This olive oil soap is the ultimate remedy for chilblains

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It’s that time of year when I wish I was Mrs. Weasley – think of that scene in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” where Ron’s mom uses the silent (yet extremely effective) tidying spell to wash, dry, and put away a giant pile of dirty dishes? Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, my point still stands: doing the dishes is far top of the list when it comes to my favorite pastimes. While I don’t actually mind the act itself (it can be somewhat relaxing, especially if you have the right washing and drying tools), it’s the aftermath of doing the dishes that personally makes the chore so unsavory.

Because I refuse to wear dish gloves (they’re just not for me), when the cold, dry weather rolls around, my hands suddenly reach a dryness-level skin quality. To make matters worse, the colder months are when most major cooking holidays take place. That means double punishment for my poor hands. While I may be able to nourish my parched skin with moisturizing lotion on days when I cook just one meal, the cooking and baking marathons ahead require a little more magic (Ms. Weasley, where’s your spell for healthy, hydrated skin?). Fortunately I found a small solution – before all the holiday shenanigans kick off — that’s been a total game-changer for my desperate hands: Wonder Valley’s Two Deserts Soap.

This plant-based soap is carefully crafted by the makers of my favorite, extraordinarily cool olive oil, Wonder Valley. Lathering my parched hands with the nourishing bar is a special experience for me – being from California and having spent a lot of time in the mountains as a child, the earthy high desert smells of galbanum, sage, eucalyptus, rosemary and the sweet notes of cardamom, vetiver, bitter orange and cinnamon practically transport me to Sierra sunrises and long walks through the chaparral. I am confident those of you who are not CA natives will find the complex and subtle scent absolutely heavenly as well.

Aside from all the desert scents, the soap’s main ingredient is Wonder Valley’s small batch olive oil (which is made with olives pressed within hours of leaving the branch). The healthy dose of antioxidant-filled oil incorporated into this soap’s formula has some very positive effects on the hand cleansing experience. While lathering, I feel a layer of oil on my hands, and when I continue to exfoliate, it almost feels like I’m applying a luxurious facial oil. But once washed off, my hands come out squeaky clean – not before the oil is soaked. Don’t worry, my skin doesn’t feel greasy or oily after washing. On the contrary, I have fresh and clean smelling hands that are more moisturized than they would be if I applied lotion. Talk about spells and potions – this bar is pure magic.

Ever since I discovered this gold bar, I complete my dishwashing tasks and wash my hands with the elegant soap. It may seem counterintuitive to go back in with some soap after you’ve just come out of a sudsy scrub, but think of it as a hydrating step (the bonus is that there’s no way your fingers will smell like food). This two-step routine keeps my hands happy and ready for the next inevitable cleaning.

The difference in the feel, texture and look of my hands is undeniable. The Two Deserts soap has impacted my daily routine and comfort so deeply, I just can’t resist ordering a whole boatload of bars for my loved ones (I can’t think of a better stocking stuffer). Actually, I need a secondary bar for myself. When I see the wonders it has done for my hands, I can’t wait to use the soap in the shower. I expect to come out as soft, silky and smooth as olive oil itself.

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