5 Natural Remedies For Pets

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As you already know, here at AVNS we’re huge fans of natural alternatives when it comes to beauty and health-care products. We believe using natural ingredients like essential oils, apple cider vinegar, and plant derived butters on hair and skin can help decrease the risk of allergic reactions to synthetic products, provide an option for those with sensitive skin, and interact more effectively with our bodies. Of course, if these natural remedies work so well for so many people, doesn’t it make sense that they’d work for animals too? 

Absolutely! Certain natural products can be used on pets for a plethora of helpful benefits such as, keeping your pet’s skin moisturized,helping to relieve itchy skin, and even repelling fleas. You’d be surprised how many of these natural antidotes are already in your cupboard! Today I’ll be going over 5 natural remedies for pets that will help them look and feel their best!

1) Use Natural Pet Shampoo to Decrease Dry Skin and Allergies

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I have to wash my hair every other day, but I have friends who only need to wash once a week. Dogs are the same way and so are other pets. According to AKC, your dog’s coat type typically determines how often they need to be bathed.

Huskies have insulated coats and over-washing will strip their fur of important natural oils. On the other hand–sorry–paw, Chinese Crested have very delicate skin and actually need to be bathed weekly.

As a rule of claw, most breeds need a bath once a month. Dogs get dirty, so dog shampoo can be packed with some pretty heavy duty ingredients and over washing your dog can lead to dry skin…which is the last thing you want for your pooch or any other pet.

This poses a problem if your dog likes mud or stink. You shouldn’t keep your dog clean inside at the expense of them not getting proper exercise…so what do you do? Just like natural shampoo for humans, our natural pet shampoo is moisturizing because of its natural glycerin content. You’ll get the same deep clean without the irritation. We’ve formulated a special shampoo bar, just for pets, but some of our “hoo-man” shampoo bars work as well!

Natural Pet Shampoo

Our long lasting 4 oz round organic pet soap is free from artificial colors, fragrances, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and synthetics, and may help restore your pet’s sensitive or allergy-prone skin to health. Your smallest 4 legged friend will love you all the more for using this safe & effective shampoo, plus you will love the sudsy lather which is effective in washing out all the grime from your dirt loving, mud rolling canine to equine. If you’re looking for natural dog shampoo, organic cat shampoo, or natural horse shampoo, you’ll love our pet shampoo bars.

In the creation of this bar, we have added specific oils, butters and essential oils which are safe for animals and will help both with skin and coat health, as well as keeping little unwanted pests away. As with all shampoo bars, this natural pet shampoo bar needs to be used with soft water for a thick sudsy effective bathing experience.

Beneficial Ingredients in Natural Pet Shampoo

Olive oil: dermal regenerator for your pets dry skin, its antioxidant effect helps nourish the cells and revitalize the epidermis.
Coconut: adds moisture to your pet’s skin and prevents flaking. It has antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties, which mean that it will reduce fungus and yeast when used topically.
Castor oil: not only provides a thick fluffy lather, but is effective for soothing and treating skin problems, for repelling fleas in ticks when in combination with essential oils, and for treating tumorous growths or cysts.
Shea butter: moisturizes dry, itchy skin and adds luster and shine to the coat.
Colloidal oats: act as an anti-inflammatory treatment to calm your pets skin irritations.
Essential oils of lemongrass, frankincense & cedarwood: have a multitude of benefits some of which include soothing abilities and calming effects on the nervous system, treating and repelling common pests like fleas and ticks, plus properties which have antiseptic actions that can heal the skin.

Lavender Silk Shampoo and Body Bar

Voted one of our top five best smelling shampoo bars and infused with silk peptides, this bar is perfect for a long-haired pet. Silk peptides promote smooth, shiny hair and if you read our blog last week, you’ll know that  lavender essential oil is not only safe for dogs, but may even help soothe and relax them…a definite plus if you have a fur-baby who doesn’t like bath-time!

Jojoba Silk Conditioning Shampoo Bar

This bar is loaded with naturally moisturizing oils and hair-protecting silk peptides. This is a perfect shampoo for wire-haired dog breeds, or dogs with coarse hair. This bar can also be used to give your horse a radiant mane and tail!

2) File your pet’s nails

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Trimming your dog’s nails can be daunting. Many dogs get anxious if you try to trim their nails, and if you accidentally cut the dog’s quick they will bleed. Unless you know how to trim your dog’s nails, I would highly recommend letting a professional grooming service take care of it.

However, sometimes nail trims can leave your pet’s nails with sharp edges. These edges are usually filed down naturally when they come in contact with pavement during “walkies”…but if your dog can’t handle long walks you can use a typical nail file to round out your dog’s nails. I recently did this to my dog while she was napping and she barely even noticed. It saved us both a ton of anxiety and stress and I didn’t have to worry about her tearing through any furniture.

Apple Cider Vinegar as a Natural Remedy For Pets and Humans

I can’t live without my weekly ACV hair rinse.  Raw, organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best curl cleanser, but it also has a multitude of benefits for your pet!

3) DIY Ear Cleaning Solution

Dogs don’t need their ears cleaned regularly. If you notice your dogs ears seem waxy it probably means that your dog’s body is working to flush something out of its system. If you let nature run its course it will probably clear up on its own. If you notice that your dog is experiencing discomfort and is shaking his/her head and itching at the ear, that’s when you can step in. A 50/50 solution of water and apple cider vinegar can be swabbed inside your pet’s ear with a cotton pad to clean out any irritant. 

4) Apple Cider Vinegar for Itchy Skin

The acidity of apple cider vinegar is useful in combating itchy skin or rashes like poison ivy or yeast. Just mix a solution of 50/50 acv and water in a spray bottle and spray down the affected area. Be careful to avoid spraying on open wounds, as this will sting.

5) Flea and Tick Repellent

Using your same spray bottle mixture of 50/50 acv and water, you can lightly spritz your pet weekly. The acv will taste extremely appetizing to any pest that decides to take a chomp on your dog!

I hope these tricks come in handy next time you’re in a pinch with your pet and need a quick solution!

Much Love,

Nora


What is a Natural Moisturizer? Part Two

Salves and Oils

Hey there! And welcome back to our in-depth conversation on natural moisturizers. Two weeks ago in a blog we covered lotions and body butters, and now we’ll talk about two lesser-known but extremely effective options: salves and oils.

With all the natural moisturizers that exist you might be wondering…what’s the difference between these moisturizing products? How do you know which is the best natural moisturizer for your body versus which acts as the best natural moisturizer hair treatment? What about natural options for acne-prone skin? And how about natural options for face, hands and scalp? Yikes, so many questions! Don’t worry, we’re about to find out!

Wait! Can Natural Soap Be a Moisturizer Too?

I know this blog is focused on our non-soap products, but you really can’t talk about moisturizing products without mentioning natural soap! While glycerin is typically removed in mass soap production, our natural soap is handmade in small batches and maintains a glycerin content. Glycerin is a naturally occurring chemical compound that attracts water, which means that your hair and skin will benefit if they are covered in a product containing glycerin. 

If you find that you have perpetually dry skin and always use commercial brand soap, you should try switching to natural soap. That little extra boost of moisture could be just what your skin needs.

Are Natural Products Better For Your Skin?

Before I jump into specifics in this blog, I want to say one very, very important thing. Just because something is natural…does not automatically mean it is SAFE for you or even benefits you (please do not rub your entire body with poison ivy) which is why you still need to be careful when choosing natural products. Every ingredient we put into our products is as safe for you as possible. We are constantly reevaluating our products, taking out ingredients that can be substituted with safer options or taking out ingredients based on new findings suggesting any negative effects. 

AVNS Products Containing CBD

With so many CBD producers on the market, how do you know who to trust? Our relaxation salve, tincture, balm, cooling cream and face lotion are produced for Apple Valley Natural Soap by a facility which rigorously evaluates every stage of the process. From soil to oil, the process is standardized and controlled to produce highly rated and effective products. 

What about THC? In order for a product to claim to be THC free, it needs to contain less than .3% THC. All 4 of our full-spectrum topicals (Relaxation salve, Extra Strength Balm, Pain Relief Cooling Cream and Rebalance Face Lotion) do contain less than .3% THC, but there are traces. So the question is, can you test positive for THC in a blood test if using a topical product with traces of THC? In short, no.

Cannabinoids (including THC) in topicals do NOT actually enter the bloodstream. Chemist Noel Palmer states “THC alone and by itself will not permeate through the skin into the bloodstream, just as most drugs won’t. The skin is designed to keep things out, and it does a really good job at doing this.” For companies who need the cannabinoids to penetrate the skin for medicinal purposes, they specially formulate the cannabinoids for transdermal delivery through patches and creams. Applying topicals like ours to the skin only allows it to break the skin/muscular barrier, but not enter into the blood stream. If you’re confused by all this info don’t worry! I know it can be a lot so for more info about CBD products, check out this blog!

Salves

A salve is often used to target specific areas of the body and to provide a medicinal benefit of some sort. 

Why Should You Use a Natural Salve?

I would probably compare choosing a natural salve over a commercial brand salve to choosing a natural bug repellent spray to a commercial brand. Both will work, but one contains ingredients that are lower risk to your safety. We have some specially formulated salves that range in potency to cover everything from bug bites to muscle aches and pains. 

Our Natural Salves

Organic Herbal Salve 

This Salve Works Best For: daily application for rashes, bug bites, sun burn, wounds, dry, cracked skin, bruises, diaper rash and more!

