It's been quite a year, likely filled with heavy sighs and nights where you've wanted nothing more than to just plop on the couch with a blanket and a face mask. A bit of good news, though — that's exactly what Ole Henriksen thinks you should be doing.
Two of the biggest trends of late are merging in a way that you might not have thought of, but will immediately be obsessed with, according to Henriksen himself. The Danish skin care mogul and expert wants you to incorporate hygge (pronounced hyoo-guh), the Scandinavian art of nurturing, into your skin care routine as a way of practicing self-care, and it really couldn't be easier.
But before we jump into your new regimen, let's dive a little deeper into what hygge is exactly. The Oxford Dictionary defines it as a "quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." That's pretty much exactly what Henriksen interprets the word to mean in his life, too.
"It's all about giving back to yourself and nurturing yourself," he tells me from a cabin-like room inside Sonoma Coast's Timber Cove resort, covered in piles of pillows and fuzzy woven blankets.
"That could be in the form of meditation. It [could be] when you are together with your friends — you put together a little dinner party [with] good food, good wine, great conversation... It could be the way you take time for yourself in your bathroom, treat your skin, take that deep breath. It's really about de-stressing. It's about letting go of all the things out there that can sometimes overwhelm us in our daily life."
Sold? Here's a simple, step-by-step guide for how you can practice hygge in your bathroom tonight.
1. Set The Mood
While hygge is most importantly about how you feel inside, creating the right ambiance is essential too. Light a candle, grab a cup of tea, put on some "chill" tunes, and slip on your favorite robe and fluffy slippers. Oh, and Henriksen says that smiling at yourself in the mirror is also a must. "Love and embrace the person you are, and take the best care of yourself," he says.
2. Slow Down
We're all guilty of rushing through the motions of our skin care routine so we can get out the door in the morning or sometimes even forgoing it altogether at night in favor of sleep. That's not what hygge is about at all. Henriksen wants you to think about your skin care routine not as a chore, but a ritual.
Henriksen's two latest product launches — the Wonderfeel Double Cleanser and the Hygge HydraClay DetoxMask — are both part of his Nurture Collection (which focuses on dry and sensitive skin types). They were inspired by his Scandinavian heritage and created specifically for a hygge skin care practice.
His Wonderfeel Double Cleanser is a luxurious-feeling, cold cream cleanser packed with nutrients, like olive and borage seed oils, to gently wash away dirt, but also remove your makeup (even waterproof mascara).
The Hygge HydraClay DetoxMask is also made with botanicals, like chamomile and primrose extract, and a kaolin clay to draw out dirt, oil, and impurities while also replenishing the moisture to your face.
When using the cleanser and the mask, Henriksen suggests you "close your eyes, massage your products in, take that deep breath, feel the products, feel the beautiful aromas... and give back to your skin. It's very important."
3. Enjoy The Moment
Now, the easy part. All you have to do is be present and appreciate the time you're giving yourself to indulge in your mask or moisturizer. To complete the experience, Henriksen suggests soaking cotton pads with milk, chamomile tea, or a face mist to place on your eyes. Then, sit (or lie) back, palms facing up, and relax. But if flipping through your Instagram or watching a movie is more your speed, by all means. Henriksen wants you to "do you" — it's all about feeling your best from the inside out.
Henriksen's favorite way to practice hygge in his skin care routine is in the shower using his Balance Facial Sauna Scrub, "turning inward" to recharge his batteries, he tells me.
Outside of the bathroom, he also encourages you to incorporate hygge into other parts of your daily life. For him, hygge is sitting underneath the Sycamore tree in his front yard or entertaining his friends and "laughing your heart out."
However you choose to practice it, Henriksen wants you to remember that at its core, hygge is all about "nurturing your heart, your soul, alone or with friends, [because] at the end of the day, it is really what matters the most."