From Icelandic youth serum to Brazilian bum cream – meet the new heroes setting the beauty world on fire


Beauty brands from overseas have soared in popularity over the past few years. Brits can’t get enough of brands like the US’s Milk Makeup, French pharmacy find La Roche-Posay and 10-step Korean skincare regimes.

So from the Arctic to the Middle East, this is your round-the-globe tour of the best world beaters that use native ingredients to hit UK shores.

Wilfried Haubenberger

Products from all across the globe are turning heads in the beauty world[/caption]


Best for A natural-looking glow

If it’s healthy, dewy skin you’re after, then set your sights north. The cold climates of the Arctic circle, including Finland, Siberia and Iceland, produce some of the most antioxidant-rich natural beauty ingredients out there.

First up is algae, which has powerful antioxidant and hydrating properties. Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum, £40, contains astaxanthin, which is harvested from Icelandic micro algae and boosts hydration, fights against signs of ageing and reduces inflammation.

Icelandic Youth Serum will fight against signs of ageing

Similarly, Finnish brand Lumene combines ultra-pure Arctic spring water and Nordic algae for hydration and nourishment.

We’re obsessed with Lumene Invisible Illumination Instant Glow Fresh Skin Tint, £32.90, which plumps and hydrates, while its subtle pigment blurs imperfections and gives a natural-looking finish.

And algae isn’t the only secret the region is famous for. Arctic-inspired brand Polaar harnesses the power of Arctic flowers, shrubs and berries to replenish and protect for gorgeously glowing skin.

Polaar Northern Light Micro-Peeling Foam, £27, is formulated with Siberian olive, which is brimming with vitamin C and E to nourish and even skin tone. In fact, at one time its regenerative properties were even classified as secret by top Russian scientists!

This gorgeous skin tint product plumps and hydrates the skin
The Micro-Peeling Foam will nourish your skin with essential vitamins
  • Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum, £40 from — buy now
  • Lumene Invisible Illumination Instant Glow Fresh Skin Tint, £32.90 from — buy now
  • Polaar Northern Light Micro-Peeling Foam, £27 from — buy now


Best for A beach babe body – kind of!

From Gisele to Adriana Lima, Brazil has a reputation for producing some of the world’s most gorgeous supermodels.

And, while there’s sadly no potion that guarantees a pert bum, 5ft-long legs and razor-sharp cheekbones, there seems to be something in the water. That something appears to be the moisture-rich natural ingredients of the Amazon.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, £18, is an all-over body lotion infused with guaraná extract, a native Amazonian plant, which contains twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee seeds.

Caffeine is known to boost circulation and help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Meanwhile, the tropical smell of the cream itself transports you to a far-off beach.

For a clarifying treat for your face, Kiehl’s Since 1851 Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, £26, is packed with Amazonian white clay to draw out oil, dirt and toxins from clogged pores.

Reduce the appearance of cellulite with this tropical all-over body lotion
Unblock your pores with the Kiehl’s deep pore cleansing masque
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, £18 from — buy now
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, £26 from — buy now


Best for Rejuvenating facial tools

You’ve probably seen jade rollers and gua sha massage tools galore on your Insta feed, and while they make a pretty flat lay, they could be beneficial for your skin, too.

Used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, they are an everyday beauty staple in the Far East. Crystals are rolled or massaged across the face to encourage lymphatic drainage, help eliminate toxins and relax facial muscles for an all-round lifted and healthier-looking complexion.

Holistic facialist Nataliya Robinson explains: “Despite being around for so long, not many people use gua sha tools correctly.

The key is to press firmly in areas where there is bone and much lighter in the soft areas of the face, then massage towards your lymph nodes to encourage drainage.”

Our weapons of choice? The Yu Ling Rose Quartz Facial Roller, £30, cools and depuffs, while Quantum Botanika Cleansing Balm with Gua Sha Tool, £65, rids the skin of daily grime and build-up while boosting circulation.

This product will help eliminate toxins and relax facial muscles
Rid your skin of everyday dirt and grime with this cleansing balm
  • Yu Ling Rose Quartz Facial Roller, £30 from — buy now
  • Quantum Botanika Cleansing Balm with Gua Sha Tool, £65 from — buy now


Best for Head-turning perfumes

While you might associate luxury fragrances with lavish European cities such as Paris, the concept of perfume itself is actually thought to have originated in the Middle East, where it was worn as a symbol of power, wealth and status in Ancient Egypt.

Rich notes such as oud, sandalwood and rose play a huge part in Middle Eastern fragrance tastes.

We love Le Couvent des Minimes Remarkable Perfumes Smyrna, £95 for 100ml EDP, which blends Turkish damascena rose with black pepper essence for a deep, sumptuous scent.

If you’re looking for more of a bespoke scent, why not try your hand at the Middle Eastern art of layering fragrances?

Kayali Elixir, £84 for 100ml EDP, has notes of jasmine sambac and amber and can be spritzed on top of its sister scents in the collection (take your pick from musk, citrus or vanilla) to develop a perfume entirely unique to you.

This sultry fragrance blends Turkish damascena rose with black pepper essence
Spritz yourself this summer with notes of jasmine sambac and amber
  • Le Couvent des Minimes Remarkable Perfumes Smyrna, £95 from — buy now
  • Kayali Elixir, £84 for 100ml EDP from — buy now


Best for Clean, natural skincare

Home to some wild and untouched landscapes, Ireland is a treasure trove of natural, skin-loving ingredients.

Codex Beauty’s recently launched Bia range uses a selection of indigenous Irish herbs to boost skin’s hydration levels.

Codex Beauty Bia Skin Superfood, £48, is a cream that boasts the brand’s unique BiaComplex, which contains calendula to improve elasticity, wild pansy to hydrate and marshmallow to soothe and moisturise – and we can’t get enough.

If you have areas of dry, flaky or irritated skin, this little tube will become your handbag must-have.

This tube of greatness is perfect for those who suffer from dry, flaky or irritated skin
  • Codex Beauty Bia Skin Superfood, £48 from — buy now


Best for Affordable make-up with high-end results

In a time of Instagram-led beauty (think high-coverage foundation, cut-crease eye looks and over-lined lips), shopping for the right make-up for you can seem overwhelming – especially if you’re after a more pared-back feel.

So say hello to the German beauty brands making toned-down looks easier to do than ever.

Zoe Boikou, founder of German beauty brand Zoeva says: “There is a growing market for a more ‘real’ approach to make-up. When a woman steps into the room, the first thing you should see is her radiance and her beauty, not her make-up.

Make-up should simply be used to express personality and highlight features.”

For a simple fix, sweep Zoeva Sun Soft Glow Lights, £16.50, across your cheekbones for instant radiance.

Or try Artdeco Instant Skin Perfector, £29.40, a colour-correcting, light base cream that refines your complexion for a natural-looking, photo-ready finish.

The radiant glow does what it says on the tin and provides instant radiance
The Instant Skin Perfector will ensure you are photo ready
  • Zoeva Sun Soft Glow Lights, £16.50 from — buy now
  • Artdeco Instant Skin Perfector, £29.40 from — buy now

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