DIY Vanilla Inspired Spa Day!

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

DIY VANILLA EXTRACT RECIPIE

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

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

Ingredients for DIY Vanilla Extract

Photo by Sarah Chai on Pexels.com

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

Tools you’ll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

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

Instructions

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

DIY VANILLA BATH SALTS

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

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

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

Ingredients for DIY Vanilla Bath Salts

Vanilla Bath Salt Ingredients

Instructions

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

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

DIY VANILLA LATTE FACIAL MASK

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

Ingredients For DIY Cinnamon Vanilla Latte Face Mask

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

Instructions

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

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

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

Apple Valley Natural Soap Vanilla Products

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

Much Love,

Nora 


Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Skin and Hair?

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

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

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

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

What is coconut oil?

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

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

What kinds of fatty acids are in coconut oil?

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

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

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

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

Photo by Robert Goldenowl on Pexels.com

Coconut oil prevents protein loss in hair

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

Coconut oil may have sun protection benefits

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

Coconut oil may help prevent acne and other skin infections

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

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

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

Pure coconut oil is not for all hair types

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

Pure coconut oil is not for all skin types

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

Do we use Coconut Oil in our skincare products?

Yes!

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

Thanks so much for tuning in!

Much Love,

Nora


Essential Oils That Repel Bugs

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

5 Essential Oils That Repel Bugs

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

Apple Valley Natural Soaps Made With Bug Repellant Essential Oils

Camping Shampoo Bar Limited Edition

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

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

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

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

Lavender Lemon Salt Bar

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

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

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

Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bar

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

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

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

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

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

Bug Spray Recipe For Home and Yard

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

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

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

Then follow these steps:

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

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


New All-Purpose Liquid Castile Soap!

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

Why Castile Soap?

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

Why is Olive Oil Good For Your Skin?

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

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

Why AVNS Liquid Castile Soap?

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

Popular Name Brand Ingredient List

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

Apple Valley Natural Soap Liquid Lavender Castile Soap Ingredient List

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

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

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

More Castile Soap Options

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


What Makes This The Best Natural Body Wash For Summer?

Limited Edition Summer Skin Saver

Whether you’re constantly in and out of the pool, hiking the trails of northern Minnesota, or working a summer job that keeps you outdoors from dawn to dusk, you’ll need to make sure you’re protecting your skin from the constant presence of sun, wind, and water this summer. In response to nature’s call of the wild, we created an amazing bar of natural soap designed to protect against dry, burnt skin. What makes this bar so unique? You’re about to find out!

Why Use a Natural Soap?

Around this time of year, you’ll probably start seeing a lot of big brand soaps hit the shelves that claim they are, “extra moisturizing” or are “made with argan oil for extra hydration.” But if you were to flip over that bottle and take a look at the entire list of ingredients you’d see that argan oil is only one ingredient in a long list of chemical ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Putting one drop of argan oil in a five ounce bottle is not the same as a 2 ounce bottle of pure, organic argan oil. Unlike mass produced soaps which are made with filler ingredients, Natural soaps are made with natural ingredients which oftentimes have additional benefits and run a lower risk of irritating sensitive skin. We work hard to make sure every ingredient we use in a product is contributing some sort of benefit.

Ingredients in Summer Skin Saver Bar

Saponified Oils of Organic Coconut

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Coconut oil is a gentle and effective cleanser due to its fatty acid content. The best part is its ability to moisturize hair and skin and the thick lather it creates! Check out our Coconut Bars for pure coco-nutty BLISS!

Organic Sustainable Palm

This base ingredient is crucial to the soap making process, it gives you a nice hard bar and will enhance lather when mixed with coconut oil. Rated a 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep, this ingredient has little to no risks of causing cancer or containing any kind of toxicity, 

Organic Sunflower

Sunflower oil is FANTASTIC because it is a 0 on the comedogenic scale, which means it won’t clog pores. This oil can be used to moisturize any skin type…and that isn’t all it will do!

According to an article on Healthline, sunflower oil contains antioxidant vitamin E, so applying it topically to skin will allow your skin to benefit from vitamin E (think anti-aging properties, protection from sun-damage…all that awesome stuff). Sunflower oil also contains linoleic acid, an important component of helping the skin retain moisture as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory aid.

Unrefined Organic Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids, which means it locks moisture into your skin and helps improve elasticity. 