Chock full of soothing, certified organic herbs infused in a base of organic, extra virgin olive oil and unrefined beeswax, this salve is amazingly multi-purpose and economical. Here are some of the beneficial ingredients in this salve…

St. John’s wort: has historically been known to help speed up the healing process and prevent scarring. (Don’t worry, it isn’t an actual wart, it’s a flower).

Echinacea: has a long history of success with venomous stings and bites and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. 

Comfrey & Yarrow: have astringent properties and have been used to promote cell regeneration and healing. 

Plantain: is acclaimed for its ability to relieve bee stings, insect and spider bites and rashes.

Calendula: is impressive because of its ability to speed healing, improve the appearance of the skin, lower inflammation, and protect the skin against infections. 

Rosemary: has natural antiseptic properties, which makes it a superior disinfectant for our skin. It can also help protect skin cells from damage often caused by the sun and free radicals. 

Grapefruit seed extract: is an excellent anti-fungal agent.

Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil*, unrefined beeswax, St. John’s wort*, echinacea purpurea root*, echinacea purpurea leaf*, comfrey leaf & root*, calendula blossom*, yarrow flower*, plantain leaf*, rosemary leaf*, grapefruit seed extract and vitamin E oil (from Non-GMO sunflower oil).  *certified organic

Relaxation Salve

This Salve Works Best For: daily aches and muscle pains.

Our newly formulated Relaxation salve is now even more powerful with 500mg of organically grown, whole-plant hemp extract. This salve is blended with all-natural, effective ingredients such as hempseed oil and arnica to help enhance a massage or aid in recovery from your daily activities. Plus the addition of therapeutic lavender, sage and oregano essential oils bring a fragrant warmth to your massage experience as well as helping aid in healing and relaxation.

Our salve is 3rd party tested for potency & purity, see test results here.

Some benefits of our Pain Relief Relaxation Salve:

*  May have calming and therapeutic benefits.

*  May help relieve pain.

*  May ease the discomfort of headaches.

*  CBD may supports the skin’s natural healing process.

*  CBD is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it may protect the skin from free radicals.

*  Non-GMO

Ingredients: Organic jojoba oil, organic shea butter, candelilla wax, organic coconut oil, full spectrum whole plant phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract from organically grown industrial hemp plants, arnica flower extract, sweet almond oil, organic argan oil, lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, oregano essential oil, vitamin E . 

Directions:

Relax and soothe sore muscles and joints by gently massaging this salve into the areas with pain and discomfort. Apply as needed.

Extra Strength Balm

This Salve Works Best For: more serious aches and muscle pains

Formulated for both the serious athlete and those who simply need deep targeted extra relief. This is our most powerful & potent topical containing a high concentration of organic whole-plant hemp extract, combined with all natural & effective ingredients such as menthol & arncia.  3rd party tested for potency & purity, see test results here.

This CBD Balm gives you 1000mg of full spectrum cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural hemp compounds to help massage away tough muscle & joint aches and pains. These full spectrum compounds work synergistically with a series of receptors in your body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is involved in a lot of important jobs, including regulating your anti-inflammatory response, immune system, appetite, mood, anxiety levels, sleep schedule and more. Endocannabinoids and their receptors exist throughout the body, from the brain to the connective tissue and immune cells. The cannabinoid system’s role changes depending on its location but is always acting for one goal: homeostasis, also known as the maintenance of a stable internal environment. 

Ingredients: full-spectrum whole plant hemp extract from organically grown industrial hemp plants, shea butter, menthol, jojoba, beeswax, arnica infused organic olive oil, essential oils of lavender & rosemary.

Oils for Skin and Hair

Oils are making a big splash in the beauty industry, why? When applied to hair and skin, oils coat the surface they interact with and create a protective barrier that traps moisture and prevents things like dryness, breakage, and heat damage.

Why Should You Use Natural Oils

Yes, oils are popular right now, but not every oil on the market is the miracle you’ve been looking for. Unfortunately, many beauty companies are taking advantage of pure oil’s good reputation and are selling “beauty oils” made with low quality oil and a bunch of other additives. I recently received a facial oil sample that contained a bunch of dye used to give it a midnight blue coloring. Why would you ever want to put artificial dye on your face??? Natural oils will either be made of one pure oil or a blend of pure oils and few other ingredients. We have a few different oils that have been life-changing for our customers

Jojoba Oil

This Oil Works Best For: everyday use for every skin type.

Our pure, organic jojoba is the most natural way to moisturize both skin and hair. The benefits of jojoba are numerous and unparalleled. Jojoba is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and easily absorbed into the skin, leaving no oily residue, making it the perfect massage oil. It is used to maintain skin elasticity and leaves skin literally glowing. You can use jojoba to remove makeup, combat conditions like athlete’s foot, dandruff, eczema, skin bacteria and other skin infections. It improves hair quality and stimulates hair growth.

This has, and always will be, one of my favorite AVNS products, and I have used it for years. It is simply amazing, and try as I might, (when I’ve forgotten to pack mine, when traveling), there’s nothing else out there that compares–even at a significantly higher price point. I apply after every bath. A little goes a long way, and despite using it on a daily basis, one bottle lasts a long time. There is nothing that moisturizes my skin better. My daughters are constantly telling me how soft my skin is. The twist-to-open applicator makes it a breeze to apply, with no waste. Pamper yourself. You will not be disappointed!

-Satisfied Customer

Argan Oil

This Oil Works Best For: Dry skin, mature skin, and hair 

One of the world’s most rare and potent beauty serums, this unrefined (virgin), certified organic, Moroccan argan oil is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. As a non-greasy, fast absorbing oil, it offers better protection for skin and hair than any other oil on the planet. Argan oil is high in something called oleic acid and even though it’s still considered a “dry” oil, meaning it won’t leave an oily residue and will absorb quickly, it’s an oil which will keep the skin moisturized, help battle the loss of elasticity and reduce inflammation. Oleic acid adds a richness to oils, making argan oil an excellent deep moisturizer. It penetrates easily and deeply into the skin’s surface, replenishing lost moisture that naturally comes with age, it also helps the moisture from evaporating.

Argan oil’s benefits for skin are many, here are the highlights:

  • Enriched with antioxidants it protects skin from sun damage and helps with skin repair from sun exposure.
  • Moistures skin, packed with vitamin E and fatty acids it hydrates, nourishes and moisturizes effectively and replenishes skin cells.
  • Prevents and reduces stretch marks as it helps improve skin elasticity.
  • Heals infections with it’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Speeding up the healing process of wounds, infections and burns is a wonderful benefit of this amazing oil.
  • Treats acne, heals blemishes and evens out skin tone.

Moroccan Argan oil has multiple uses for hair and body

  • Thermal heat protectant for hair: put 2-4 drops in the palm of your hand and massage into damp hair after showering. Your hair will feel silky soft after blow-drying. Check out our BLOG for more information about this and amazing results you can see!
  • Deep conditioner: wet hair with hot water, massage a small amount into the scalp and down the shaft of the hair, wrap with a towel, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash hair as usual. Alternatively, apply to dry hair before going to bed at night. Wrap in a towel and wash in the morning for soft, silky locks. Argan oil helps with dandruff and other dry scalp symptoms.
  • Makeup remover: put a couple of drops on a cotton ball and and gently remove eye makeup. Leaves the delicate skin around your eyes moisturized.
  • Facial moisturizer: apply a few drops to your delicate facial tissue and around your eyes and watch your skin soak it up and start glowing.
  • Beard oil: bearded people, you know what I’m sayin’. Or if you want something designed specifically for facial hair, check out our Men’s Nourishing Beard Oil.
  • Cuticle and nail repair serum: apply a drop to cuticles and nails at night and say good bye to cut, sore finger tips. Argan oil will strengthen and nourish your nails too.
  • Night hand oil. Two pumps rubbed into your hands before you go to bed leaves them soft and silky in the morning.
  • Expectant mothers: apply organic argan oil to your tummy to help prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Ingredients: pure, unadulterated, cold pressed, undeodorized, virgin, organic argania spinosa (argan oil).

I had a bottle of Argan oil that I used previously and It was ok, but I had nothing to compare it to. After using Apple Valley Argan oil I would guess the other is not pure. Anyway, I get 1-2 pumps and add a drop of lavender essential oil to it and dab it on my face especially under eyes. The oil has a thicker consistency but does not feel greasy. Also it melts into my skin quickly and leaves it looking so nice. Whatever is remaining on my fingers I gently swipe into my fine hair and is lays nice with no flyaways and it does not cause it to get greasy at all. I have also rubbed this on my knees and elbows and it is amazing for smoothing and moisturizing skin.

-Satisfied Customer

CBD Hemp Facial Oil

This Oil Works Best For: Every skin type including oily, acne-prone skin

Our organic Hemp Facial Oil is a great place to start when exploring CBD products, this core product is a must for so many reasons (see below) and contains 400mg of CBD Isolate in each bottle.

Our CBD Hemp Facial Oil is made with a 99% pure therapeutic-grade CBD (Cannabidiol) isolate (THC free) which has been extracted from USDA Certified Organic Industrial Hemp plants. We use this in combination with a USDA Certified Organic Hemp Seed oil for a multitude of reasons. Hemp Seed oil is perfect for most skin types as it can moisturize without clogging pores. It can even help to balance out oily skin, hydrating it and regulating the skin’s oil production. Hemp seed oil is made from the organic cold-pressed and unrefined seeds of the Cannabis sativa (hemp) plant.

