Why Choose AVNS?

Here’s why Apple Valley Natural Soap Company is the right company for you!

Made with Natural Ingredients

Our products are made with a variety of plant and animal based ingredients (all products are cruelty-free, which you can read more about below!). We use ingredients from Coconut Oil to Lanolin and we always use the highest quality ingredients we can find from the most ethical sources.

Why Choose Natural ingredients?

Why would you want natural ingredients over chemically manufactured ingredients? There are a couple reasons! One reason why using natural ingredients in products benefits you is because natural ingredients are often more gentle on skin. Artificial chemicals and dyes are used for their sensory properties, but that’s about it, many times harsh dyes and detergents can take a toll on your skin and leave you with rashes and irritation. The second reason is pretty cool, natural ingredients naturally happen to have a lot of additional benefits for skin and hair. For example, essential oils we use to scent products also have a variety of properties such as antiviral properties, anti-inflammatory properties, soothing effects and more. 

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

I think the best thing about our soaps is that they are all biodegradable! This means that when they come in contact with the earth they break down and re-enter the soil without ever leaving a trace of their existence. This makes a natural bar of soap like our Earth Shampoo Bar the perfect bar to take with you on a camping trip! We also work super hard to make all of our packaging as eco-friendly as possible by either using reusable bottles or recyclable packaging.

Organic, Vegan, and Cruelty Free

What does it mean to be organic?

Organic food is food produced by methods complying with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products.”

-Wikipedia

What does it mean to be vegan?

Vegan products are products that contain no animal product or byproducts. People follow vegan lifestyles to live harmoniously with the earth and its creatures and to reduce the amount of inhumane animal-related practices. 

We are proud to offer a large selection of vegan soaps like our very popular Man 2.0 Body, Shampoo, and Shaving Bar!

What does it mean to be cruelty-free

Cruelty-free means that no animal was harmed in any part of product creation or testing. To read more about this, check out this article!

All of our products are cruelty-free!

AVNS is a small, family business!

Why support a small business? 

Supporting a small business not only has large scale benefits, but personal benefits too. As an online shop, we do have the blessing of being able to ship our products all over the United States, but the majority of our customers are from good ole’ Minnesota. When you buy within your local community you help the local economy. A small business has to have the drive and creativity to keep up with name brand companies, meaning you will often discover that the result of this effort is continual unique and quality products. As a small business we also have the time to focus more closely on the wants and needs of each individual customer. Your shopping experience goes from detached and mundane to personal and engaging!

Why support a family business? 

Family businesses are often some of the most hard-working, cooperative, businesses you’ll find. What does this mean for the products or services offered? They are going to be higher quality. A family business is run with family in mind, which means that the core values of a family are ingrained in every aspect of the company. A business built on loyalty, honesty, trust, and compassion is a company that won’t let you down. We’ll treat you as a part of the family because to us, you are!

Why Choose Apple Valley Natural Soap?

Our products speak for themselves! Our customers have had great success on their journeys to healthier skin and hair. Our bars have helped with skin and scalp conditions, as well as improving overall quality of skin and hair! You can read honest customer reviews of every product in our store.

Much Love,

Nora


Meet The Team: Amanda Buck

If supporting small family businesses that make quality, environmentally friendly, natural products is your thing then Apple Valley Natural Soap is definitely for you! I am always so inspired by the families behind every family business, probably because I’m a part of one and I know how much sacrifice and team effort goes into the operation. I also think it’s essential to acknowledge each role a family member plays in a family business, every person is needed. Which is why I’m so excited to be featuring one of Marianne’s lovely and talented “right-hand-daughters” for this feature: Amanda!

Who Takes All The Photos For AVNS?

Photo of the beautiful Bella Rose Bar!

If you haven’t already guessed, it’s Amanda! One of my favorite things about the AVNS website is the gorgeous visuals of every available product, but when, where and how do those pictures get taken? I asked Amanda to walk me through the process.

“I set up the equipment required for a shoot, pick out the products involved, take many different shots at many different angles, locations, etc. to make sure I have the perfect shot for editing. I transfer all my photos over to editing and select the shots I like the most and fit my vision, then edit the photos to flow seamlessly with the others on our website and social media. I then get them sent off to my mom where she uses the photos where she needs. When it comes to product specific photos I will either use a Lightbox or set up somewhere outside to get that natural aspect. I use Lightroom to edit my photos, adjusting the lighting, exposure, colors, saturation, angles, and healing any blemishes in the soaps themselves. I try not to use filters or any intense editing, as we want the beauty of the natural and raw soap to come through.”


