I traveled through Iceland's magical landscape with literally hundreds of waterfalls and neon colored moss covered rocks lining every trail. The nature is exquisite, the horses are emo, and the people are hardy and kind. Reykjavik is a sleepy city with a lot going on. They have maximized their natural resources and built a culture around equality and inclusivity.
Iceland has seen major growth in the last few years. They had a massive economic meltdown between '07-'10 where the currency they use, the Krona lost 50% of its value. Iceland has bounced back with a very strong economy largely due to year round tourism. They have a small population of about 350,000 people and about 2/3 of the people living in or within the capital district. They have mastered how to harness their natural resources by utilizing their geothermal activity to heat their homes and they have a thriving mineral pool community.
The mineral pool culture is super strong and dates back to the when Iceland was first discovered by the Vikings. The waters have been used as a source of heating, bathing, and healing for centuries. There are so many Icelandic hot springs with the most famous being The Blue Lagoon. What makes hot springs not just in Iceland but around the world so awesome is their mineral content.
Minerals are essential nutrients for the human body and are a key component for our organs and systems to run smoothly. The skin can absorb minerals trans-dermally. Minerals like magnesium have a beneficial effect for soothing sore aches and pains. Sulfur stabilizes protein structures that can be found in skin, hair and nails. These amazing healing waters and their mineral components have been linked to healing skin disorders like ecxema and psoriasis. They are being utilized to treat a variety of ailments and issues internally and externally.
There are several wonderful lines that are coming out of Iceland that are using the natural landscape to inform their ingredient list. The Blue Lagoon makes a skincare line and that focuses on the natural elements of the pool. The have a patented algae claiming to boost collagen production and minimize wrinkles. The utilizes lava for their exfoliating scrub. Silica draws toxins and strengthens the barrier function. They also utilize the mineral composition that stimulates and energizes the skin.
BIOEFFECT is a local company that focuses on the cellular reproduction process. They have identified the Epidermal Growth Factor as being the key to regenerating the skin. They acknowledge that ingredients need to be bio-available to the skin, meaning the skin recognizes the ingredient and can readily utilize the ingredients for a task. They have a barely based EFG that they uniquely grow in their greenhouse with volcanic pumice soil. Their studies have found that the skin improves in density and thickness with the use of their products due to the body's ability to utilize the barley EFG for creating new healthy cells faster. I got to stop in a shop and play with the products they were non fragrant and lightweight. I love the concept and philosophy of this line.
One of the other very popular lines is Taramar. This line was formulated by the concepts of marine biology and the nutrition. They focus their formulations on the bioactive properties of seaweed compounds and medicinal plants. They focus on feeding the skin nutrients and use food grade ingredients in their formulas. They also proudly do not formulate with any toxins or hormone disruptors. Focusing on feeding the skin high anti-oxidant concentrations and utilizing seaweeds anti-inflammatory properties they give the skin the ability to protect and defend itself.
I loved my time in Iceland and will definitely be going back. The peoples ability to live in such a harsh climate and thrive is inspiring. They are on the cutting edge of science in many ways as well as seemingly leading the way in renewable energy. I agree with the way they are focusing on the skins ability to strengthen and heal itself. Many companies are looking at a blend of nature and science to aid in cell regeneration and thus slowing down the aging process.