Snow Queens

After Asia and the USA, we continue our exploration of the archetypes of beauty around the world. Today, the Purextract® product representative for Northern Europe (Bjørn Thorsen A/S - Denmark), Mikko LANGSTROM, from Finland, answers our questions.

Purextract®: Tall, thin, blond, with eyes as blue as glacier water… Are women from the North all alike?

Mikko LANGSTROM: Fortunately, no! Of course, blondness is more common in the Nordic countries, and the Northern Europeans are generally somewhat taller than those in the South. But, this is not necessarily a criterion of beauty. There are more brunettes and redheads than you might think, and above all, no hair colour is more sought after than another.

Moreover, we can easily differentiate a tall Swedish blue-eyed blonde from a Danish or a Norwegian one. In Finland, for example, we are very close to the Eastern countries, such as Russia or Hungary, with which we share a common language base. This affects our conception of beauty.

 What characterizes beauty, in your eyes?

In a more comprehensive way, in Northern European countries, physical beauty indicates a healthy lifestyle: a regular sporting activity, a balanced diet… These are part of a common cultural heritage. We consider a slender body, well-proportioned limbs, silky hair and beautiful skin, resulting from a healthy lifestyle to be attractive. These physical criteria are common in both men and women.

How important is physical appearance in the Northern European countries?

We are sensitive, of course, but in the professional field for example, beauty does not constitute an irreplaceable “asset”. What counts is the adequacy of your appearance with what you are, or what you want to be. Besides, emphasising the body or its characteristics is not necessarily a seduction technique in the Nordic countries. Of course, women wear makeup, but not to attract attention. Similarly, they choose clothes that suit them, but which are not particularly revealing. No need to look “sexy” to be seductive at a bar in the evening! The same goes for men: what is appreciated is giving a healthy, well-adjusted impression.

So, the body is not subject to special attention?

On the contrary, body care features prominently in our cultures. Take the example of the sauna; in Sweden and Finland, it’s a real institution. Every house and flat has one. The effects are beneficial to health, skin, hair…  This personal approach, related to well-being, is highly valued by society, in fact, it is very common to invite friends for a sauna session!

It is also very common to cycle, or go jogging, on a daily basis. Many social activities are related to sport: we make arrangements to go skiing on weekends, or to do yoga with colleagues; it’s traditional in many Northern countries. It’s good for your health, your appearance and for your social life.

Sport and nothing but sport?

The other daily beauty care is, undoubtedly, nutritional. In these latitudes, it is historically less varied and less sought after than in France, for example. But, we use healthy, locavore, and therefore, seasonal ingredients.  We buy very few prepared dishes. The Nordic countries are also the biggest consumers of natural products in Europe. Maybe, that’s the real secret of beauty!

Purextract® supplies ingredients dedicated to skin and body beauty in Scandinavia, but also in Finland, with scientifically proven benefits.

For over 40 years, Purextract Specialized in plant extraction, is able to unleash the power of nature, thanks to the advanced savoir-faire of its team of experts

Purextract has been producing plant sterols and polyphenols from maritime pine and grape seed, which are used today by major actors of the food supplements.

For more information,