Born Into The Business

Amanda is no stranger to AVNS products and some of her favorites include the body butters and sugar scrubs, but she explains that a lot more goes into a family business than just just testing fun new products and giving the daughter seal of approval, “The most challenging thing about being involved in my family business is having it take over a large part of our lives, conversations, and planning.” To Amanda, this sacrifice is worth it. “The most rewarding part is simply being able to see the fruits of our labor pay off and the experiences we get to have thanks to the business.” What does this look like? Amanda says that her favorite family pastimes are road trips and family adventures, “It can be a little bit crazy, but it’s always such a fun time.”

In the midst of taking care of her role in the family business, Amanda makes time to grow in other interest areas of her life, “I enjoy spending time with my amazing boyfriend, trying new restaurants and coffee shops with my friends, shopping, working out, and spending time outside.” She values the practice of a balanced lifestyle just like her mom, and this isn’t the only thing she’s learned from her hardworking boss and mother, “I have been able to see how difficult and rewarding owning a small business can be. Both my mom and I have entrepreneurial spirits and it is fun to see how she has taken this business and grown it into what it is today. I have seen the dedication, long hours, and sacrifice it takes to run a business of your own and I can say with certainty that after learning what I have from my mom and AVNS, I could start and run a business of my own someday.”


Of course, I always have to ask my favorite question:

If There was a bar of soap called the “Amanda Bar”, what would the ingredient list feature and how would you describe the finished product?

“If there was a bar of soap called the Amanda Bar, it would be a salt bar that targeted exfoliation with fine salt, anti-bacterial properties that heals skin blemishes like acne, but also adding moisturizing oils back into to the skin finished off with a fresh, muted, floral and warm scents with lavender and cardamom, sea salt, and vanilla.”

Who else wants to see this bar hit the shelves? I know I do!

Much Love,

Nora


DIY Vanilla Inspired Spa Day!

Apple Valley Natural Soap loves using vanilla in products like our Sweet Vanilla Body Polish or Vanilla Bean Lip Balm to give them a warm, dreamy scent, but did you know that vanilla has multiple beauty benefits for your skin? Vanilla is full of skin-protecting, skin-perfecting antioxidants and may help reduce fine lines and help clear up acne! Vanilla is the perfect spa-inspo for the fall season, so enjoy these three vanilla related projects that are fun to make and enjoy!

DIY VANILLA EXTRACT RECIPIE

Once you’ve tried homemade vanilla extract you won’t go back! This delicious vanilla extract tastes great in baked goods and saves you money!

This vanilla extract recipe comes straight from Natasha’s Kitchen, to turn this recipe into a cute gift check out the original post for more details!

Ingredients for DIY Vanilla Extract

Photo by Sarah Chai on Pexels.com

Vanilla Extract Ingredients (makes 12 (4oz) jars):

Tools you’ll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

  • Small funnel or measuring cup with pouring lip
  • 12 4oz clear bottles with lids (avoid cork lids)
  • Labels click here to save and print the labels
  • Kitchen scissors or sharp knife

Instructions

  1. Wash and sanitize bottles and lids: Wash with mild soapy water, rinse, then carefully swirl with boiling hot water to sanitize them.
  2. Cut beans in half then Split beans (it’s easiest with kitchen scissors), cutting them about halfway down the stem. If the beans are too dry to split, cut them into 1″ pieces. Place a total of 1 1/2 whole beans in each jar (or 3 split halves).
  3. Use a funnel to pour vodka to the top of jar. Cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally.

DIY VANILLA BATH SALTS

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

There is nothing like filling your tub with vanilla! These naturally scented vanilla bath salts are here for you and your “me time”!

This bath salt recipe is from Real Housemoms, this project also makes a fast and easy gift or favor in a pinch, read more about it here! Check out the website for more recipes and Holiday ideas!

Ingredients for DIY Vanilla Bath Salts

Vanilla Bath Salt Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add the epsom salts and baking soda to a small bowl.
  • Top with 5 drops of vanilla essential oil (or more if desired) and stir until salt, baking soda and oils are combined.
  • Add food coloring if desired to tint the salts; this may be preferred if you are gifting but is not necessary if you’re creating for your own bath.

At this point, if you’re using at home, transfer the salts to a jar and seal to keep fresh until use. You’ll want to use about a half cup of salts for a full bath. If you’re looking to gift these DIY Vanilla Bath Salts, you might want to add a little brown food coloring like I did here to give the salts a little color.

DIY VANILLA LATTE FACIAL MASK

This mask promises a youthening, brightening, moisturizing treat for your skin! I love how unique this mask from Gigi’s Adventures is…and you can find more unique face masks here too!

