down and relax when you use them. And that's exactly how Henriksen intended it.
"You need to turn your beauty routine into an indulgent moment," he told me. "Go into bathroom, warm the cleanser between your palms, close your eyes, and center yourself for just 30 seconds. Very little time has passed, but nonetheless you feel more relaxed and you feel you are doing something great for your skin."
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And for those with combination or acneic skin, it's even more important. "There is no doubt that when you see skin erupted, you panic, you get frustrated, and you are hard on yourself. You tend to get impatient and expect results overnight, but you need to see the beauty in your face and recognize the healing and transformative powers of skin — then make a commitment to change," says Henriksen. (This is a good time to mention that Henriksen is also a motivational speaker by trade, if you couldn't already tell.)

You can find Hygge anywhere. Maybe it's time around the fireplace or lighting a candle in your bathroom.

Ole Henriksen
I've been using the line for a couple months, and I'll be honest: My frustrating adult acne didn't miraculously heal in that time. My bumps have significantly decreased, my oil is way more under control, and my skin looks clearer and more glowy overall. (Thanks to the salicylic acid, lactic acids, and glycolic acids in the potent formulas.) But I do still get some painful, cystic breakouts from time to time, and the red marks that have haunted me since college continue to persist on my chin.

But here's what did rapidly clear: my mind. I took Ole's advice and started taking more time in the morning and evening, lighting a candle, and enjoying my skin-care routine for maybe the first time in my life. After a few weeks, I stopped looking in the mirror and hating the breakouts along my cheeks and jaw; I decided to finally do something about them. I changed my diet, drank more water, finally booked that dermatologist appointment I'd been putting off for months, got an oral acne prescription, hell I even invested in silk anti-bacterial pillowcases. And, every night I followed Ole's painfully slow, face-washing instructions, physically feeling the stress melt away with my makeup.

And it didn't stop there: I decluttered my apartment, cleaned up my finances, took more vacations, and even called home more. When I chose to prioritize a slower, cozy, committed approach to my skin, it extended to almost every other aspect of my life. And I'm happier and more clear-faced today because of it. Trust me, I'd be the first to laugh at someone who claimed a cleanser could do all that. But somehow it put me on the track I needed. That's just the magic of Hygge.

Ole Henriksen
Balance Line, $10-44, available at Sephora. *The warming Balance Sauna Scrub will be available at Sephora in April 2017.
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