I’ve seen a dermatologist twice. The first time he said I had seborrheic dermatitis. Didn’t clear up much so I went back in and he said I also have psoriasis. Thankfully, quite mild. Whether I have one, both, or neither condition, I have sensitive dry skin with occasional red itchy patches (mainly on my face/hairline). It’s been hard finding something that works as a moisturizer and doesn’t cause additional inflammation. The thing I’ve loved about this oil is that it sits nice on my skin and seems to soak in without making my face feel greasy or make my skin redder. It also has definitely helped with my acne on the lower part of my face. I use this every morning and then rub a light layer of lotion on top. It looks like my bottle is going to last at least 6 months. It sounds like it should stay fresh that long too. I keep mine in the refrigerator to help it last longer. I will absolutely be buying this again if it’s still for sale!!!! Please keep this as an option!

-Satisfied Customer

Apple Valley Natural Soap’s 5 Best Smelling Shampoo Bars

According to you, me, Marianne and Tia!

If you joined us back in October during our hunt for our 5 best smelling body bars we’d like to welcome you back for a round two reveal of our best smelling shampoo bars.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Over the weekend we’ve been getting survey results and thanks to your input, five shampoo bars emerged as clear winners. According to you, our customers, these five shampoo bars are our most irresistible smelling bars.

What’s the Difference Between a Body Soap Bar and a Shampoo Bar?

The main difference between a natural body soap bar and a natural shampoo bar are the types of ingredients used. Our body bars contain large amounts of rich oils and butters that could weigh hair down or give it a greasy appearance if used on hair. Shampoo bars contain smaller amounts of these ingredients…enough for your hair to reap the benefits they provide, but not so much that they overwhelm your hair! Every hair type is different, meaning some shampoo bars may work better for fine hair than bars that work for curly hair. Some of our customers have had success using body bars on their hair. You can even see what happened when I used the Winter Skin Saver Bar on my hair!

5 Irresistible Smelling Natural Shampoo Bars

1) Bella Rose Shampoo and Body Bar

Soap Profile

Description

Bella Rose Shampoo Bar!

This delicate, floral scented bar with a blend of jasmine, wild rose and warm sandalwood celebrates femininity with flair! Moisturizing mango butter and rich olive, avocado and jojoba oils pack this bar with emollient, conditioning power while pink kaolin clay and rose hips cleanse toxins from the skin and scalp. This leaves you with a clean, healthy head of beautiful, easy to manage hair and a silky body softly scented. One customer’s husband said this scent was the perfect aphrodisiac!

Our Sweet Rosehips Body Polish also coordinates with Bella Rose perfectly. Just wash up with Bella Rose, then scrub your body with our exfoliating, moisturizing Sweet Rosehips Body Polish and feel and smell like a movie star. It doesn’t get any better than this. Makes a fabulous gift.

Ingredients

Saponified oils of organic coconut, organic olive, mango seed butter, unrefined organic cocoa butter, castor bean and organic jojoba, pink kaolin clay, rose hips, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of orange, cinnamon leaf, fragrance.

Commentary

Who else guessed this bar would steal first place? I certainly did! The sweet scent of this bar is intoxicating and reminds me of spring. It’s loaded with rose hips, the fruit of a rose that is known for its amazing skin benefits and deep, rich pigment. This bar is perfect for a head of fiery curls and I would strongly, strongly support the recommendation to pair this soap with our Sweet Rosehips Body Polish!

2) Lavender Buttermilk Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

Buttermilk, a natural pro-biotic full of lactic acid, is found in many beauty products and is fabulous for softening, brightening and exfoliating skin. Lactic acid is also used to treat age spots and freckles and to tighten skin. Olive oil, organic jojoba oil, and mango butter, with their emollient properties, round out this beauty treatment for your hair and body. Lavender has countless benefits for skin and scalp due to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It is used to treat skin conditions such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammations. The vanilla adds a warm, creamy sweetness to the lavender essential oil making this a calming, dreamy, unforgettable scent.

Ingredients

Saponified oils of organic coconut, organic sustainable palm, castor bean, organic olive, organic jojoba, and mango seed butter, buttermilk, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of Vanilla, Eucalyptus, Estragon, fragrance.

Commentary

Drenching your hair in the creamy and soothing scent of this bar is the perfect way to unwind after a long day, so it’s no surprise this bar is well loved!

This is a great shampoo bar! I love the scent and it lathers really well. I’ve been using shampoo bars from a different company for years and I feel like this one is easier to use and it leaves my hair softer and silkier. Definitely recommend it!”

-Satisfied Customer

3) Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

I have to admit, I go a little bonkers over this shampoo bar. Have you ever jumped into a cold lake after a hot sauna? Cuz’ here’s your chance to do it while keeping your feet firmly planted in the shower, which is my way of pulling off this feat. You get all the the cool, refreshing, and invigorating sensations you’re looking for with none of the sweat or the shock.

(Psst. Keep the tingly feeling going with our coordinating Matcha Mint Body Polish. Makes a perfect pair after a hard work out—if you’re into that kind of thing—which I’m most definitely not. Can someone pass the cookies?)

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.

Special Beneficial Ingredients in this Bar

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com
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.
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 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.

Commentary

I have not tried this bar yet, since I’m more of a floral girl, but I will admit that the description never fails to capture my attention. I’m also intrigued by the powerful ingredient list. I wonder if the peppermint and tea tree (known for helping cure acne) combo would help me with my greasy scalp issues? This bar will be in my next order, what about you?

4) Lavender Silk Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

Lavender Silk is a beautifully scented lavender bar, packed full nourishing ingredients for hair, scalp, and body. Ingredients such as organic shea butter and organic olive oil, have a high content of non-saponifiable fatty acids which gives them the ability to deeply moisturize hair, and retain the elasticity of the skin. Organic cocoa butter has amazing healing and softening properties, silk peptides help protect as well as give shine and elasticity, and lavender has countless benefits for skin and scalp due to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. If you love Lavender, you can’t go wrong with this bar!

Ingredients

Saponified Oils of Organic Coconut, Organic Olive, Castor, Organic Sustainable Palm, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Silk Peptides, Alkanet Root, Rosemary Oil Extract & Lavender Essential Oil.

Some information about the silk we use in this bar: https://www.applevalleynaturalsoap.com/vegan-and-gluten-free-information/

Commentary

I’m actually surprised that this bar did not place in the top three. I love how light and dreamy this lavender bar smells as well as its gorgeous coloring. Silk peptides are fantastic for curly hair because they are gentle and make the hair shine. This bar can also be used on your dog!

5) Key Lime Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

Our zesty Key Lime Shampoo bar has the added benefit of coconut milk which is a natural beauty treatment used in many hair and skin products to hydrate and repair skin cells, as well as to add shine, silkiness, and softness to hair and skin. We loaded this bar up with other great ingredients such as nourishing mango seed butter and moisturizing sunflower oil, along with Key Lime essential oil which not only imparts a fantastic scent, but may help remove excessive oil, reduce dandruff and help with hair manageability due to it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, astringent and healing benefits.

Ingredients

Saponified oils of organic coconut, grapeseed, castor bean, organic sustainable palm, organic sunflower oil, mango seed butter, organic coconut milk, rosemary oil extract, french green clay and essential oils of key lime and organic litsea cubeba. 

Commentary

I haven’t tried this bar or even smelled it, but I love the smell of lime so I don’t know what I’m waiting for!

Notable Top Five Favorite Shampoo Bar Lists

Of course, I’m including some notable top 5 lists from people who know AVNS soap like the back of their super clean, super moisturized hands (including the list of the owner herself, Marianne!). These lists aren’t only based on smell, but how they work as well!

Tia’s Top 4 Shampoo Bars 

Tia is our fantastic social media guru, she made the AVNS newsletter what it is today and also has a few blog posts you should definitely check out!

  1. Bella Rose Shampoo Bar
  2. Bamboo Shampoo Bar
  3. Wild North Shampoo Bar
  4. Marshmallow and Aloe Shampoo Bar
  5. Lavender Silk Shampoo Bar

“The Lavender Silk Shampoo Bar is a favorite because it’s sooo silky and smooth. My skin feels amazing after using it and the smell is sweet and elegant.”

-Tia, AVNS Content Creator

Nora’s Top 5 Shampoo Bars

Nora? That’s me! If you love bars that smell deliciously sweet my list is your go-to.

  1. Bella Rose Shampoo Bar
  2. Wheat and Honey Almond
  3. Chamomile and Orange Blossom
  4. Lavender Silk Shampoo Bar
  5. Pink Lemonade Shampoo Bar

“The Pink Lemonade Shampoo Bar is a secret treasure trove for curly hair! This bar’s scent is very soft, but it smells exactly like lemonade. This bar also gives my curls fantastic definition. I’m so glad I stumbled upon it by chance.”

-Nora, AVNS Content Writer

Marianne’s Top 5 Body Soap Bars

If there’s anyone’s list you should be taking notes on, it’s the woman who continues to create soaps with amazing scents!

  1. Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar
  2. Cafe Mocha Shampoo Bar
  3. Key Lime Shampoo Bar
  4. Grapefruit Mint Shampoo Bar
  5. Coconut Milk and Citrus Shampoo Bar

Hmmm, looks like someone loves her mint, citrus, and coffee scents!

How to Choose Your Next Bar!