Ingredients For DIY Cinnamon Vanilla Latte Face Mask

Photo by Alexandra Titova on Pexels.com
  • 1 cup of Milk (whichever you like)
  • 2-3 Cinnamon Sticks or 1-2 teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract or 1 Vanilla Bean
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cornstarch

Instructions

The first thing you want to do is heat up your milk, and keep going until it reaches a simmering point.

Once it’s there, add the cinnamon sticks or powder and the vanilla bean or extract; if you decided to go for the sticks and beans, it would be great to let them infuse for a bit and then take them out.

As soon as the milk is boiling and the ingredients are perfectly infused into it, it’s time to take about 3 tablespoons out of it and mix them with cornstarch.

Apple Valley Natural Soap Vanilla Products

If you still haven’t had enough vanilla you can always top off your spa day with a sudsy lather of our gentle and uber-moisturizing Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Bean Face and Body Bar!

Much Love,

Nora 


3 Sustainable and Eco-friendly Makeup Brands You Have to Try

Apple Valley Natural Soap is your place to find sustainable, eco-friendly skincare and haircare products, but do you have somewhere to go when it comes to make-up? Hopefully someday Apple Valley Natural Soap will be able to fulfill those needs, but for now check out these three sustainable, eco-friendly make-up companies! These ethical make-up brands will make the perfect finish after you’ve used your favorite ethical products from your favorite ethical soap company!

Elate Beauty

Elate Beauty supplies an extensive variety of sustainable makeup including “eye makeup (pressed and loose powder, mascara, eyeliner and brow balm), face makeup (foundation, powder, concealer, blush, highlighter, bronzer), lipstick, lip gloss, palettes (which you can custom create for your complexion) and kits.”

According to Sustainable Jungle, all of their products “are cruelty-free International certified, PETA certified vegan, and gluten free.”

About Elate Beauty

90% of this Canadian company’s ingredients are organic and they work hard to use fair trade whenever possible. They are continually working to replace non-natural ingredients with natural ones in hopes of becoming 100% natural.

One of Elate Beauty’s current goals is to feature only zero-waste beauty products and reusable, refillable bamboo packaging. It’s the coolest thing ever, new refill product is delivered in seed paper and then after you’ve put the new product in the original bamboo containers you can wet the seed pouch and plant it in your garden!

What does Apple Valley Natural Soap love about this company? We love that this company is vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, and has ethical sourcing and thoughtful packaging just like we strive to!

100% Pure

About 100% Pure’s Ethical Makeup Line

100% Pure makes fruit-pigmented cruelty-free and Fair Trade makeup including but not limited to foundation, mascara, and lip-tints! All coloring for products comes from produce and their only mineral ingredient is Mica.

While many of their products are vegan (including some awesome makeup brushes made from recycled plastic bottles) some do contain beeswax.

Their packaging is recyclable and can be recycled at home or brought into a store location for the in-store recycling program, how neat is that!?

About 100% Pure

According to sustainable jungle “100% Pure was co-founded and run by three individuals that prioritize corporate responsibility, change, and transparency.”

“We only use fair trade farmers and distributors who ensure us that they are only fair trade. We also work with numerous charities around the world that help to create sustainable jobs for countries in need.”

According to Sustainable Jungle‘s article (read full article for extended list of clean makeup companies!), “for every order placed, 100% Pure donates either one bowl of vegan dog food (of which a single bowl can save to 2 livestock animals, 90 lbs of grain, 2000 gallons of water, and 60 sq. ft. of rainforest) to animal shelters…if you’d prefer, you can instead opt for your purchase to plant one tree through Trees for the Future. Either way, they’re making a difference. “

Apple Valley Natural Soap loves that this company donates to a good cause and cares about where their ingredients come from!

Mad Hippie

With a mission to encourage and create beauty from within, Mad Hippie’s products are crafted to help kick-start that journey from the outside while making a difference in the world as well.

This company strives to create naturally-based skincare and makeup products and has a supercool sun-protection line in addition to makeup products. They avoid using silicones in their products and use eco-friendly packaging whenever possible.

Here’s a statement from the company about their efforts to give back to the community, “We take our responsibility to the planet seriously & that’s why we are always working to further reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.  From utilizing bioresin sugarcane tubes, to printing with soy inks on FSC certified paper, giving $1 of every web sale to conservation, and controlling our downstream waste through a partnership with Terracycle, Mad Hippie is dedicated to the preservation of the planet.”

Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

I hope that if you’re looking for clean makeup options you may have an idea or inspiration of where to start! If you’ve tried any of these brands, let us know what products you’d recommend!

Much Love,

Nora


Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Skin and Hair?

Many sources claim that coconut oil is a versatile skincare product and household product. 

Coconut oil has been recommended as a natural way to help heal acne, due to its antibacterial properties. 

Coconut oil has also been used as a remedy for dry hair, as it supposedly is extremely capable of locking in moisture.

Is coconut oil truly a wonderful product? With every good review comes bad press, too. Today we’ll sort through all the info on coconut oil to find out whether it is the product for you.

What is coconut oil?

According to healthline “Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil that is traditionally made by extracting the oil from raw coconuts or dried coconut kernels”

Coconut oil is known for its high medium-chain fatty acids content. These acids are a form of saturated fats and make up a large part of coconut oil’s composition.

What kinds of fatty acids are in coconut oil?

According to heathline, here is a breakdown of the fatty acid content in coconut oil:

  • Lauric acid: 49%
  • Myristic acid: 18%
  • Caprylic acid: 8%
  • Palmitic acid: 8%
  • Capric acid: 7%
  • Oleic acid: 6%
  • Linoleic acid: 2%
  • Stearic acid: 2%

These fatty acids are extremely useful in skin care and health in general. Lauric acid is known for its antimicrobial properties, and oleic and linoleic acid are both great anti-aging skincare ingredients that help plump the skin and protect the skin’s barrier. 

What are the benefits of coconut oil for skin and hair?

Photo by Robert Goldenowl on Pexels.com

Coconut oil prevents protein loss in hair

Hair that is over moisturized or lacks protein can benefit from coconut oil, which imparts protein and also helps maintain protein.

Coconut oil may have sun protection benefits

Studies have found that coconut oil can help block UV rays.

Coconut oil may help prevent acne and other skin infections

The high lauric acid content is to thank for this. Applying coconut oil to the skin may help work to prevent and treat skin conditions because of its microbial properties.

What are the negatives of coconut oil for skin and hair?

Coconut oil is a popular trend, so it is natural that it would receive some backlash, but what exactly are the cons?

Pure coconut oil is not for all hair types

Using coconut oil on hair that is naturally more dry and coarse can actually create a protein build-up, leading to even dryer, more brittle hair.

Pure coconut oil is not for all skin types

Coconut oil is thicker and is rated a 4 on the comedogenic scale, meaning it has a high capacity for clogging pores. If you constantly use coconut oil on your skin and notice that you have clogged pores you may need to cut down on use or find a different product. You should probably not use coconut oil on your face.

Do we use Coconut Oil in our skincare products?

Yes!

We utilize the best elements of coconut oil in our products while avoiding the more problematic aspects. How? Many of our ingredient lists will include “saponified oils of organic coconut.” The key word here is saponified. When coconut oil is saponified it becomes a soap! This means that we enhance the cleansing aspect of coconut oil. Our dreamy, bubbly Organic Coconut Soap Bars are made from pure coconut and essential oil blends with additional benefits. Our skincare products that use coconut oil, such as our whipped baby butters, are designed for dry skin areas such as legs and arms, not your face. We also use coconut milk as a special ingredient in some of our soaps like our Key lime Shampoo Bar because it imparts the same amazing benefits with a lighter touch so you won’t have to worry about build-up!

Thanks so much for tuning in!

Much Love,

Nora


Aluminum Free Natural Deodorant: Does It Work?

Switching to natural deodorant creme is super easy and extremely effective.

If you’re wondering how I can say this with so much confidence, read on.

Why should you use natural deodorant creme?

Our natural deodorant creme is supposedly a great product option for people with sensitive skin because it contains gentle, safe and effective ingredients like aluminum free baking soda and coconut oil. These ingredients are known for their antibacterial, oil-absorbing properties, but are they powerful enough to actually work?

Why use a natural deodorant over a name-brand?

In short, natural deodorant is made to be safer for your skin. Name-brand deodorants are appealing because they reduce sweat and mask unappealing scents, but at what cost?

I switched from name-brand deodorant sticks to 100% natural deodorant creme to see if the benefits were worth the lifestyle change. 

Does Natural Deodorant Creme Work?

Every ingredient in both our Regular Deodorant Creme and Unscented Deodorant Creme helps to combat problematic armpits. There is nothing wrong with the sweat produced by the pores in your armpits, but the tight, moist space is a breeding ground for bacteria. Healthy armpit sweat is not inherently smelly, but the bacteria that grows there is.