Mango Butter

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Mango butter functions similarly to cocoa butter, but also has an abundance of vitamin E and C which help protect your skin from sun-damage.

Lanolin

A powerful, natural wax secreted by animals with wool coats. Lanolin protects the most sensitive skin from the natural elements. Read more about the uses of lanolin HERE!

Castor Bean

Castor bean is a skin soother, it is both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and can be used on sensitive skin.

White Kaolin Clay

White Kaolin Clay is the gentlest of all cosmetic clays and works to draw impurities out of your skin without completely drying skin out. Read about all the different types of cosmetic clays we use in our products!

Essential Oils of Bergamot 

Adding a floral and spicy note, this essential oil has wonderful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Essential Oils of May Chang

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Contributing a light, sweet refreshing scent, this essential oil is used for leaving skin smooth and soft.

Essential Oils of  Lime

Fresh  and tart, this essential oil has antiviral and disinfecting properties

Essential Oils of Tangerine, Orange and Clementine

Bright and citrusy, these essential oils have antifungal properties that also work against skin and scalp problems such as dryness and dandruff!

What Do You Love Most About Our Summer Skin Saver Bar?

Our Summer Skin Saver Bar is extremely popular and sells out fast so make sure you stock up now!

Much Love,

Nora


The Best Natural Exfoliating Soap For Spring

Limited Edition Gardener’s Citrus Basil Soap Bar

If you’re looking for one of the best exfoliating soaps on the block you’ve come to the right place. This week we will be diving in depth with our limited edition soap of the spring season Gardener’s Citrus Basil Soap Bar, an amazing smelling soap with fantastic natural ingredients.

Why Use A Natural Exfoliating Soap?

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Exfoliating soap is an absolute must for your shower experience. Soap with exfoliants will scrub your skin free of dead skin build-up, dirt, and grime. Soap with exfoliants will also keep your pores open, preventing ingrown hairs after you shave and allowing any skincare products you apply to more effectively interact with your skin. We are proud to offer a variety of soaps with natural exfoliants. Some natural exfoliants we use in our exfoliating soaps include, salt, pumice, luffa vine, and finely ground nut shells. Why natural? Natural ingredients oftentimes have additional benefits and run a lower risk of irritating sensitive skin. The Gardener’s Bar is a perfect example of a soap that contains natural exfoliants with some super cool extra benefits (as you’re about to learn if you keep reading!)

Ingredients in Exfoliating Gardener’s Bar and Their Benefits

Saponified Oils of Sustainable Palm

This base ingredient is crucial to the soap making process, it gives you a nice hard bar and will enhance lather when mixed with coconut oil. Rated a 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep, this ingredient has little to no risks of causing cancer or containing any kind of toxicity, 

Organic Coconut 

Coconut oil is a gentle and effective cleanser due to its fatty acid content. The best part is its ability to moisturize hair and skin and the thick lather it creates! Check out our Coconut Bars for pure coco-nutty BLISS!

Organic Sunflower

Photo by Max Andrey on Pexels.com

Sunflower oil is FANTASTIC because it is a 0 on the comedogenic scale, which means it won’t clog pores. This oil can be used to moisturize any skin type…and that isn’t all it will do!

According to an article on Healthline, sunflower oil contains antioxidant vitamin E, so applying it topically to skin will allow your skin to benefit from vitamin E (think anti-aging properties, protection from sun-damage…all that awesome stuff). Sunflower oil also contains linoleic acid, an important component of helping the skin retain moisture as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory aid.

Organic Shea Nut Butter

Shea Butter is fantastic for skin, in fact, we think it’s SO AWESOME that we sell USDA CERTIFIED Organic Raw Unrefined African Shea Butter just on its own. Why? WHY? 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 treating 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. 

Castor Bean

Castor bean is a skin soother, it is both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and can be used on sensitive skin.

Ground Apricot Shells

Made from finely ground seeds of apricots, apricot shells make a natural scrub that deep-cleans and renews skin.