You know all the favorites, you can even check out our article that goes into depth about why some customers love some of the bars mentioned above! Now you just have to decide which to try first! Remember, if you get six bars you get a seventh bar free…and that one might just be your new favorite! We’re always coming out with new soaps…including a coming soon release named after a popular soft-drink! Stay tuned…

Much Love,

Nora


What is a natural Moisturizer? Part 1

Going Natural

If you’re looking for a natural moisturizer, you might be surprised by just how many options you actually have. Natural lotions, natural body butters, natural oils, natural salves…what’s the difference between these moisturizing products? How do you know which is the best natural moisturizer for your body versus which acts as the best natural moisturizer hair treatment? And how about natural lotion for face, hands and scalp? Yikes, so many questions! Luckily, we happen to carry every type of natural moisturizer mentioned above. I had planned to cover all our natural moisturizers in one blog, but I soon realized how long that blog would be so I decided to beak it down into two parts. This week I’ll be looking at lotions, lotion bars, and body butters. Next week I’ll be revealing our top 5 best smelling shampoo bars according to customers (take the survey now to pick your favorites!) And the week after that I’ll return to natural moisturizers to discuss the awesome benefits of oils and salves!

Wait! Can Natural Soap Be a Moisturizer Too?

I know this blog is focused on our non-soap products, but you really can’t talk about moisturizing products without mentioning natural soap! While glycerin is typically removed in mass soap production, our natural soap is handmade in small batches and maintains a glycerin content. Glycerin is a naturally occurring chemical compound that attracts water, which means that your hair and skin will benefit if they are covered in a product containing glycerin. 

If you find that you have perpetually dry skin and always use commercial brand soap, you should try switching to natural soap. That little extra boost of moisture could be just what your skin needs.

Are Natural Products Better For Your Skin?

Before I jump into specifics in this blog, I want to say one very, very important thing. Just because something is natural…does not automatically mean it is SAFE for you or even benefits you (please do not rub your entire body with poison ivy) which is why you still need to be careful when choosing natural products. Every ingredient we put into our products is as safe for you as possible. We are constantly reevaluating our products, taking out ingredients that can be substituted with safer options or taking out ingredients based on new findings suggesting any negative effects. 

AVNS Products Containing CBD

With so many CBD producers on the market, how do you know who to trust? Our relaxation salve, tincture, balm, cooling cream and face lotion are produced for Apple Valley Natural Soap by a facility which rigorously evaluates every stage of the process. From soil to oil, the process is standardized and controlled to produce highly rated and effective products. 

What about THC? In order for a product to claim to be THC free, it needs to contain less than .3% THC. All 4 of our full-spectrum topicals (Relaxation salve, Extra Strength Balm, Pain Relief Cooling Cream and Rebalance Face Lotion) do contain less than .3% THC, but there are traces. So the question is, can you test positive for THC in a blood test if using a topical product with traces of THC? In short, no.

When applied topically, cannabinoids (including THC) in topicals do NOT actually enter the bloodstream. Chemist Noel Palmer states “THC alone and by itself will not permeate through the skin into the bloodstream, just as most drugs won’t. The skin is designed to keep things out, and it does a really good job at doing this.” For companies who need the cannabinoids to penetrate the skin for medicinal purposes, they specially formulate the cannabinoids for transdermal delivery through patches and creams. Applying topicals like ours to the skin only allows it to break the skin/muscular barrier, but not enter into the blood stream. 

Lotions

The Merriam Webster definition of lotion, “a liquid preparation for cosmetic or external medicinal use” won’t help us learn much. The main aspect of lotion that you need to be aware of when deciding on moisturizing products is the fact that lotion usually has a higher water content than other moisturizing products. What is the benefit of a lotion compared to say, an oil? Well, lotions typically have a lighter feel on your skin and won’t feel as greasy. Lotion will also absorb more water into your skin because of its preexisting water content. 

Why Should You Use Natural Lotion?

As someone who has battled acne for years, I understand how truly trying “acne curing” lotions can be. They stink. They sting. And they dry out your skin.

Natural lotion is a great option for sensitive or acne prone skin. Natural lotion will still be effective in correcting skin problems, but won’t dry out the skin in the process and will maintain healthy and moisturized facial tissue.  

Our Natural Lotions

Rebalance Facial Moisturizer

Skin Type: normal to oily/acne-prone facial skin

Our CBD face lotion contains 500mg of organically grown, whole-plant hemp extract along with a wide variety of ingredients to help rejuvenate and improve facial skin. Rebalance Facial Moisturizer is a lightweight lotion that may help restore your skin’s firmness, elasticity and glow while visibly reducing fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes. A fresh and clean face lotion great for a variety of skin types including those struggling with skin issues such as mild acne. Please note that this lotion contains orange essential oil which has amazing benefits for skin, but may be too clarifying for those with very sensitive skin.

Some of the benefits of Rebalance Facial Moisturizer

*  As CBD is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it protects the skin from free radicals which cause aging, CBD helps fight the signs of aging. Plus with the addition of CBD to this lotions already amazing ingredients, it ramps up the amazing beauty benefits, some dermatologists recommend the use of CBD for hair and skin.
*  Rebalance supports skin cell growth, increases the elasticity and brings new life to dry, tired or dehydrated skin. It helps keep skin soft and supple.
*  CBD oil can Treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and ability to calm skin and reduce sebum production. Since CBD is a main component of Rebalance, blemishes and acne scars are visibly reduced. 
*  Due to the addition of CBD, this lotion may ease the discomfort of facial pain.
*  Applying CBD topically is the most effective way for targeting specific areas of the body like muscle aches and pains.

Ingredients:  Purified water, organic aloe inner leaf juice, caprylic/capric triglyceride (from coconut & glycerin)*, glyceryl stearate (from glycerin & stearic acid-a vegetable fatty acid)*, glycerin (kosher), organic shea butter, glycol stearate (organic compound), organic coconut oil, cetearyl alcohol (from coconut oil)*, diheptyl succinate (from castor oil)*, stearic acid (vegetable fatty acid), organic rosehip seed oil, sodium stearoyl lactylate (plant derived salts)*, leuconostoc/ radish root ferment filtrate (fermented radish), phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract, xanthan gum*, blood orange essential oil, olive oil, vitamin E, glyceryl caprylate (glycerine with caprylic acid-coconut fatty acid)*, capryloyl glycerin/sebacic acid copolymer (from coconut & castor oil)*, vitamin C, caprylhydroxamic acid (coconut amino acid)*.

*Ecocert certified 

Some of these ingredients may be unknown to you and not as easy to identify as the ingredients in our other products are. But each ingredient listed here has been verified in the EWG Skin Deep database as being rated at a 1 or lower and have plant origins. 

Pain Relief Cooling Cream (Liniment Cream)

Skin Type: minor aches and pains, including sore muscles, inflammation and even arthritis.

New to our hemp line, this fast acting Pain Relief Cooling Cream contains 500mg of organically grown, whole-plant hemp extract. Blended with natural and effective ingredients including aloe, arnica, menthol, white willow bark, turmeric root and cayenne pepper, this natural cooling liniment cream brings needed relief to the targeted skin problems mentioned above.  Easy to use and lightweight, when gently applied to the area of discomfort this cream will bring relief with both warming and cooling sensations as the ingredients penetrate deeply. Applying our cooling liniment cream is a great way to get your joints moving for a busy day ahead, or to help your body relax after a long active day. 

Our cooling cream is 3rd party tested for potency & purity, see test results here.

Our Pain Relief Cooling Cream gives you a rich, full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural hemp compounds to help with the relief of every day muscle and joint discomforts. These full spectrum compounds work synergistically with a series of receptors in your body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is involved in a lot of important jobs, including regulating your anti-inflammatory response, immune system, appetite, mood, anxiety levels, sleep schedule and more. Endocannabinoids and their receptors exist throughout the body, from the brain to the connective tissue and immune cells. The cannabinoid system’s role changes depending on its location but is always acting for one goal: homeostasis, also known as the maintenance of a stable internal environment. 

Some Benefits of our Pain Relief Cooling Cream

*  As applying CBD topically is the most effective way for targeting specific areas of the body for aches and pains, this cooling cream may aid in recovery.
*  Has calming and therapeutic benefits.
*  May help relieve pain.
*  May ease the discomfort of headaches.
*  CBD Supports the skin’s natural healing process.
*  CBD is a powerful antioxidant, meaning it protects the skin from free radicals.
*  Non-GMO

Ingredients: Purified water, aloe leaf gel*, sweet almond oil, rooibos leaf extract, safflower seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride (from coconut & glycerin), cetearyl olivate (from olives), glycerin USP (kosher), phytocannabinoid-rich hemp extract, white willow bark extract, nettle leaf extract*, sorbitan olivate (from olives), jojoba oil*, olive fruit oil*, ginger root extract*, cayenne pepper extract, lobelia herb extract*, arnica flower extract, frankincense extract, turmeric root extract, vitamin B3, oat , avenanthramides extract (from oats), vitamin E, sea buckthorn oil*, chia seed oil, pomegranate seed oil*, cranberry seed oil, sacha inchi seed oil, tea tree essential oil, eucalyptus leaf essential oil, spearmint essential oil, peppermint essential oil, mentha (menthol USP 5) oil, caprylhydroxamic acid (coconut amino acid), caprylyl glycol (from coconut), xylitol & potassium sorbate (potassium salt).

*certified organic ingredient 

Some of these ingredients may be unknown to you and not as easy to identify as the ingredients in our other products are. But each ingredient listed here has been verified in the EWG Skin Deep database as being rated at a 1 or lower, and have plant origins. 

Lotion Bars

Different than a lotion because of its lack of water content, different than a body butter because of its solid form, a lotion bar is a little like the Superman of the moisturizing world. 