Natural Ingredients we use in our Deodorant Cremes

Odor-eliminating ingredients

Virgin Coconut Oil — Contains lauric acid — a fatty acid that makes up 50% of coconut oil and demolishes bacteria with its antimicrobial properties.

Aluminum-Free Baking Soda — Sweat is odorless, but bacteria breaks it down into acidic waste causing it to take on an odor. Baking Soda’s Basic pH tampers with the acidity, eliminating the odor and being basically AWESOME.

Natural sweat-eliminating ingredients 

Diatomaceous Earth — The fossilized remains of very small aquatic organisms called diatoms. Their skeletons are made up of natural silica, which has absorption properties. This versatile player works to absorb sweat and also dries up bacteria.

Arrowroot Powder — Another absorption agent, and totally gluten free!

Kaolin Clay — A gentle clay that won’t dry out sensitive skin. Removes toxins and lets skin breathe. Check out our shampoo bars that contain clay if you’re looking to get rid of your greasy roots!

Our Natural Deodorant Creme comes scented (with essential oils picked especially for the additional boost of their antimicrobial properties) as well as unscented.

What’s wrong with my current deodorant?

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov on Pexels.com

Name brand deodorants are focused on masking “bad” smells and eliminating sweat, but those things are getting in the way of healthy skin. In order to eliminate sweat, many deodorants use pore-clogging ingredients. This prevents the skin from breathing and causes additional problems like increased bacteria and even acne. A common solution to mask unpleasant odors is to overcompensate with fragrance, but in order to produce such an intense scent, the chemicals going into creating fragrance can be harsh and allergen-producing…without even solving the actual problem.

Natural deodorant creme uses ingredients that absorb oil and sweat, while still letting the skin breathe. Natural deodorant also uses natural fragrance, which is not only gentle, but has additional antibacterial properties that treat the root-cause of the odor…not just mask it. 

How I transitioned to Natural deodorant creme

This might be a little disappointing, but transitioning to natural deodorant was the easiest skincare transition I’ve ever made in my entire life. All you really have to do is use it. Here are the top five things I would say about switching to natural deodorant creme.

  1. Your armpits may not feel as “dry.”
    1. Don’t be alarmed! This is not an unpleasant sensation. It feels like you have a very lightweight lotion on your armpits. I hated when my previous deodorants would make my armpits kind of crusty and waxy.
  2. You might want to wash your hands after applying.
    1. I massage a pea sized amount of deodorant into each armpit with my fingers so I always wash my hands after because I don’t like excess product on my hands in general. Yes it is an extra step in my morning routine, but honestly it never hurts to wash your hands, especially when you use non-drying natural soap!
  3. Taking care of build-up is easy!
    1. This lightweight, breathable formula is perfect for sensitive skin, but if you feel like you are still experiencing clogged pores you can use this simple routine in the shower to help! Whenever you shower, just gently scrub your arm-pits with one of our exfoliating bars and follow with a spritz or two of acid rinse on each armpit. You can use our Herbal Hair Rinse, or Apple Cider Vinegar diluted with water! This will help remove any build-up on the skin since vinegar acts as a chemical exfoliant!
  4. Both Regular and Unscented Cremes smell amazing!
    1. The Regular deodorant creme has essential oils and is a scent for everyone! It is very fresh and reminds me of a mojito!
    2. The unscented deodorant creme has a natural, gender-neutral coconut scent, my boyfriend and I both love it!
  5. Long-lasting.
    1. One container could easily last six months and maybe up to a year!

I have never have body odor when I use this deodorant and my armpits stay clean even after a long, physically demanding work shift!

P.s. Have you ever wondered how deodorant came to be in the first place? The history is fascinating and it is all right here in this blog!

Much Love,

Nora


Essential Oils That Repel Bugs

For outdoor enthusiasts who want to enjoy hiking, camping, and gardening without being constantly attacked by flies and mosquitoes…here is a list of essential oils known to repel bugs, some of our recommended natural soaps that include these essential oils, and a natural bug spray recipe.

5 Essential Oils That Repel Bugs

  1. Lemon Eucalyptus: known to keep mosquitoes at bay for a few hours after application.
  2. Peppermint: supposedly keeps spiders away.
  3. Citronella: used in the making of many “bug repellant” candles, this essential oil is helpful for keeping mosquitoes away when correctly prepared.
  4. Cinnamon: known for keeping wasps and spiders away. According to One Essential Community, “use cinnamon bark in addition to powdered cinnamon to get rid of ants! It messes up their pheromones and they get lost. So they lose their way and don’t infest further.”
  5. Lavender: this common essential oil works on common household bugs such as fruit flies and lice.