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Ground Black Walnut Hulls

This is the real kicker in this bar, if you love the feel of our seasonal Black Licorice Bar as much as I do then you’ll love this bar because the common component is ground black walnut hull powder which boasts the following benefits: antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic,anti-fungicide properties (people use it to treat bacterial and parasitic infections), rich levels of antioxidants, and beneficial fatty acids that can impact the health and appearance of skin. It has also been known to help clear up skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. P.s. If you wish the Black Licorice Bar was in stock even though it isn’t fall your dreams just came true BECAUSE IT IS BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND FOR A LIMITED TIME! (can you tell this is my favorite bar???)

Rosemary Oil Extract

This aromatic scent may repel certain bugs, perfect for working in the garden!

Basil Essential Oil

With a warm and crisp herbaceous scent, basil essential oil is soothing against skin irritation. It is also full of vitamin C, which helps keeps skin bright and firm.

Bergamot Essential Oil

Adding a floral and spicy note, this essential oil has wonderful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Lemon Essential Oil

Clean and fresh, this essential oil will clarify your skin and provide a gentle, natural chemical exfoliation. 

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Tart and sweet, this beautiful scent is accompanied by the same benefits as lemon essential oil.

Get It Before It’s GONE!

I hope I’ve convinced you to try this bar, I’ve definitely convinced myself. Remember this bar isn’t around for long so get it while you can!

Much Love,

Nora


3 Unique Green Ingredients We Use….And Their Benefits

With St. Patrick’s day just around the bend (of the rainbow???) there’s no better time than to get green! Last year we talked about the countless benefits of one extremely popular ingredient associated with green: mint, but this year we will be diving in to a few lesser known ingredients that we love utilizing in our natural soap products: green tea, chlorella, and cucumber!

1) Green Tea

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’ll bet you’re brewing yourself a nice cup of green tea right now, and if you aren’t I gauren-tea you will be after reading how amazing green tea is for your body. 

According to an article in Medical News Today

“Green tea is made from unoxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea. It therefore contains the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols.”

Ingesting green tea isn’t the only way to enjoy the benefits, topical application also works wonders, just like this soothing and detoxifying green tea bath soak!

Benefits of Green Tea

Catechins

These are powerful antioxidants that prevent cell damage. Your skin cells are enforced and strengthened when they absorb these catechins. According to WebMD, catechins also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, leading to healthier bodily systems and even brain function. 

If you’re looking for a product that contains catechins, definitely give our Green Tea and Nettles Shampoo Bar a try! The combo of green tea and organic nettles was designed to help your skin and hair health and appearance.

2) Chlorella

Photo by Ian Turnell on Pexels.com

At first I was a little freaked out when I realized we put algae in some of our products, but when you think about it…algae isn’t so different than any other plant. In fact, once I learned how fantastic chlorella is for your health I was like, “where can I get some?!”

Yes, chlorella is a type of freshwater algae, but that doesn’t make it the run-of-the-mill scum you find in a lake. Beauty and food grade chlorella is actually farmed and harvested just like any other crop. 

Benefits of Chlorella

Healthline’s list of Chlorella’s components is extremely helpful as a breakdown of benefits for skin and body.

Protein: Chlorella is 50–60% protein. What’s more, it’s a complete protein source, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids (3, 5 Trusted Source).

Vitamin B12: Some chlorella varieties may also contain vitamin B12, but more studies are needed (6 Trusted Source).

Iron and vitamin C: Chlorella can be a good source of iron. Depending on the supplement, it may provide anywhere from 6–40% of your daily need. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps you absorb iron (1 Trusted Source, 3, 7).

Other antioxidants: These tiny green cells provide a wide range of antioxidants (1 Trusted Source, 3).

Other vitamins and minerals: Chlorella provides small amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, potassium, calcium, folic acid and other B vitamins (1 Trusted Source, 3, 8).

Omega-3s: As with other algae, chlorella contains some omega-3s. Just 3 grams of chlorella delivers 100 mg of omega-3s (8).

Fiber: In large quantities, chlorella can be a good source of fiber. However, most supplements don’t provide even 1 gram of fiber per dose (1 Trusted Source, 8).

-Kerri-Ann Jennings, Healthline

Both our Buck Shampoo and Body Bar and our Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar are infused with chlorella, creating a striking visual effect and ensuring that your skin and hair will thank you.

3) Cucumber

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Cucumbers always remind me of spring with their fresh look and taste, but cucumbers can do a lot more than look pretty on a plate. They also have some wildly awesome benefits for your skin!