Why Should You Use a Natural Lotion Bar?

Lotion bars are the best option for someone who is always on the go. They can be applied right after getting out of the shower (yes. Right on wet skin) and they can be packed in a carry on or personal item without taking up room in the 3-1-1 bag (travelers know just how important this is). We have two lotion bars.

Lavender Lotion Bar

Skin Type: All

Our luxurious Lavender Lotion Bars combine nutritious organic oils and butters with the healing power of organic lavender essential oil for a powerhouse of moisturizing properties for your skin. With a lighter textured than our Creamy Butter Bar, this lotion is great for everyday use or problematic skin. With the inclusion of organic virgin jojoba, organic virgin coconut oil, unrefined organic cocoa butter, unrefined organic shea nut butter and powerful organic lavender essential oil, this lotion bar is a wonderful option for a wide range of skin types from the delicate, to the problematic.

Why lavender essential oil? Because of its many health benefits for the skin, most of which can be attributed to its antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Lavender essential oil is widely used to treat various skin issues such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions, it is also commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues.

Ingredients: unrefined beeswax, organic coconut oil, unrefined organic cocoa butter, unrefined organic shea nut butter, organic virgin jojoba, organic virgin olive oil, organic lavender essential oil and vitamin E oil (from non-GMO sunflower oil). All of our organic ingredients are USDA Certified Organic.

Creamy Butter Lotion Bar

Skin Type: Dry skin

There is no skimping on the luxurious ingredients in our versions of a hard lotion bar. For this Creamy Butter Bar we use organic virgin jojoba, organic coconut oil, unrefined organic cocoa butter, unrefined organic shea nut butter and mango butter, making a concentrated, rich, all natural, moisture-drenched solution for extremely dry, problematic skin. Use it on your heels, knuckles, elbows, cuticles—or anywhere else you have patches of dry skin. We left this one unscented so that even the most sensitive skin will fall in love. However, you CAN smell the delicious, creamy, mild scent of the unrefined cocoa butter, yum!

Ingredients: unrefined beeswax, organic coconut oil, unrefined organic cocoa butter, mango butter, unrefined organic shea nut butter, organic virgin jojoba, organic virgin olive oil and vitamin E oil (from non-GMO sunflower oil). All of our organic ingredients are USDA Certified Organic.

Body Butter

Body Butter is thicker than lotion because of its higher butter/oil content. A body butter is meant to target problem areas of dry skin and its thick, creamy texture helps create a lavish bathing experience. 

Why Should You Use Natural Body Butters

Body butters are often marketed as luxury products and are created with intense scents to match their intense textures. The problem with adding this much fragrance is that it means you’re upping your body’s chemical intake. Many chemicals in cheap fragrances cause a lot of skin problems such as irritation and dryness. Some chemicals can even leak into your bloodstream and cause even deeper issues, which is why you hear about recalls on certain products. We have two types of natural body butters that are gentle and powerfully effective for skin.

Whipped Body Butter

Skin Type: Extremely Dry

Using only organic ingredients packed with intense nutrition for your skin, this unscented body butter is a soothing and effective way to moisturize all over! We’ve included ingredients such as Organic Unrefined Cocoa Butter which can actually penetrate further than the top layer of the skin, it moisturizes deep-down and really nourishes the skin. And organic Shea Butter which has a high content fatty acids which gives it the ability to deeply moisturize and retain the elasticity of the skin. This all natural, 100% organic, uber moisturizing body butter has no added scent, but a soft, oh so good, chocolatey scent is evident from the organic unrefined cocoa butter. An amazing treat!

Our body butters are natural, gentle and safe for every type of skin. Please note that just a little bit goes a long way, so use sparingly!

Ingredients: organic shea butter, organic unrefined cocoa butter, organic virgin coconut oil and organic jojoba oil.

Shea Butter Skin Therapy

Skin Type: Extremely Dry, Oily and Problem Areas (including scalp)

NEW to our collection of butters, experience Intense Nutrition for Skin with Shea Butter Skin Therapy, this butter is a super food for your skin! Organic, unrefined African shea butter is intensely moisturizing, it can not only help relieve dry itchy skin, but can help eliminate greasy scalp and hair issues, as well as balance oil production which makes it also great for oily complexions. We have chosen to use only USDA CERTIFIED Organic Raw Unrefined African Shea butter, this pure and natural organic shea butter is the only way to go in order to reap all the benefits. 

What makes Organic Shea Butter so good for the skin? It has a high content of fatty acids which gives it the ability to deeply moisturize and retain the elasticity of the skin, it is also a great ingredient for those with inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema and dermatitis. Unrefined Shea Butter is loaded with natural vitamins A, E, natural antioxidants and fatty acids for maximum natural moisturizing power, it is an amazing body healer. Try it to help treat skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, rashes, stretch marks, and burns. It may also help lessen the irritation of psoriasis and eczema, help diminish wrinkles, clear blemishes, and heal wounds, scars & skin discolorations. 

Ingredients: USDA CERTIFIED Organic Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter with no added scent.

Hopefully this blog is leaving you with a better sense of what type of natural moisturizer is best for you and your skin. Come back in two weeks for part two when I cover oils and salves…two more amazing types of natural moisturizer!

Much Love,

Nora


FAQs About Our Soap (and soap in general)

Have you ever wondered how soap works? You aren’t the only one, this week I’ve pulled some questions from our FAQ page and I’ll be expanding on some questions about the science behind soap and how it works. I’ll also take a look at the difference between natural soap and popular brand soaps you’d find at your local grocery store. Hopefully by the end of this blog you’ll have a better understanding of what it is that makes soap effective and what to look for when choosing soaps for your household, and yourself.

What is Soap?

“Soap is made by combining an alkaline solution with animal fats or vegetable oils which are acidic. When mixed under the right circumstances, they neutralize to form a new compound which we call “soap”. Saponification is the technical term for this reaction.” ()

Handmade Soap by Tatyana Hill

What Makes Soap Effective?

This is such a fun craft and a great way to learn about the importance of washing hands!!

Soap works as an emulsifier. In simplest terms, an emulsifier helps to join together or fuse substances that would otherwise be incompatible. What do incompatible substances look like when they interact? For an easy visual, picture the popular children’s craft project that calls for mixing oil and water in a water bottle. Because the two substances do not blend it creates a lava lamp-like result with the oil floating on top of the water. 

The same interaction (or lack of) occurs on your body. Our skin creates a crucial oil called sebum, while this oil is necessary as a protective layer on our skin and works to ‘catch’ dirt and germs from penetrating our skin, it also means that all this waste accumulates over time on our bodies. Think of the surface of your skin like a freshly made spider web, the web works hard all day to trap bugs and provide for the spider, but at the end of the day that web is one grimy mess. This is where soap comes into play.

Just like the water bottle project I mentioned earlier, water alone is unable to penetrate oil on our skin, but soap molecules can. Soap can surround both the oil on our skin as well as any dirt caught in the oil. Because soap and water are compatible, the water can then lift the soap off of the skin, leaving you with clean hands.

What is the Difference Between Natural Soap and Soaps like Dial and Dove?

“Soap is made commercially in huge vats by a process called “continuous method”, in which ingredients are continuously added to one end and removed from the other. During this process, the emollient glycerin that naturally exists in soap is removed and sold separately for its moisturizing qualities. Commercial soap is nearly always made from tallow (animal fat) and usually contains a variety of synthetic chemicals. Because of the lack of glycerin as well as the inclusion of poor-quality ingredients and additives, commercial soap can often irritate and dry the skin, or can cause an allergic reaction. Sadly, even many hand-made soap companies use synthetic fragrances, preservatives and colors in their products.”

-Handmade Soap by Tatyana Hill

While mass produced soaps often use the term “antibacterial” as a selling point, the harsh chemicals and detergents used for cleansing may quickly lead to dry, raw skin — especially if you are washing your hands more frequently — and could leave skin more exposed and vulnerable to germs. Our natural soaps contain natural glycerin, a byproduct of natural oils that cleans and moisturizes skin. Additionally, many of our natural soaps are also antibacterial, thanks to many different sources of natural ingredients with antibacterial properties (like salts and certain essential oils).

Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar is a top five best smelling bar!

Apple Valley Natural Soap is carefully hand-crafted in small batches using the cold process method of soap making. We use only high quality botanical oils and butters as well as all natural herbs, milks, juices, essential oils and spices to scent and color our soaps. These ingredients not only impart sensational fragrances and beautiful, rustic colors, but also add their own exceptional nourishing qualities. Once you try an all natural soap, you will wonder why you ever used anything else on your skin!

Benefits of Apple Valley Natural Soap Natural Soap

We’ve worked extremely hard to achieve important certifications and standards that set our soaps apart.

CRUELTY FREE

We are certified by the Leaping Bunny organization and are excited to be in partnership with them.

ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE

We aim to use as many certified organic ingredients as possible in our products, but have chosen (at this time) to not pursue Organic certification due to expense. Using sustainable ingredients is also very important to us, read more about our stance on Organic and Sustainable ingredients here.

GLUTEN FREE

There are many products in our store which do not contain gluten, but as we do not have a gluten free facility we cannot guarantee there will be no cross contamination. We then define these products as “gluten sensitive”. Find out more information here.

VEGAN

The majority of our products are vegan and we have identified these items in this category as such. Find out more information here.

Are Apple Valley Natural Soap Products & Packaging Eco-Friendly?