Apple Valley Natural Soaps Made With Bug Repellant Essential Oils

Camping Shampoo Bar Limited Edition

This one is for all you outdoorsy, adventuresome folks who like to go camping and fishing, but still want an all over clean right there at the campsite. Our Camping Shampoo/Body bar will clean you from head to toe, is biodegradable and safe to use at campsites near bodies of water. Please note that I said “near” not in!  The “Leave No Trace” guidelines state that even with biodegradable soap, the earth is needed to filter the soapy water, so it is strongly recommended that you shower or wash up 200 feet away from any body of water. You can read more about LNT here.

When you go camping with this bar, you can rest assured that you are using a product which is safe for the environment and good for you! Plus, as it’s also made with fantastic bug repelling essential oils, there’s the added benefit of an extra layer of protection from little pests.

We make limited quantities of our Limited Edition soaps, so once they are sold out, they are gone for the season.

 Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic sustainable palm, organic olive, organic sunflower, organic shea nut butter, castor bean, and organic jojoba, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of lemon eucalyptus, lavender, organic peppermint, organic rosemary, cedarwood, citronella, and organic lemongrass.

Lavender Lemon Salt Bar

An itch-fighting, bacteria-fighting, bug-fighting bar for the books.

This salt bar, plus our Lavender Rosemary Salt bar make a wonderful shampoo for those with itchy scalps who have tried everything under the sun (including a wide range of our products) to alleviate the itch. Even some of our team members who periodically get itchy scalps, find relief with these 2 salt bars. If you do choose to try a salt bar as a shampoo, try a sample or half bar first as this bar won’t be for everyone. If you have a lot of hair, you may find that it doesn’t lather as much as our regular shampoo bars. A suggestion for this to still get the anti itch benefits from the salt bar, but also get a rich lather, is to use the salt bar gently against the scalp and lather as much as possible, do not rinse but follow with a shampoo bar. Use the Lavender Lemon shampoo bar until you have a think lather and then rinse with water. Follow with an acidic rinse if needed.

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic shea nut butter, and castor bean, European spa salt, and essential oils of lavender and lemon.

Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bar

This bar is so much more than just a spider repellant.

Even though our Peppermint Tea Tree shampoo bar feels great on scalp and skin, the main benefit of this bar is the health it can help restore to both hair and scalp. Nourishment and restorative properties from the specifically chosen carrier oils plus added healing from the essential oil blend.

Some of the benefits, but not limited to, are with ingredients such as Coconut oil which is a super-oil full of naturally present antioxidants, it is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Olive oil which is packed with anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it superb for hair, skin, and nails. Jojoba oil is a natural anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, its properties keep the scalp clean and healthy. It can also prevent hair loss and thinning caused by the clogged hair follicles as it dissolves and clears these blockages and promotes the development of new hair cells, which can lead to hair growth. Shea butter strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, it helps make your skin more supple, more alive, nourished and radiant. We could keep going, but you probably get the idea.

For the essential oils, both peppermint and tea tree essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint adds a cooling effect which can help eliminate the urge to scratch, while tea tree, thanks to it’s fantastic anti-fungal properties, is great for fighting dandruff. Tea tree oil is a wildly popular remedy for acne and fights the fungus that causes dandruff without drying out the scalp, it can also serve as a natural conditioner and eliminate problems that lead the scalp to flake.

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic olive, castor bean, organic sunflower, organic sustainable palm, organic jojoba, organic shea nut butter, and mango seed butter, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of organic peppermint and organic tea tree.

Bug Spray Recipe For Home and Yard

This recipe came from Healthline, for more bug spray recipes including one safe for skin and plants you can check out their original article!

For a DIY indoor/outdoor bug spray, you’ll need the following:

  • glass spray bottle
  • lavender essential oil
  • oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • citronella essential oil
  • distilled water
  • white vinegar

Then follow these steps:

  • Mix 10 to 20 drops of each essential oil with 2 ounces distilled water and 2 ounces of white vinegar.
  • Shake gently to mix.
  • Spray to use.

Well, we can hope that the bugs will die down in August, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared for next summer! Do you have a favorite homemade or natural bug spray you enjoy using?

Feel free to email me at nora@applevalleynaturalsoap.com with any questions or comments you may have!

Much Love,

Nora


New All-Purpose Liquid Castile Soap!

The best liquid soap is one that gets everything done and clean. If you want a soap that can clean your house, your body, your children, and even your dog…our natural liquid Castile soap can do all that. As with all our other soaps, this liquid soap is cruelty-free, synthetic-free, petroleum-free, free from sulfates, parabens, artificial colors and phthalates.