Benefits of Cucumber

Show me it’s a spa day without telling me it’s a spa day? Easy…everyone has cucumbers on their eyes! But does putting cucumbers on your eyes really work? It’s more likely than you’d think!

Full of Nutrients

Just like green tea and chlorella, cucumbers are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that brighten and strengthen your skin.

Hydrating Agents

Thanks to BioClarity Blog we know that “Similar to aloe vera, cucumbers contain polysaccharides, which help the skin attract and retain moisture. Cucumbers also consist mostly of water; they’re 96% water.” And as we all know, water for skincare and health care is extremely valuable.

Great for Sensitive Skin

Our Cucumber Lime Face and Body Soap speaks for itself. Any of our facial bars are carefully created to cleanse and pamper delicate facial skin. Cucumber is a mild astringent, so it works to tighten pores and refine skin without drying the tissue out, making it a great bar for acne-prone skin.

The Benefits of Green!

While most if not all of our products feature some green ingredient…all of our bars are “green” in that they are biodegradable and don’t spend their life in a plastic bottle! Hope you have a great rest of your week and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

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 not contain any THC, not even trace amounts.

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


The Secret in Our Winter Skin Saver Bar: Lanolin

How to Get Rid of Dry Skin?

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

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? 

Photo by Shvets Anna on Pexels.com

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.

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

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


Argan Oil Vs Jojoba Oil for Hair and Skin

Why Try Oil for Hair and Skin?

A quick search about the benefits of facial and hair oils will leave you with more questions than answers. Some websites claim that dermatologists recommend oils over any other type of moisturizer, while other websites claim that dermatologists strongly discourage the use of oils. What is true? What isn’t? Today we’ll be sticking to what we know about oil, specifically Argan oil and Jojoba oil and then we’ll do the one thing that no amount of research can do, we’ll decide for ourselves. I wanted to give you the best advice on these two popular cosmetic oils, so I put them to the test and did a half-and-half style session to see which oil will rule them all.

What is Argan Oil?

According to an article published in the National Library of Medicine, “Argan (Argania spinosa L.) oil has been used for centuries in Morocco as cosmetic oil to maintain a fair complexion and to cure skin pimples and chicken pox pustules scars.” If you read my last blog, you know I’ve a huge fan of argan oil’s versatility!

Main Components of Argan Oil

Wikipedia

Argan Oil is mainly composed of fatty acids which play a major role in aiding the skin’s natural functions. There are four ways in which fatty acids contribute to the skin’s natural process. Now, if you understand scientific terminology feel free to read the original article here, but if you’re like me and want the basics I’ve broken each function down into more simple jargon below.

Fatty Acid Functions

1) Contributes to skin’s permeability layer which allows skin to lock in water to stay hydrated.
2) Acts as building blocks and support for generation of skin’s natural oils.
3) Helps maintain skin’s homeostasis.
4) Strengthens outer skin’s barrier and acid mantle.

A Note About Linoleic Acid

Photo by Immortal Snapshots on Pexels.com Walnuts are just one of many foods that contain linoleic acid!

“Linoleic Acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid and is one of two essential fatty acids for humans, who must obtain it through their diet. It is a colorless or white oil that is virtually insoluble in water. ” (Wikipedia). Linoleic is an essential addition to the human diet to avoid scaly skin. To read more about Linoleic acid and its benefits you can read this study.

Uses of Argan Oil

My wash day hair before and after deep conditioning with Argan Oil
  • 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.
  • 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’, but if your beard needs additional TLC check out our brand new Beard Oil along with our other recently released men’s products!
  • 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. (Also great for sunburns!)
  • Expectant mothers: apply organic argan oil to your tummy to help prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

What is Jojoba oil?

Jojoba Oil is gleaned from the Jojoba plant which can be found growing in southwestern states. An important thing to note is that, “although jojoba oil is often categorized as an “oil” because of its pale yellow, transparent, liquid appearance, it is actually a liquid wax ester” (NCBI). Before you go dismissing jojoba oil as some melted candle juice, just remember that wax ester is actually used to make the skin soft and that wax treatments are very popular at spas…so does that make jojoba oil like a secret, portable spa treatment? Try Customizable Portable Spa Treatment! We offer Customized Jojoba Oil scented with the same essential oils we use for our scrumptious soaps!