We are always looking for ways to improve the way we do business, and reducing our carbon footprint, becoming more Eco-friendly in what we do is important to us. Here are some of the ways we being conscientious about our environment:

• Soaps are wrapped in paper wrappers, not plastic
• ALL samples (soap, hair rinse, toner, sample packs etc) are mailed out in clear bags made from plant material which are certified compostable.
• 1st class packages are mailed in 100% Recycled Padded Paper Mailers
• Brown paper is used to package orders and sometimes recycled air pillows
• Recyclable cardboard is used for all shipments above 1st class, some shipments will also have a USPS recyclable padded envelope
• Glass is used where possible for products (and more products are transitioning away from plastics to glass) 

Are Apple Valley Natural Soaps Expensive?

If you do a Google search you’ll discover that we price our soap right in the middle of the pricing spectrum. Not only that, compare our ingredients, and you will discover that we use a FAR greater percentage of expensive, high-end oils, butters, organic herbs and spices, clays, milks and essential oils than our competitors. Frankly, we are amazed at the cheap ingredients much of our competition uses (soy and tallow for example) and the high cost of their products. You can be confident that at Apple Valley Natural Soap, you are getting the highest quality soap at the most affordable pricing. (Plus, for every seven bars you put in your cart, one will be FREE!). Many customers find our soaps superior to popular name brand soaps and other natural soap companies!

Natural Soap Bar For Men

“Excellent! I have converted all my L’il and Big men. Very sensitive to scented body washes like AXE or Old Spice. Now they can have awesome scent, luscious lather and no fuss as it is used everywhere. Thank you for a great product.”

-Satisfied Customer

“My husband typically has no interest in what he refers to as my “natural product kick.” He is not against it, but it has been difficult to find the products that he likes…let alone loves. This soap was a game-changer for him. He loves it!!! He will usually finish any product because he doesn’t like to waste things, but when this soap showed up, his Old Spice and Dove became neglected. The smell is amazing and it is so convenient for him to be able to use it as an all-in-one bar. We love Apple Valley!”

-Satisfied Customer

Coconut Milk and Citrus Smelling Natural Shampoo Bar

“Love it! I like it better than Chagrin Valley’s coconut milk shampoo bar. Bonus is this is nicely scented while theirs isn’t. This has a nice lather and light citrusy scent. Leaves hair and scalp feeling fresh and clean!”

-Satisfied Customer

Which Soap Will You Try Next?

Whether you exclusively use Apple Valley Natural Soap, or you’re hearing our name for the first time…the most important question of all is: which soap will you try next? We have over SIXTY DIFFERENT natural soap bars with unique scent profiles and super special benefits for your hair and skin. And if you don’t like soap? Well that’s okay, too. We have plenty of skincare and haircare products as well. If you have no clue where to start you can always take a look at my top favorites! You can also follow AVNS on Facebook and Instagram for our weekly featured soaps and Giveaway info (Valentine’s Day Giveaway is coming up!)

Much Love,

Nora


Beer Rinse For Your Hair: Does it Work???

Beer = Perfect Hair?

I wish my hair was this long!

Is rinsing your hair with beer the long awaited miracle secret to long, shiny hair? Or just a hoax-y trend with no real results? I guess we’ll find out because I tried rinsing my hair with beer to see if it would truly improve my naturally textured hair (before and after pictures included). 

I’m pretty fearless when it comes to hair-related DIYs. I’ve cut my hair, I’ve highlighted my hair, I’ve even rubbed all kinds of mashed up fruits and veggies into my hair (DIY banana avocado hair mask…anyone?) but when I came across a DIY recipe for a beer rinse my first thought was, “um, ew.”

What Are The Benefits of Rinsing Your Hair With Beer?

Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

I have never understood the appeal of beer and the thought of saturating my curly hair with it seemed even less appealing. However, I couldn’t help my curiosity…if people are willing to risk having hair that smells like beer, the benefits of a beer soak must be pretty amazing and totally worth-while. So what are the supposed benefits of rinsing your hair with beer?

From what I’ve found, beer is the secret hair tonic we’ve all been searching for. Apparently, rinsing your hair with beer will make it: thicker, stronger, healthier, shinier, curlier (if you have curly hair), and can promote hair growth…phew…that is a lonnnng list. But what’s the science backing all of these amazing benefits?

Malts and Hops for Hair

Most of the sites promoting beer rinses credit the malt and hops in beer as an intense source of protein. While it’s definitely true that properly protein balanced hair is just as important as properly moisturized hair, if you’re like me you’re probably wondering what ice cream drinks and a bunny’s preferred method of movement have to do with beer or great hair.

Malt and hops are actually two important components of a beer’s structure. Many of the sites with DIY beer rinse recipes are a bit lacking in detail, when it comes to why a beer rinse is effective, but thankfully artisan beer brewers passionate about the craft are abundant online. 

What is Malt?

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina on Pexels.com

I’d like to start by thanking The Brew Enthusiast for this detailed definition of Malt

“Malt is essentially the toasted version of any cereal grain. This includes barley, wheat, oat, rye, etc. The full name would be “Malted Barley” or “Malted Wheat”, if we chose to say it that way. We don’t choose to say it that way, so in beer vernacular we just say “Malt”. In most beer styles, the “malt” is barley, because it’s relatively high enzyme content makes it conducive for brewing. Pretty easy so far.

 We toast the cereal grain because we need to access the lovely sugars and enzymes within the grain. These sugars and enzymes form the sugary, substantive backbone of all beer. In their raw version (picked straight from the field), the starches in these cereal grains are not very accessible. Brewers sometimes use unmalted grain in their beer, but it’s a small percentage of the total grain used. We won’t get too far into the specific enzymes and chemicals we’re trying to create in this process, but suffice it to say that it’s important.”

– The Brew Enthusiast

If you’re still curious about malt I would highly recommend reading the rest of the article.

Why is Malt Good For Hair?

Even after knowing what malt was, I still didn’t understand how malt’s protein contribution worked so I had to spend some time on Brew Chatter to figure it out. To the best of my understanding, protein in grain aids the enzyme process during malting. As proteins break down during this process they become part of the malt base solution (the malt factor in beer). When protein interacts with hair it bonds to the hair shaft and fills in gaps, leaving hair strong and able to maintain its shape.

Did you know that some of our natural shampoo bars have natural sources of protein from grain? It’s true! Our Wheat and Honey Almond Shampoo Bar contains wheat germ (this bar also smells absolutely heavenly)

What are Hops?

“Hops are the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant Humulus lupulus,[1] a member of the Cannabaceae family of flowering plants.[2] They are used primarily as a bittering, flavouring, and stability agent in beer, to which, in addition to bitterness, they impart floral, fruity, or citrus flavours and aromas.[3] Hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.”

Wikipedia

Hops have an astringent property that acts similarly to how apple cider vinegar or a citric acid hair rinse works and supposedly produces the same benefits of fighting dandruff and promoting shine. Hops do have a protein content, which means they could potentially strengthen the hair shaft while also smoothing it down (what makes hair shiny). 

Putting The Beer Rinse To The Test

I knew a beer rinse was too crazy not to write about, but it was so outlandish that I decided I wouldn’t write about it without giving it a go first. A couple of recipes called for non-alcoholic beer, claiming any alcohol content would simply overpower any results by drying the hair out. I decided not to follow this instruction, why? I honestly feel like most DIY adventures happen on a whim, so unless you already have non-alcoholic beer on hand, you’re not going to drive all the way to the store when you’ve got alcoholic beer in the fridge (C’mon people, we want results and we want them now!)

Letting my beer get flat.

I happened to have a bottle of Leinenkiugel’s Toasted Bock (a name I would never remember or be able to spell if I wasn’t holding the bottle in front of my face) left over from when I made Corned Beef. I did pour the beer into a container and let it sit for a couple of hours to flatten in. Apparently when the carbon dioxide in beer mixes with water it makes it hard…and as we all know…hard water makes hair washing…hard. 

There are many different methods for beer rinses online. Some say the rinse should be after shampoo, some call for leaving the beer in the hair, I found another experiment in which beer was the shampoo! With so many methods, I decided that coming up with my own wouldn’t mess too much with any results. I wet my hair with water, soaked my hair (scalp to ends) in beer, waited a couple minutes, rinsed with water, and then shampooed and conditioned as usual. Just as I did with my Winter Skin Saver Bar experiment, I did not use additional product in my hair because I wanted few variables for a clear outcome.

Results of my Beer Hair Rinse

My second day hair before the beer rinse (natural lighting)

I was disappointed. As my hair dried not only was it frizzy, but my curls were limp. Limp, frizzy curls were far from the bouncy, shiny ones I’d been hoping for. On the plus side, there was no lingering smell because I rinsed before I shampooed.

The first photo is my hair before the rinse. My curls don’t hold up past wash day even with a sleep with my hair in a loose bun my curls still get pulled out which is what you can see from this photo.

My hair after the beer rinse (artificial lighting)

As you can see, the results of the beer rinse look dramatic compared to my second day hair. It makes it seem as though the beer rinse made my hair go from wavy to curly when in reality this happens every time I wash my hair. What I was really focusing on was the quality of my curls.

If you look at the second picture, you can see how the curls start as waves, you can also see how loose the ends of my hair are. In order to call it a good wash day, I’m looking for more curl at the top and bottom and less “floofy” curls. To see what my hair looks like on a good wash day you can check out my blog on how I discovered my naturally curly hair, or my popular blog on the benefits of natural oils for your hair.

My hair after the beer rinse (used camera flash)

I took one last picture with flash because sometimes indoor lighting makes for grainier photos. Yes, my hair looks shinier, but that is simply because of the lighting. You can still see how loose the curls are.

