Because my Iceland blog posts are looooong overdue and this one is for the beauty girls…
Back in March I went to Iceland and I promise I have a FULL travel guide in the works but, for now, I wanted to share exactly why Iceland is an amazing beauty destination (and yes, I was most excited for the lagoons when we planned this trip!)…
Iceland is for sure the “it” vacation spot right now, and for good reason. Most people go for the Northern Lights (a must-see, by the way) and the bustling city of Reykjavík…but me? I went to figure out exactly what is up with all things Icelandic beauty. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure exactly what I would find until I got there, but once my world was opened up to the idea of public swimming and smelly water, I am officially obsessed. Here’s a rundown of exactly why Iceland IS the ultimate beauty girl destination…
One thing I didn’t know before I came to Iceland: there are geothermal spas and swimming pools, but there are also geothermal lagoons…most of which are there because of nature and not man-made (like the pools). I was able to stop by two of the top lagoons on my list – the Secret Lagoon and, of course, the infamous Blue Lagoon. I went to the Secret Lagoon first and it’s definitely less of the full spa experience than the Blue Lagoon is known for but, at the same time, I loved it because it felt super authentic. I bought myself a glass of champagne and took full advantage of the 100 degree water (even though it was probably about 30 degrees outside).
The Blue Lagoon, on the flip side, is THE spa you need to go to. One thing I noticed is that the water didn’t seem as hot as the water at the Secret Lagoon (which actually felt scorching after about 30 minutes), but the Blue Lagoon is really where you can do all things beauty: put on a mud mask, grab a cocktail at the swim-up bar, get an in-water massage and really just spend the whole day there for pretty much the most relaxing day ever.
So what’s the deal with the geothermal water? Well, the Blue Lagoon’s water is packed with rich minerals like silica and algae and, aside from being good for all skin types, the lagoon’s water is also known to help with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dry skin.
One thing any visitor would immediately notice about Iceland is that the country as a whole is extremely environmentally conscious. While shopping around Reykjavík, the country’s capital and largest city, I tested a handful of beauty products from a few of their sustainable beauty lines which, in basic terms, means that the products are created with raw, natural ingredients that are found in Icelandic nature and most often also created using geothermal energy (which Iceland has a lot of, by the way – more on that later). Everything I tried was chock full of good-for-your-skin ingredients like sulfur, Icelandic moss, kelp, seaweed, naturally derived salt and volcanic ash…basically your skin will never look softer or smoother than when you use any skincare product made in Iceland.
Geothermal spas and swimming pools
There are more than 100 geothermal-heated pools in Iceland and one thing I learned from one of my tour guides is the fact that it’s common for Icelanders to stop by a local swimming pool after work to swim, use the sauna and hot tub. I know what you’re thinking if you’re a bit of a germaphobe like myself (because I was thinking the same thing); frequent hang outs at the public pool? Gross. But not in Iceland. The swimming pools are actually known as a place for locals to congregate, discuss politics and generally just relax after a long day of work. Non-locals can pay a very small fee to use the pool for the day and I actually highly recommend it, especially if you have a few hours to spare in Reykjavík. The facilities are all super clean and they use the same geothermal-sourced hot water that the lagoons have.
Sulfur water showers
Fortunately our Airbnb host warned me that the shower water would “smell funny” (i.e. smell like sulfur), but not to worry because it was totally safe to use and even drink! I’m not going to lie, taking a shower in water that essentially smells like rotten eggs was a little jarring at first, but once I put the idea in my mind that sulfur-enhanced showers are great for dry skin (which I usually have) I was totally fine. #BeautyIsPain All of the hot water in Iceland has a geothermal origin, hence the sulfur and other skin-enhancing minerals so you’re essentially getting a full-body beauty treatment EVERY time you shower. Can’t beat that!