Uses of Jojoba Oil

  • Moisturize hair and skin
  • Massage oil
  • Make-up remover
  • Helps combat athlete’s foot
  • Helps rid the scalp of dandruff
  • stimulates hair growth
  • Aids in combating skin infections

While argan oil and jojoba oil supposedly share many of the same benefits, jojoba oil is known for its similar composition to skin’s natural oil: sebum. Oils are rated on the comedogenic scale on how likely they are to clog pores (zero being rarely and five being like ‘whoa, do not get near my pores’). Argan oil is a zero on the comedogenic scale and even though jojoba oil is a two, it is still widely recommended for oily skin because it is thought that it can trick the skin into producing less sebum. On the other hand, argan oil is known for its ability to combat dry skin. 

One More Oil to Note

Although not a main focus of this blog, I will take a quick moment to mention one additional oil: hemp seed oil. Hemp seed oil is known for its countless benefits which is why we are proud to carry Hemp Facial Oil. Not sure what hemp entails or curious about CBD? Check out this blog!

Battle of the Oils

So what happened when I tried using a different oil on each half of my body?

After showering I applied both oils to my face, hair, and body. I used Argan oil on my left side and Jojoba on my right side.

Argan Oil Vs Jojoba Oil for Skin

Skin Status: I recently realized during an informal family poll that I’m somewhat of an abnormality when it comes to bathing habits. Obviously I’m going to need to write a blog on this, but for now I’ll say that most of my skin is very balanced. I rarely suffer from over-dry or over-oily skin except on my hands, face, and back.

Hypothesis: I typically apply lotion after showering, but I hate the greasy residue left on my skin (especially when I’m trying to jam my damp legs into jeans during the winter season after that perfect shave…ew). I predicted that applying oil would yield, well, even oilier results…but I was pleasantly surprised.

Results: Both my arms and legs felt soft and moisturized after applying the argan and jojoba oil, without leaving a lot of extra surface oil to make me feel slimy or sticky. I didn’t include photos because my camera isn’t strong enough to detect any differences in my skin quality (I should invest in one of those pore-exposing skin microscopes). If to make any comparison, I would affirm that a little jojoba oil goes a long way and spreads easily, whereas the argan oil was thicker.

Argan Oil vs Jojoba Oil for Face

Skin Status: Ah, my face. As you may already know, I’ve spent a ton of time trying to get rid of my acne. I have large, visible face pores that are extremely prone to clogging and love to produce oil…so I figured my face was the perfect canvas to test out these two “miracle oils.”

Hypothesis: I actually started using these oils before this experiment to make sure my face wouldn’t have an extreme reaction.

Results: I felt as though the argan oil made more a difference in the long run, but had a heavier feel on my face, whereas the jojoba oil was super light. I’ve actually applied argan oil directly to healing acne scars on my face and I personally feel like it has made a huge difference in the healing process. My scabs seem to heal faster and I get to avoid that gross “crusty phase” because my skin stays so moisturized. I think I will continue to use argan oil as a night moisturizer and jojoba oil as a daytime moisturizer.

Argan Oil Vs. Jojoba Oil for Hair

Hair Comparison

Hair Status: I have lonnnnng (overdue for a haircut) wavy to curly hair that I work hard to keep bouncy and beautiful. I am prone to greasy roots and dry ends.

Hypothesis: I was worried that the oils might weigh my hair down. Oil is a controversial subject in the Curly World and is promoted and discouraged by curl influencers. Because the results from the skin tests were so similar, I imagined my hair would probably looks the same, but it didn’t…

Results: I was so surprised by the results after my hair finished air-drying. I even took a picture because you can see the difference in my hair. The left side with the argan oil has great definition and I love how fluffy the wave/curls look. The right side with the jojoba oil seemed to be slightly more defined, but also made my curls look slightly oilier. The biggest surprise was that the argan oil side actually looks LIGHTER? I have no reason as to why this was, maybe I used too much jojoba oil? 

You might hear curly girls rant and rave about the benefits of coconut oil for curly hair, but when I tried adding it (also used wayyyyy too much) to my own hair routine the result was a greasy, nasty, stringy mess. My curls are so sensitive, and usually anything thicker than a sour cream consistency elongates and weighs my curls down (don’t use sour cream in your hair). The lesson here is: different oils work for different hair/skin types. Not sure which to try? Get both and run your own experiment!

Much Love,

Nora