When I moved to Helsinki from London last year, I was wildly unprepared for just how cold -25°C feels. There are so many annoying things that happen in really cold weather (phones just … don’t work?), but one of the worst side effects was that, almost overnight, my skin became extremely dry and patchy. I’ve never really had problematic skin — if anything, it’s more prone to being oily than dry — so I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
All the Finnish people I talked to told me that the worst thing you can do in cold weather is to use a moisturiser with an oil or gel base, which is what I had been doing (I was using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel). Face oils don’t hydrate the skin, so you need a cream-based moisturiser instead. Luckily I didn’t need to look for long because everyone recommended the exact same product: Lumene’s Sisu Moisture Remedy.
Lumene is the Finnish skin-care brand: Most Finnish women will have at least one Lumene product in their makeup bags. They’ve been around since the ’70s, and their products are on sale in every Finnish supermarket. It’s basically the Finnish equivalent of Simple, or No.7. At £30 per 50ml tub, Lumene’s face cream is a mid-range Finnish skin-care product: more expensive that Apo Base (£5 for 100ml) and cheaper than Heuna Organics (£130 for 30ml). Considering winters reach -40°C in the north of Finland, it makes sense that Lumene have developed a really good winter moisturiser.
Within a few days of starting to use it the dry patches on my face had begun to disappear, and within a week they’d gone. Even though it’s a cream-based moisturiser, I didn’t find it too greasy and I was able to apply both SPF underneath it and makeup on top of it. As regards the scent, I’m not a huge fan of overly fragrant moisturisers, so the fact that this one is only mildly scented with natural pine and spruce appealed to me.
On particularly cold and windy days, following the advice of my Finnish friends, I got into the habit of applying a pea-size blob to my face half an hour before leaving the house for extra protection.A small blob of this face cream goes a long way, so one tub should easily see you through an entire winter. The UK rarely feels as frigid as Helsinki, but it can get bitterly cold — especially when it’s overcast and windy outside — and there’s no reason your skin should suffer.
Some other Strategist-approved Finnish products
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