It certainly seems like the holiday season has changed, doesn’t it? For many years, Thanksgiving’s passing was the signal to stores, shoppers, and businesses that the shopping season for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Yule, and other December celebrations had begun. Now, it seems that winter holiday decorations begin to creep into stores even before Halloween. And though the day after Thanksgiving was known as a busy shopping day with lots of sales, it wasn’t until recent years that people actually got pushed, shoved, or even stampeded for attempting to shop on “Black Friday.”

Online shopping became a respite quickly, which prompted the popular online shopping equivalent to Black Friday, “Cyber Monday.” And then the backlash to the chaos and corporate commercialism brought the focus (and hashtag) to Small Business Saturday.

It’s a lot to keep up with, isn’t it? Because even if you don’t want to partake personally, chances are, your clients are looking for some kind of holiday-specific deal.

Sure, you could offer some sort of limited time holiday specials, packages, or deals; but that’s not always the best thing to do for your business either, depending on what kind of clientele you’re trying to attract and whether your business model seeks quantity or quality of client relationships. What to do?

Enter hygge.

Hygge relaxation room
A very hygge relaxation room at August Moon Spa at La Tourelle in Ithaca, NY.

If you follow healthy lifestyle blogs and websites on social media, there’s a good chance you’ve seen articles and posts about the Danish concept of “hygge.” We’ve seen this new buzzword defined as “enjoying life’s pleasures,” or “coziness for the soul.” According to, “Hygge actually comes from a Norwegian word meaning ‘well-being.’ It first appeared in Danish writing in the 18th century and has been embraced by the Danes ever since!” It’s a serious coping mechanism Danes use to get through long, freezing cold, dark winters. Due to the amount of people in the United States who suffer from varying levels of seasonal depression or winter blues (it’s anywhere from 4-20%, depending on the severity) during the darker, colder months, we’re not surprised to see that hygge has made its way across the pond.

So what is it? Is it a noun? A verb? Adjective?

Perhaps a bit of all three. Hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”) is a lifestyle. An experience. A practice. It is the thing itself as well as the way one does the thing. It’s little elements you add into your lifestyle to promote feelings of pleasure, coziness, warmth, togetherness, happiness.

If you think about how you WANT to feel when the weather is chilly and the days are shorter, doesn’t that fit the bill? And isn’t that preferable over the now regular chaos of the holiday season?

Hygge isn’t just for wintertime. In a society that craves feelings of security and human connection, elements of hygge can be practiced year round to increase overall feelings of contentment and wellbeing.

Why (and how) to bring hygge to the spa and your skincare regimen.

Spas and wellness centers most likely already provide the experience of hygge, without even knowing it. Fluffy robes and slippers, relaxation rooms with candles, a fireplace, and warm tea, spa packages that invite groups of friends or mothers and daughters to experience beauty and wellness together? All hygge.

However, hygge is now something that can be experienced directly in one’s actual skincare products and treatments. Conventional and medical aesthetic treatments and home-care regimens often focus on zapping, scrubbing, or peeling the skin into submission. This may cause a temporary visible result, but the inflammation introduced by these products and services often cause more damage to the skin in the long run (especially after repeated use).

However, holistic, integrative, and now we can say hygge skincare modalities focus on protecting the skin, and delivering soothing, nourishing ingredients (often through the use of whole plant extracts and fixed oils) into the skin using non-invasive means. These modalities focus on high quality ingredients (you may have seen the term “high vibe” associated with lovingly sourced, artisanal whole plant-based products like these), turning the simplest skincare routines into pleasurable self-care rituals that engage the senses, and focusing on the slow and sustainable skincare experience, rather than the “quick results at any cost” approach.

We agree with Alicia Yoon’s take on this movement: “We’re starting to see more conversation around hygge in a slow-it-down sort of way. Skincare goes hand in hand with that: A meditative, mindful moment, which is a luxury and ultimately helps you embrace the day more fully.”

Leave a comment about aromatherapy in the spa!Have you hopped onto the hygge skincare wagon?

What are your favorite ways to add hygge to your spa or skincare routine? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!