Why Castile Soap?

Castile-based soap’s main ingredient is olive oil. Our premium Castile type liquid soap’s main ingredient is organic virgin olive oil, which deeply penetrates the skin, moisturizing and nourishing while cleansing. Olive oil is extremely gentle and non-irritating, making this soap a wonderful choice for a household with acne-prone and sensitive skin. For more info on Castile Soap including its origin and history, check out this blog!

Why is Olive Oil Good For Your Skin?

An article in Medical News Today sums up olive oil’s four most beneficial qualities…

  1. Great antioxidant content
  2. Great Vitamin content (a, d, e, and k)
  3. Antibacterial effects
  4. Moisturizing effects

Why AVNS Liquid Castile Soap?

When you compare the ingredient list of a popular name brand lavender Castile soap to the Apple Valley Natural Soap Liquid Lavender Castile Soap, you’ll see a few differences. First, you’ll see our ingredient list is considerably shorter. We like to keep our products as simple and as natural as possible.

Popular Name Brand Ingredient List

Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Organic Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Olive Oil, Lavandin Extract, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Lavender Extract, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

Apple Valley Natural Soap Liquid Lavender Castile Soap Ingredient List

Purified water, saponified oils of organic extra virgin olive, castor, organic coconut, organic unrefined shea butter, organic jojoba. Mediterranean Sea salt and lavender essential oil.

Second, we want every detail of our products to adhere to our mission of supporting natural, no-waste lifestyles. This is why we package our Liquid Lavender Castile Soap and Liquid Lemon Verbena Castile Soap in eco-friendly bottles made from bamboo and sugarcane pulp, which are not only 100% recyclable, but also 98% landfill biodegradable. For more information on this super cool, super unique packaging you can read the product description here!

Third, we love any chance we can get to partner with other small businesses that share the same goals and values that we do, this is why we are proud to announce that we are once again collaborating with 5 Elements Clayworks in Florida, to bring you their beautiful hand-thrown Ceramic Liquid Soap Pumps! This is the same boutique that makes our gorgeous brush and bowl sets for our Shaving Kits!

More Castile Soap Options

If you love Castile soap, but are looking for a hard, long-lasting bar that travels easy and keeps you clean, take a peek at our Castile soap bars! Our Castile bars are made %100 percent from Organic Virgin Olive Oil and scented with high-grade essential oils. We offer four unique scents, each with their own benefits for every skin type!

Marianne has been bringing beautiful bars of soap to countertops since 2018, and the previous owner even years before. We’ve worked so hard to expand our products to fill all of our customer’s needs and we could not be more excited to offer you a liquid soap option. We hope you love it as much as we do!

Much Love,

Nora


Meet the Team: Tia Anderson

Why do you buy what you buy? As much as I tend to read reviews before making a purchase, I have to admit that product design and packaging makes just as big of an impact on my decision. Fonts, colors, materials, and even size all play a huge role in selling a product. When the design of a product helps to accurately reflect what that product does, it subtly aids the consumer in making the right choice when looking for the right product. Before working with Apple Valley Natural Soap, I never gave too much thought to all the hard work that goes into designing labels for products. Thankfully, our social media guru Tia knows all when it comes to product design and this week is all about her and the work she’s done for AVNS!

Meet Tia: The Social Media Manager of AVNS

Tia just got married several months ago! Aren’t they the cutest!

Tia runs all social media campaigns on Facebook and Instagram and she’s constantly working on finding ways to engage and interact with current customers. This could be as simple as asking customers what their favorite products are or sharing new information about the benefits of our products! She’s also always brainstorming new ways to reach people who need Apple Valley Natural Soap Products in their lives. This includes working on the development of an AVNS reels series, which you can find on our Instagram

How did you become part of the AVNS team?

“My husband is great friends with the Buck family. When we were dating, he knew Marianne wanted to expand the business in marketing and he recommended me! Now I have been with AVNS for 2 years!”

Tia is also behind the coordination of the weekly newsletter (if you aren’t getting our weekly newsletter you want to be, trust me, it is full of deals and giveaways!). Tia creates a visual theme for every newsletter based on the topic of the week. Each feature soap gets a customized background that matches the theme. Why do we do this? We love making online shopping as fun and easy for our customers as possible. A focused, aesthetically pleasing newsletter is not only entertaining, but instantly lets you know what it is we have to offer!

Tia is a freelancer for AVNS, so while she might work another job during the week, she always dedicates time for anything that AVNS needs. Her Mondays and Tuesdays are typically her scheduled time for planning and preparing social media posts, but she also takes on long term projects as well!

