So, it turns out the rumor is true!
The women in Spain are quite beautiful. I don’t mean loads of makeup and over processed hair kind of beauty secrets. But natural!
Minimal makeup, long locks with a true sun-kissed ombre AND glowing skin. Youthful, dewey and bright complexions. As someone struggling to keep my skin hydrated and toned from the effects of hard city water in Barcelona, this got me thinking!
What do the local women here know that I don’t? What are their skincare secrets? Could it be one magic beauty product or perhaps none at all (since we all know sometimes “less is MORE”)?
I decided to stop guessing and started asking questions. One of my dear friends Inma, a native Catalan and also the founder and CEO of Barcelona’s Farmaschool, is a wealth of knowledge in this department! She runs her own pharmacy in Barcelona (which I’ve come to learn is just as much of a BEAUTY business here as pharmaceuticals!) and is a skincare brands guru. Follow her on Instagram at @farmaschool to stay updated on the latest trends in the Spanish skincare industry.
She shared some fascinating info with me and I just couldn’t keep it all to myself. In many ways, the skincare and beauty industry in Spain is similar to the U.S. (for example, women aren’t afraid to invest in professional treatments).
But in other ways, the culture of skincare here is very different…
Skincare Secrets from Spain Discovered
While the “name” behind a product is something to consider here, it certainly doesn’t drive decision making for consumers in the same way it does in other parts of the globe.
What do I mean? Discovering niche brands is all the rage here, not necessarily the ones behind shiny department store counters.
These brands that have a story to tell and a history to share. Labels that take less time on fancy packaging and take more consideration into the concentration and natural ingredients of each product.
Daily Skincare Routine
If you were hoping for the answer to a quick one-step routine, you came to the wrong place! The women in Spain understand that the secret to healthy, glowing and youthful skin is time and care.
Not quite the 10-step routine that famous Japanese beauty maven, SOKO GLAM, recommends – but a close second.
STEP 1: (Day and Night)
Wash with oil-based cleanser or cleansing milk and remove with water. If you have acne-prone skin, apply a mouse or gel cleanser and rinse with water.
STEP 2: (Day and Night)
Remaining dirt or oil can be rinsed off with any micellar water product. (Bear in mind, some micellar waters can be left on skin while others need to be rinsed off – check directions!) This step was totally new to me so if you’re like, “huh?!” check out this micellar water by Loreal.
STEP 3: (Day and Night)
Brightening serum next to help prepare skin for special treatment products.
STEP 3: (Day and Night)
Special treatment product like a moisturizing eye cream, plumping booster, whitening serum (evening), retinol (evening) or Vitamin C as an antioxidant (morning).
STEP 4: (Day or Night)
Best Selling Products
Two products emerge as top sellers here in Spain.
Gema Herrerias Daily Exfoliant Lotion < — Link to purchase!
Daily use facial lotion formulated with azeloglycine, salicylic acid and cotton extract. It has depigmenting action on the spots, balances the skin and keeps the pores clean , preventing the formation of blackheads . It improves the texture of the skin to reveal, thus, the skin luminosity.
Cost: 25 euro for 100mL.
Unique Pink Collagen Powder < — Link to purchase!
Six unique components are found in this single product created in Andorra to achieve a 360 degree anti-aging effect. Just two teaspoons mixed with water daily unlock the stimulation of dermal cell activity. The result? Greater luminosity and firmness with a natural tone.
Cost: 80 euro for three-week supply.
Trends to Leave Alone
Not everything you read online is good information and although some people come into the farma and ask sill questions, the Spanish women know to do their research and know their products.
Remember hearing that hemorrhoid cream would help with under eye dark circles and puffiness? Welp, it doesn’t!
How about the one where anti-cellulite gel reduces darkness from bruises? Nope!
Lastly, what about women using male-specific products because they believe the higher concentration or potency will make them more effective? I mean, really?! I’ll just leave this one right here…
And My Personal Favorites
One of the tough parts about being a woman and moving abroad is trying to find all your favorite staple beauty products. While I’ve had success with some of the larger name brands like Loreal and Sephora, others have left me lost and searching.
It’s really forced me to go outside my beauty comfort zone and try new European brands. And I’m so glad I did. Not sure I’ll ever go back to my old ones!
Here are some of my personal favorites and where to purchase them…
What started as a treasure hunt to replace my usual favorite brands from the U.S. turned into an adventure of trial and discovery! I have truly loved the experience of trying European brands, but more specifically the ones founded right here in the countryside of Spain.
I am excited to hear what your experience has been with trying out new brands in the market where you live. Any funny stories to share? What about the products I recommend above? Love to know your thoughts!
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