Every pocket of the globe has their own, special set of beauty secrets. There are the more popularized locales on the international beauty stage: Paris’ laid back approach to hairstyling, Korea’s multi-step skincare routines, even India’s use of turmeric or hair oil. Italy, however, isn’t a destination I typically associated with a rich beauty culture. In fact, I couldn’t really tell you what the country’s contribution was to the beauty world, save its manufacturing capabilities. But every destination is home to its own set of rituals, native ingredients, and approach to aesthetics. That in mind, I boarded a plane and set off to discover all the beauty that Italy has to offer.
I found myself on the world’s largest truffle and olive oil fields in Umbria, home to Skin & Co Roma and Olivella respectively. I visited the oldest standing perfumery and barber shop in Florence. I even experienced the power of meditation-minded skincare application via Ya:Be at a wellness retreat nestled in the Italian countryside. What I learned: Italy’s beauty identity is surprisingly rich—it’s just slowly (but surely) making its way stateside.
Rather than being housed in large corporations, the country is home to family-run brands with generational knowledge. There’s an appreciation for the land and an underlying dedication to the preservation of holistic ingredients. The beauty community is overarchingly more focused on perfecting and investing in their formulas rather than masking sub-par efficacy in fancy packaging or marketing ploys. But most notably: Italy makes a top-notch body oil.
While you might not be able to hop a flight to Italy in the here and now, a handful of the country’s best brands can be experienced in the comfort of your own home. To get a little slice of Italy, scroll ahead to shop my favorite discoveries.
I’m pretty hard to please on the fragrance front, which is why I was so surprised when this niche fragrance company literally blew me away. Every blend was uniquely distinct, and truly unlike anything I’d ever smelled before. The florals weren’t too floral, the citrus’ were fresh as opposed to sour, and the woody blends still had a light hint. While high quality ingredients are sourced from around the world, the magic assembly goes down in Italy.