In the awards autumn series of blog posts, we get to know the brands behind the nominee products of the Nordic Natural Beauty Awards 2023. In this post, we are proud to share more about the Swedish natural cosmetics brand Laugar of Sweden, as told by the brand:
“My name is Nina Øverland, I am the founder and the self-made entrepreneur behind Laugar of Sweden AB, which I established in 2017. I’m 53 years old, and I originate from Lofoten in the north of Norway. I moved to Sweden in 2014 via “the road of love” to Dalsland.
I’m formally educated as a chef and I’ve worked as a steward on board charter- and working boats in Norway and special vessels in the Arctic, as well as some experiences working in Africa and Antarctica at the scients station Troll. My earlier experiences are from selling cosmetics (perfumery) flowers and diverse service businesses.
How Laugar of Sweden got started, is actually a long story. About 15 years ago my mother suddenly developed allergies to perfumes, flowers, spices, etc. Her condition is both incurable and highly dangerous. I became really frightened for her and immediately decided that we should only be using safe products without parabens and other potentially harmful ingredients. I threw away almost everything I had in the cupboard and started my “chemical diet”, the expression did not even exist at that time.
During my travels (both work and pleasure) I have seen far too much pollution and a lack of clean water. I strongly believe we need better products, and that we need to use less plastic and chemicals, both for our skin and for our planet.
I started to make soaps and a few skincare products for personal use about 9-10 years ago. I suffered a burnout in 2016/2017 and this was a life changing event for me, because as a result I decided to establish Laugar of Sweden AB. After smashing open my piggy bank, a huge amount of hard work and with a lot of help from my husband, we built the “soap studio”. It is situated next to our house, based in the countryside in
Dalsland. After all safety assessments and registrations were completed, I sold my first soap in October 2018.
The word laugar is an ancient Scandinavian word and means “bathing, showering, to clean up”. Examples: In Swedish: att löga, löga sig. In Norwegian: å lauge seg. Our modern Saturday Lördag/Lørdag is named after our ancient Laugardag.
The Laugar logo is a simplified bay leaf and was designed to appeal to both men and women. Back in the days of antiquity, a laurel wreath made from bay leaves was the symbol of victory, wisdom and hope.
Only organically certified and natural ingredients are to be found in the skin care products from Laugar of Sweden, and there are no unnecessary or harmful ingredients. If it’s not needed in the drain or in nature – you won’t find it in Laugar’s products.
Products of Laugar of Sweden are principally created for adults. Most of the products are unisex, and are made for the conscientious customer who wants to be pampered with a little everyday luxury.
Laugar of Sweden is also proud to offer a selection of unscented products for those who suffer from allergies, and for those who want to avoid scented products, allergens etc. The unscented soaps are also recommended for kids.
Älvdans Badtvål or “Älvdans Bath soap”. The English translation of Älvdans is “Dance of the fairies”. The name is inspired by the magic natural phenomenon which occurs some early mornings during summer and autumn. When the fog is dancing over the fields and lakes, this is actually the fairies dancing, until the sun rises and chases them away.
The scent profile is my own blend of organic Cosmos certified essential oils. 4 different essential oils are used. Lemongrass is at the forefront and cedar-wood, rosemary and eucalyptus are added to balance and lift the scent.
Älvdans Badtvål is made from 100% organic high-quality ingredients. Cosmos certified coconut oil, enriched with luxuries shea butter and calendula petals. The calendula is organically grown in my own garden and only the finest ones are used.
The soap lathers easily and is your friend in the shower, in the bathroom, for your outdoor bath in the lake or in the sea. Laugar’s bath soaps are also named as salt water soaps because they lather quite well in the salty sea.
The bath soaps are handmade in small batches of 44 soaps. The oils and butter are gently warmed up and stirred by hand. This can take up to 1 – 1,5 hour before the ingredients has the right consistency before filling the forms . During the process called saponifying is moisture-binding glycerin naturally formed.
LABEL/PACKAGING / SIZES
Laugar uses as little packaging as possible. The label is FSC-certified paper. I designed the label myself, and I also, print, hand cut and attach the labels with poison-free glue. The soaps can be bought with or without the organic cotton bag (EU-made) and are made in two different sizes, approximately 70 grams and 180 grams. The soaps usually have a tiny wrap of cellophane, which is made of cellulose – not plastic. This is all done for reasons of hygiene, to protect the product on the shelves in the retailers’ shops.
The best and the biggest investment this year is the installation of the solar panels on the studio roof. By using renewable energy, Laugar will be able to make products which are even more environmentally friendly in the future.
Other news this year is the release of smaller versions of the bath soaps.
Laugar of Sweden is a quite small company and has to grow sustainably, both economically and in terms of human perspective (me). I have many ideas and plans for the future – stay tuned!”