Would the results have been different if I had used non-alcoholic beer, followed a recipe more closely, or used a styling product? Maybe. One thing’s for sure, a beer rinse will not be replacing my weekly Herbal Hair Rinse.

Much Love,

Nora


The Secret in Our Winter Skin Saver Bar: Lanolin

How to Get Rid of Dry Skin?

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Finding products that keep dry skin moisturized can be a huge challenge. Our Winter Skin Saver Bar is easily one of our most popular limited edition natural soaps…how do I know this? Because each batch we put out sells out within a day or two. But what makes this bar so wildly popular? This bar is a fan favorite because it has the amazing ability to help eliminate dry skin, even in the harshest winter weather conditions. While the most we can hope for with many soaps is that they won’t dry out our skin, while our natural soaps certainly won’t dry out your skin the Winter Skin Saver Bar actually works to enforce your skin with extra extra added moisture and protection. How does it do this? Well, that’s what we will be talking about today and it all boils down to a little secret ingredient called lanolin.

What is Lanolin? 

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Lanolin, sometimes known as wool wax, is a natural wax produced by animals with wool. While humans secrete sebum from their sebaceous glands, sheep secrete lanolin. Because of its wax-like structure, lanolin acts as a waterproofing agent for a sheep’s coat. Why is this important or necessary? Imagine wearing a thick fuzzy coat that absorbs water like a sponge versus a thick fuzzy coat that water rolls off of like a piece of plastic…which one is going to be warmer and more comfortable in a snowstorm?

What is Lanolin Used For?

While I suppose technically sheep were the first to discover and benefit from the incredible properties of lanolin, they were probably too busy chewing their cud to actually realize what fortune they had stumbled upon. Luckily, farmers recognized lanolin’s potential and today lanolin has countless uses.

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Lanolizing Wool and Cashmere

Since Lanolin and wool naturally coexist in harmony, lanolin can be used to restore and cleanse wool and cashmere products! Besides its waterproofing ability, pure lanolin is also antimicrobial and antifungal. When introduced to water, these properties will activate and self-clean and deodorize wool.

Lanolin Oil for Breastfeeding Mothers

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Perhaps considered the “breast” use of lanolin oil by mothers with infants, lanolin oil is well known for its ability to effectively soothe cracked and dry nipples. Because 100% pure lanolin is a natural product, it is safe to use on the most sensitive parts of the body. It is important to use purified lanolin though, because anything less could be harmful if ingested by newborns.

Lanolin for Chapped Lips

As you can imagine, Lanolin is a goldmine for chapped and cracked lips. Which is why we knew we had to include it in our lip balm.

This lip balm was developed for lips in serious need of serious help. Chock full of lanolin, one of nature’s ultimate moisturizers, lanolin not only drenches your lips in rich moisture it also locks it in for the toughest winter days. Lanolin along with the essential oil blend of eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, and peppermint which offers cooling, soothing help for sore, chapped lips can also help your lips recover from too much sun exposure no matter the season. 

This balm is also great choice for sore, chapped noses suffering from colds and allergies as well as cheeks suffering from outdoor exposure.

Lanolin for Hair and Skin

Lanolin is revered in the beauty community for its super hydrating abilities. Hey, if it’s good enough for cashmere then it is certainly good enough for my skin. What makes it so good? According to a Healthline article, lanolin can hold “twice its weight in water” which means a little can go a long way and retaining all that water in your skin keeps it supple and plump…helping to erase fine lines and wrinkles. 

Our Winter Skin Saver Bar Made With Lanolin

Remember the analogy I made earlier about the two coats? Well, using our winter skin saver bar will give you similar results to the water-proof coat…okay, so it won’t make your skin waterproof, but if you use it in the shower it will help your skin retain a ton of water. This bar is superfatted with oodles of thick, rich lanolin so that when you are done washing up, you’ll have this soft, invisible layer of protection all over your skin that keeps water in. 

I tried this bar because it was a limited edition. After one use I was CRAZY for it. It was sold out when I went to get more so I waited weeks for the next batch. I even emailed a few times because I couldn’t live without it. When it went on sale again on February 8th I added some to my cart but was distracted at work and didn’t complete the order. AND IT SOLD OUT THAT DAY. NOOOOOO! I have dry skin and have a tendency to not drink enough during the day. This bar soothes my dry skin without having to slather oil or lotion all over before bed. The smell is gentle and the lather is great. Soon it will be gone for the summer so I’m stocking up now.

-customer

Winter isn’t the only season that brings dry skin, skin suffers under intense heat as well which is why we put lanolin in our Summer Skin Saver Bar too!

When Can I Get The Winter Skin Saver Bar?

This bar is currently not in stock, but you’ll have one more chance to snatch one up at the end of January. In the meantime, you can still try a sample!

Can you use this natural soap bar on your hair?

It is called the Winter Skin Saver Bar, but could it be used on hair? According to an article written for Naturally Curly, Lanolin is a powerful humectant, which could potentially be helpful if used on extremely dry or curly hair. However, because it is so powerful, there is a big chance that using lanolin oil or this bar on your hair would result in an overly waxy finish, making your hair appear stringy or greasy. I did not find any reviews of this bar that mentioned using it as a hair product. 

So guess what.

I decided to go ahead and try it myself.

I used the Winter Skin Saver Bar as shampoo and followed with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (I would say this is a must if you plan on using this bar in your hair)

You can see my results on the right! My hair was about halfway dry. Because I have curly hair, I usually dry with a cotton t-shirt and add gel to minimize frizz, however, I wanted to see how the Winter Skin Saver bar interacted with my hair on its most natural level, so for this test I did not use any additional styling products or hacks. As you can see, I do have a bit of “fluffiness” within the curls, but my hair is soft and shiny and my ringlets were not weighed down. I would not use this bar for every wash, but it seems promising as a deep condition for dry hair. I am very curious to know if anyone else has tried this bar in their hair and if it worked for them???

Much Love,

Nora


Wary Welcoming: A Reflection on The Past Year

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to properly reflect on the past year, and how to prepare myself for the year to come. Every once in a while I like to write about life’s journey because it gives me a chance to slow down and connect with everyone who reads the AVNS blog.

I am thankful for beautiful sunsets.

I think the entire world must have let out a sigh of relief on New Year’s Eve as it felt the immense tension accumulated over the course of this infamous year finally giving way to the anticipation of a new start, but did anyone else have doubts that 2021 is truly the cure we’ve been waiting for?

I’ve seen the New Year’s Eve Instagram posts of my friends, their captions roughly shove 2020 out the door, personifying it as though it was an unpleasant houseguest who overstayed its welcome. While I admire and envy this bold and enthusiastic display of spirit, I’m a bit ashamed to admit I’m far too weary to join in and even more than that…I’m wary.

Wasn’t it just a year ago that we believed that 2020 would be our banner year? If 2020 let us down, who is to say 2021 will be any better?

Yikes, what a debbie downer, right? I’m kind of bumming myself out with all the cynicism, but bear with me and I think we can reach a brighter outlook.

I value storytelling because it allows people from all different backgrounds to find common ground amongst many differences. The experience I’d like to share with you is a Christian experience, and before you stop reading because you feel you may not be able to relate, I’d also like to emphasize that this experience is also wholly human and worth reading if you relate to attempting to navigate a world that contains both unbearable loss and overwhelming joy. 

During a New Year’s Eve church service I attended (virtually) the speaker had asked the congregation to consider a perfect gift God had given them over the course of the 2020 year. As I thought about all the beautiful things I was grateful for (including my boyfriend of five years who was sitting next to me at the time) I realized I could not think of all the perfect things God had given me without also thinking about all the perfect things God had taken away. 

This thought unsettled me, not just because of its bitter nature, but because of how inaccurate my understanding of God was in this moment. I gently reminded myself that God does not purposefully take things away from us and that loss and chaos are side effects of living in a broken world, but the entire incident had shaken me and I spent a great deal of time in thoughtful contemplation trying to reconcile my strange anger with my love for God. 

I am thankful for snuggly puppies.

As I write this blog, I reflect on 2020. I celebrate the fact that this blog marks a full year of writing weekly blogs for this beautiful company under the undeniably kind, creative, and giving guidance of Marianne. I mourn the fact that there are people who read this blog or love AVNS products who have lost loved ones this year due to COVID-19 and other causes. I think about all my friends who got engaged, planned their weddings, and started their lives while I moved back home with my parents. I think about how so many of those weddings were postponed or felt incomplete because of COVID while I rejoiced over reconnecting with my family after four years of being away at college. 

What I understood from that moment during the service and what I understand now as I write is this: humankind relies too often on rhyme and reason. If there is anything we can agree on after this year it is how little the world actually adheres to a model of rhyme and reason.

As I said to my boyfriend after the service, “I think my greatest struggle as a human being is forgetting that there is a bigger picture and also my inability to fully reconcile myself with the idea that there is no way for me to know or understand exactly how that bigger picture works.” I continue to practice recognizing the gifts in live while simultaneously working through the difficulties.

That strange anger I felt, that instant need to blame God for the earthly occasions that caused me grief was my own humanity getting in the way of my love for God. My earthly compulsion to apply rhyme and reason to a world plan that defied earthly limitations set me up for heart ache and exhaustion. So what do I do to avoid feeling this way this year?

If you are weary.

If you are wary.

Consider this: 2021 is a new houseguest. Not an old friend, but a complete stranger. Instead of trying to control this year, let it pull up a chair and introduce itself. Don’t worry too much about how the house looks, or making some elaborate dinner. Simply focus on the basics. Be kind and be hospitable to others, and yourself. Welcome, 2021.

