Named after the Norse goddess of youth, IDUN Minerals takes inspiration from the simplicity of Nordic nature, but its ambitions reach further afield. Originally available only in Swedish pharmacies, the brand now offers pure cosmetic and skincare products, suitable for all skin types, across the globe. 

You could say that, for IDUN Minerals, less is definitely more. Since 2011, the Swedish cosmetics and skincare brand
has been making products without the optional extras that are found in many other mainstream brands, including
nickel, chrome, perfume, parabens, silicon, talc, oils, bismuth oxychloride and microplastics. The company’s mission is, quite simply, to offer the purest products possible, suitable even for those with the most sensitive skin.

It is something that export and product development manager Caroline Thunstedt admits is not always easy. “You have to be at the forefront, looking all the time to find better solutions, and we work a lot with researchers and chemists,” she explains. “But a lot of the time, the key is taking out ingredients that actually aren’t necessary. We don’t use any kind of material that’s there just to fill out the product. So our mineral foundation, for example, is 100
per cent pure minerals.”

It looks to be a winning formula. From a pharmacy-only brand, IDUN Minerals has gone on to become an international name, with significant interest not only in other Nordic countries but also in Asia, the Middle East and the USA. The company also has an online shop and there, too, international sales are strong. And as the brand has grown in market share, so its product range has increased, from a starting base of 20 to almost 200 today.
“It has become clear that there is a growing demand for pure, high-quality cosmetics, and it’s great that we’re able
to meet that demand,” says Thunstedt.

Working with consumers

Thunstedt believes that a major factor in the company’s growth has been an increased public awareness of how
certain ingredients may affect the environment or human health. “Consumer awareness has definitely increased.
It’s a trend that we’ve also seen when it comes to food and clothes too. People want products made from good materials and ingredients,” she argues. “For us, one of the best things about developing a new product is that we get so much interest from our customers. A lot of them will get in touch and ask very specific questions, down to the smallest detail, about what our products contain and, for us, that’s great to hear.”Open dialogue with its consumers is an important part of IDUN Minerals’ development strategy. Marketing manager Gabriella Sjödin explains that
the company does not view itself as a trend-follower, but rather as a brand that produces timeless classics, proudly
pointing out that their bestselling product is their powder foundation, which is also their first. When it comes to new
products, therefore, she says that the company takes its lead not from the cosmetics industry, but from its customers.
“We have a lot of followers on social media, and they often tell us what they want to see in terms of new products,” says Sjödin. “So it’s not about having to be innovative because the industry demands it, but about having a close relationship with your followers, the end-users of your products, and enabling them to influence what we do.”

Vegan revolution

One area that has seen strong and increasing consumer interest is vegan products, and Thunstedt says that the
company strives to keep its products free from animal products. At present, its entire skincare range is vegan, along
with most of the make-up – including Magna mascara, which took the prize for best mascara at the 2018 Swedish
Beauty Awards. “There is a very big and growing interest in vegan make-up, and we try wherever possible to remove all animal ingredients from our products,” Thunstedt explains. “The few examples that aren’t vegan are those cases where there is no alternative ingredient that is suitable for sensitive skin, but it’s something that’s very important for us and which we continue to work on.”

While IDUN Minerals has, until this point, focused solely on make-up and skincare, Sjödin says that future plans
include a broadening of their range and a launch of products in other market categories: “We have worked extensively with researchers and have a lot of knowledge, so our goal is to further expand into international markets and make sure that more people have the opportunity to try high-quality, truly pure products.”