In some ways, I knew exactly what I was going to experience in Iceland. Falling in love with Icelandic horses or getting teary-eyed every time I saw a cascading waterfall? Easy prediction! Finding a miracle skincare product that finally took care of the uncomfortable and unsightly dry patches on my hands? I can fully admit I had no idea that was coming.
While trying to find a chocolate bar to bring home to my parents (and three bars to buy for myself), I ended up in a souvenir shop that had an entire section dedicated to Icelandic beauty. A self-proclaimed product hoarder, I nearly ran into the corner to check out the local goods.
While the "love potion" is what initially caught my eye (dating in New York is tough, OK?), I was distracted by a tiny blue glass bottle called Viking Balm from a brand called Purity Herbs. Immediately, I remembered a friend telling me about the all-natural brand prior to my trip and how she had success with a do-it-all skin salve.
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After a week in the arctic chill, my hands weren't exactly feeling fantastic, so I decided to spend my remaining krona on a jar. Once I got home, I busted that stuff open and found a spreadable, gel-like, herbal-scented solid. It's basically the consistency of Vaseline when it's packaged in a little tin. Made of sweet almond oil and beeswax, it's marketed in having moisturizing properites, but the mix of herbs apparently have disinfectant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal benefits.
And it's one of those products like Aquaphor that has, like, a million uses—for dry skin, abrasions, wounds, blisters, exzema, acne, and much more. It feels like a light salve that isn't too greasy and absorbs quickly.
Me? I put it on the dry and red patches on my knuckles and on my elbows before bed and felt instant relief in terms of moisture. In the morning, I felt like the areas of application were less red and much smoother. And each day I've been using it, I've only seen improved results.
Now, here's the bad news. It's not distributed in the U.S., so you might have to book a vacay to get your hands on it. But just consider it your final push to book the Iceland trip that's on the top of your bucket list. The Blue Lagoon awaits.