New Skincare Products Coming Soon

Tia is excited to reveal that she and Marianne have recently been working hard on a new project, “I have been working on an upcoming skincare line which has been very exciting. The labels have a modern look with a delicate design. I can’t for everyone to see them!” While you’re waiting for these products to hit our website, check out our BRAND NEW liquid soap in the meantime!

What goes into designing a product label?

A label should always reflect the product. Why? Well, if you went to the store and bought a bottle of shampoo with roses and a silky, shimmery font on the front you’d probably be pretty surprised if you went home and found the bottle was filled with a gritty brown mixture that smelled like swamp and made your hair sticky…right? You’d be expecting a rose scent and a silky textured shampoo (which means you should check out our Bella Rose Shampoo Bar). If we wanted people to know that a product was made with ingredients known for their skin-soothing benefits, we’d want to choose a soothing color like blue. If we want to highlight the fresh aspect of a product, we might pick green.

If there was a bar called “The Tia Bar” What would the description and ingredient list look like?

“The Tia Bar is a dazzling ray of sunshine that will brighten your day up. The touch of grapefruit adds a sweetness that will tickle your toes!”

Tia’s a huge fan of Apple Valley Natural Soap products, especially since so many of her hobbies include hanging out in nature! “I have picked up some hobbies this summer including tennis, disc golf, and camping! I also love the beaches, brewery’s, and traveling.” 

If you feel like you still haven’t had enough Tia, you can always read some of the blogs she’s written for Apple Valley Natural Soap!

Tune in next month to meet another team member!

Much Love,

Nora


Why Does My Scalp Itch and How Can I Find Relief?

An itchy scalp is an annoying distraction that can be caused by many things. Itchy scalps can be the result of dandruff, reactions to hair care products, fungal infections, and even lice. We have a little secret that has done wonders for itchy scalps, but if your itchy scalp persists, the best option is to always get a dermatologist’s advice!

Dandruff

Did you know that dandruff isn’t just an overly dry scalp? Dandruff is actually a symptom of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis and occurs for many reasons including dry skin…but also overly oily skin. Dandruff comes with its own evils, including causing forehead acne. Dandruff can be difficult to treat, but one of the best ways to combat dandruff is to use a gentle daily shampoo such as our Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bar, or our MAN Shampoo Bar. Natural soap makes a wonderful, gentle soap for acne because it won’t strip the scalp with harsh chemicals and also imparts the benefits of natural oils onto the hair and scalp! Try our Acne Battle Face and Body Bar if you struggle with acne!

Allergic Reactions to Haircare Products

So many hair products are made with synthetic chemicals that don’t interact well with human skin. If you aren’t rinsing your hair well enough when you shower, all the leftover build-up from your shampoo and conditioner and other hair products will sit on your scalp and irritate it. 

Finding hair care products when you have a sensitive scalp can be difficult. Natural shampoos are one solution to this problem. Many of our customers have found relief from skin conditions with our shampoo bars! Another great way to get rid of build-up is with an acidic hair rinse! Try our Herbal Vinegar Rinse for the best hair and scalp of your life!

Fungal Infections, Mites and Lice

Sometimes unwelcome critters and bacteria find their way onto our scalps…gross, right? Fungal infections manifest when fungus is allowed to grow in a hospitable environment. The best way to take preventative action against fungal infections is to keep hair clean, moisturized, and dry. Using a shampoo with antibacterial ingredients will further help prevent fungus from setting up shop on your scalp.

Fact or Fiction: Lice Love Dirty Hair

The stigma that lice and mites prefer dirty hair to clean is completely false! Lice and mites don’t discriminate and will happily inhabit any scalp they can find. The best way to avoid lice is to stay out of contact with it. This includes caution around people who might have contracted it and bedding (hotels especially) that see a lot of traffic! Your dermatologist can help rid you of these pests. 

Soap Company’s Recommendation for Itchy Scalp!

Our natural salt soap bars are perfect for washing hands and bathing due to their natural antiviral, antibacterial & anti-fungal properties from the salt, essential oils and carrier oils such as coconut and castor. Plus, weighing 8 – 9oz each, our salt bars last a very long time!

We recommend our Lavender Lemon and Lavender Rosemary Salt bar for itchy scalps. Not only do they have salt, a natural antibacterial agent…they also have antibacterial, anti-fungal essential oil blends to keep your scalp clean!

Yikes! My scalp is itching after writing this blog, time for a good ole scrub-a-dub!

Much Love,

Nora