Much Love,

Nora


3 DIY Tea Bath ideas

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Look out bubble baths, these three DIY tea bath ideas are looking like huge game changers. Why try a tea bath or tea soak? Because teas have so many amazing topical benefits from detoxifying to skin-softening. I’m bringing you three different tea bath ideas each targeting a certain area of skincare that will prove for a relaxing and effective bath (plus if you get thirsty in the bathtub you’ve got the biggest cup of tea right there…just kidding…ew…

Chamomile Tea Facial With Honey

Chamomile is extremely gentle, making it the perfect tea for sensitive facial skin. Chamomile is known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, making it useful as a natural remedy for acne. Brew a pot of Chamomile Tea and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Why steep? Steeping allows the hot water to extract not only the flavor, but any nutrients still contained in the plant material. Stir in a tablespoon of raw honey. Why raw? Raw honey contains antibacterial properties which could help fight acne, Manuka honey is highly recommended as a high grade honey and you can read more about its benefits in Marianne’s blog on Glycolic Peels . Honey is also a humectant, meaning it draws in moisture without making your skin oily. We use honey in a few of our soaps for this exact reason! Once your tea is ready, soak a face cloth or small towel in the brew and then let it sit on your face for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry. Your skin should feel soft and fresh! Check out this list of best chamomile teas for 2020 by Sleepopolis!

Green Tea Bath with Lavender

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Drinking green tea is known in the health community as a phenomenal health-promoting drink with countless benefits including weight loss, but did you know that a full body soak in a green tea bath is a phenomenal way to deeply rejuvenate your skin? Green tea contains catechins, a powerful antioxidant that promotes beautiful, youthful skin. You can either prepare a strong pot of green tea, or if you like taking shortcuts like me, just toss 5-6 bags of green tea right into a hot bath like one giant cup of tea. You can wait a while and take the tea bags out, or if you’re impatient like me you can just climb on in and steep with the bags (for a list of the best green tea brands check out this list by Delish) ! There are so many topical benefits when it comes to green tea including its performance as a natural anti-aging remedy to helping with skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. For more information on the topical benefits of green tea check out this extensive Healthline article that provided me with the info mentioned above! Adding a couple drops of Lavender essential oil will give this bath a relaxing aroma; earthy and herbal. As you detoxify, don’t forget to keep a cold glass of water next to you so you can stay hydrated! Why is this important? As your body sweats out waste and toxins you are helping it by replenishing it with a pure substance. To read more about the importance of drinking water check out this blog!

Black Tea Foot Soak with Epsom Salts

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Black Tea has many of the same benefits as green tea, including its ability to improve skin conditions (including those caused by bacteria). For a foot bath you’ll need a container that fits both feet (or at least one). Make sure you have enough water to cover those footsies and then turn that water into tea! Add about a cup of Epsom salts and let it dissolve into the water. You can soak your feet as long as you want to. This is the perfect soak for feet that have been on the move all day long and are sore, this soak is also great for stinky feet that need a little cleanse because Epsom salts are also antibacterial and anti-fungal

Any of these tea soaks can be full body baths if you want them to be, or, if you want the tea experience but not the hassle you can try our Green Tea and Nettles Bar or Masala Chai Shampoo Bar. Both are rich in scent and amazing ingredients for your skin/hair!

What’s your favorite kind of tea?

Much Love,

Nora


I Tried Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day

Should you drink a gallon of water a day? Can you drink a gallon of water every day? Does drinking a gallon of water a day improve your skin? Will drinking a gallon of water a day improve your health? Can you drink a gallon of water to lose weight? Well, I’ve been drinking water all week in order to find out.

Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

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I’m sure we’ve all heard “drink eight glasses of water a day.” But has anyone else ever struggled with the ambiguity of that phrase? What size glass are we talking about? Does it have to be water, or will any liquid count? And why 8? With so many variables to consider, I decided to settle on a more concrete goal: drink one gallon of water a day for a week. I was hoping it would get rid of acne and improve my skin complexion. What happened was not what I expected, but before I get into that adventure let’s see what the pros have to say about drinking water.

What The CDC Has to Say About Drinking Water

As a natural soap company, we know how much water matters. Water is what activates our beautiful bars of soap. Have you ever tried rubbing a dry bar of soap on dry skin? It just isn’t as much fun. We also know how important water is for the human body. 

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Benefits of Drinking Water According to the CDC:

  • Water helps regulate your body temperature.
  • Water “lubricates and cushions joints.”
  • Water “Protect(s) your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.”
  • Water flushes out toxins and waste in the body.

Situations in Which Your Body Needs More Water According to the CDC:

  • When you are “in hot climates.”
  • When you are “more physically active.”
  • When you are “running a fever.”
  • When you are “having diarrhea or vomiting.”

What Mayo Clinic Has to say about Drinking Water

How Much Water Do We Need to Drink Daily?

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According to Mayo Clinic, our bodies are constantly losing water through typical bodily functions. It’s our job to make up for this loss with consistent water intake.

Mayo Clinic asks, “So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need?”

Their answer comes from The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which “determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 3.7 liters of fluid a day for men and 2.7 liters of fluids a day for women.” There are about 3.7 liters in a US gallon. 

Although your daily fluids aren’t all depending on how much water you chug, “These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.”

What Kind of Fluids are Best for Your Body?

I was surprised to learn that a considerable amount of fluid intake can actually come from the vegetables and fruits that you eat (it’s called “water”melon for a reason). When it comes to beverages specifically, the CDC recommends low calorie beverages like plain tea or sparkling water or drinks with calories and important nutrients like milk or vegetable juice. 

The CDC cautions that sugary drinks, alcoholic drinks, caffeinated drinks and sports drinks should be consumed in moderation and are not substitutes for water.

What kind of Water is Best for Your Body?

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When it comes to shampoo bars, soft water is the only way to go. But for drinking water, it is generally agreed that type matters less than quantity. So cheers to spring, mineral, purified and pH balanced!

Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day For a Week

I thought this experiment would look a lot like my Power Posing Challenge (check out my blog here if you’re curious). I thought I’d drink my gallon, assess my results, and jot them down in a daily journal. This was not what happened.

A lot of Youtubers have tried the Gallon of Water a Day Challenge. You are welcome to watch them here. However, if you want to hear it straight from the mouth of the average person who doesn’t always find time to exercise and enjoys the occasional midnight potato-chip snack then keep reading because my account is nothing but honest.

I struggled through this challenge, and so instead of keeping a daily journal I have compiled my research into two categories: dilemmas, and what I learned.

Dilemma

I actually started trying to drink a gallon of water a day three weeks ago. I knew I needed a week to conduct my experiment, but when I failed to empty my gallon for the first three days of the challenge I actually re-evaluated my process. I decided to spend one week practicing and building up my water drinking stamina, and then pushed this blog back an extra week to fit in an additional Christmas-related blog I felt was much needed for the holidays. So I’ve actually been doing this challenge for three weeks now.

What I learned

Because this challenge ended up running much longer than I originally intended, drinking a gallon of water a day has actually become a habit…and one I don’t plan on breaking! I’ve never been the water bottle carrying type, but I take my gallon with me everywhere (yes, I affectionately refer to it as “my gallon”). Having water on hand at all times is extremely handy. I am much more intentional about my water drinking because my gallon is a visual reminder. Some people love water, some people don’t. If I didn’t remind myself to drink water I probably wouldn’t drink any…so the fact that my gallon reminds me is extremely helpful.

Dilemma

I realized that in order to drink that much water I’d have to be drinking constantly throughout the day which meant I’d have to bring my gallon with me everywhere. I thought this would be inconvenient and embarrassing.

What I learned

My gallon became a fantastic topic of conversation. Not only did my gallon inspire conversations about health, it also brought smiles to people’s faces because…yes…I did look pretty goofy carrying around that giant gallon. I think in a weird way my gallon taught me not to care too much about what other people thought of me. If you’re doing something that positively benefits you, you should do it with pride.

Dilemma

Okay, here’s the big one. I have yet to empty an entire gallon in a single, 24 hour day.

What I learned

While this dilemma might seem like enough to render my experiment a total failure, it actually stretched me as a person and taught me a lot about how my body functions. Now that I measure my water intake by referencing my gallon, I usually drink half a gallon at night, and half a gallon from morning to afternoon. This might be confusing, but because I was refilling my gallon every morning it made it seem as though I was only drinking half a gallon every day. I felt really down about this for a while until I adjusted my concept of time and realized I was technically drinking a gallon over a 24 hour time period. This blew my mind. The fact that my body let me know when it was thirsty and that it seemed to have specific times during which it needed water also fascinated me. At the beginning of this experiment I was under the impression that I knew what was best for my body, what I learned is that I needed to listen to what my body said was best for me!

In Conclusion: I Drank a Gallon Of Water a Day Challenge

I tried this challenge in the first place because I was really hoping it would improve the quality of my skin. Do I feel like it worked? I personally feel as though my skin has been clearer and brighter, especially as I hit week four of drinking a gallon a day. In the past week I have had no new acne. I also feel as though my hormonal acne has been more manageable and that my skin is able to heal faster when acne does occur. If I could, I would run an extended version of this experiment by keeping a daily log of my skin over the course of three months. I would keep track of water intake, nutritional intake, weight and skin condition. Then I would repeat this challenge and keep track of any differences I noticed. Sounds like a project for the new year!

Much Love,

Nora