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


Natural Products For Sensitive Skin

Do You Have Sensitive Skin?

I embrace my sensitive skin!

If you’re someone with sensitive skin looking for a skincare routine let me ask you this: have you considered your natural skincare options? As a company focused on making skincare and haircare products with natural ingredients like aloe, oatmeal, and chamomile (just to name a few), Apple Valley Natural Soap is already familiar and knowledgeable when it comes to catering to the needs of sensitive skin. Why? Because natural ingredients such as aloe, oatmeal, and chamomile are some of the best ingredients for sensitive skin! If you’ve been searching for sensitive skin face wash, sensitive skin body wash, sensitive skin moisturizer, or even sensitive skin deodorant we’ve got some incredible natural options for you that won’t break the bank.

What is Sensitive Skin?

Sensitive skin is any skin type that is more prone to adverse reactions when it comes in contact with…well…a lot of different things. I personally have skin that is prone to flushing, acne, and outdoor allergens. Chemicals, allergens, pet dander, dyes, fragrances, and even natural elements can all be irritants for sensitive skin, and different skin reacts differently. Sensitive skin isn’t limited to rashes. Sensitive skin includes acne-prone skin, over-oily skin, dry skin, and even more. Sensitive skin problems aren’t just limited to face and hands either – although these are common locations, but can be found on the back, décolletage, feet, and armpits…really, there is no area of the body that is safe from sensitive skin. So how do you find products that target all of these sensitive skin areas and give your skin some tender loving care? You can start with checking out these sensitive skin products below!

Sensitive Skin Face Wash

Best Face Wash For Dry, Easily Irritated Skin

Unscented Coconut Bar

A hard, long-lasting, super sudsy, uber moisturizing organic coconut oil body bar made with 100% organic coconut oil and nothing else.

Ingredients: saponified organic coconut oil. No added scent.

Does it work?

“For some reason, my skin decided to get really sensitive to everything. I tried different coconut bars with no success. All of them had added ingredients that continued to irritate my skin. I found this website and was excited to try another soap, but with only one ingredient…coconut. It worked!! No sensitivity. My rash and eczema went away and now I am left with happy skin. Thank you so much. I am definitely a believer in this soap. Please do not ever stop selling this soap. I love it so much. It’s unscented, leaves your skin feeling clean, soft and doesn’t leave it feeling dried out.”

– Happy Customer

Best for Sensitive Baby Skin and Sensitive Mature Skin

Calendula Castile Bar

A Calendula Castile bar, using 100% organic virgin olive oil, deeply penetrates the skin with its moisturizing and nourishing chemical structure. A true Castile soap is the most gentle and mild of soaps, safe even for babies and those with ultra-delicate skin. You will not get a bubbly lather from a Castile bar, but rather a rich, thick, creamy, highly emollient lather that is perfect for shaving. This is our favorite bar to use on babies and small children and one of our bars is less expensive than other Castile soap brands such as Dr. Bronner’s. This is the bar of choice if anyone in your family has eczema. True Castile soaps made with only olive oil are a gentle and effective option for even the most sensitive of skin.

Ingredients: saponified organic extra virgin olive oil and organic calendula petals.  No added scent.

Does it work?

“This product has transformed my skin. It has never been so smooth or so soft. I use it with an eco-friendly soap bag, for both my shower and for washing my face. I am receiving compliments on the way my skin looks! I am over 60 and I feel I look several years younger than that.”

-Happy Customer

“Both I and my daughter have used this for 3 years…since she was 2! She has very sensitive skin that dries out badly with regular soap. Nether of us even has to use a moisturizer (except occasionally in winter) with this bar since it doesn’t strip the moisture out of the skin. Can’t say enough good things about it!”

-Happy Customer

Best Face Wash For Acne-prone Skin

Acne Battle Face and Body Bar

In a fight with acne? Looking for an anti-bacterial acne soap for pimples and oily skin? This antibacterial soap for acne is formulated with special weapons like organic neem oil, a powerful anti-bacterial oil known to be highly beneficial for battling epidermal conditions. We then included olive, grapeseed and jojoba—oils that do not clog pores, but may help heal acne scars. Bentonite clay works to draw impurities from the skin; colloidal oatmeal gently exfoliates dead skin cells (check out Adventures in Knottyland’s DIY Oatmeal bath recipe); and essential oils like tea tree and lavender, known for their anti-bacterial, antiseptic properties, make this acne soap a beneficial and natural choice for oily or combination skin.

Even though this soap was created for fighting acne, an additional benefit is the combination of ingredients which are known to be helpful with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Neem oil as mentioned, has strong anti-bacterial properties and helps clean up any skin infections that may have developed because of cracked broken skin, it also helps soothe skin redness and irritation. When combined with other effective ingredients such as olive oil, shea butter, oats and helpful essential oils of lavender and tea tree, the natural immunity and health of skin can be enhanced.

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic olive, grape seed, organic coconut, organic neem, organic shea nut butter, organic jojoba, and castor bean, colloidal oats, bentonite clay, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of organic tea tree, lavender, lemon, organic eucalyptus, and organic rosemary.

Does it Work?

“I ordered this for my daughter in Ohio. I live in Maryland. She called me on day crying about her face and her esteem was hurting her. She has been using the soap for a couple of weeks now and it is working awesomely…thank you so much for being there. I found this website just typing in treatment for painful acne. Thank you again.”

-Happy Customer

Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Bean Face and Body Bar

Moisturizing for dry skin.

Ingredients: saponified oils of a madagascar vanilla bean infused organic extra virgin olive, organic cocoa butter, and organic coconut oil. No added scent.

Does it Work?

“This bar is so moisturizing for my face, and makes my skin feel so soft, I can use less moisturizer. I live in southern California and the air is quite dry and hot, this bar is wonderful! I love it!”

-Happy Customer

Sensitive Skin Moisturizers

Moroccan Argan Oil

A 0 on the comedogenic scale, this is 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 even’s out skin tone.

Lavender Lotion Bar with Jojoba Oil

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.

Natural Deodorant Creme For Sensitive Skin

Moisturize and deodorize those pits with our all natural, aluminum-free deodorant cremes. Made with anti-bacterial, odor absorbing ingredients like organic virgin coconut oil, diatomaceous earth, aluminum free baking soda, arrowroot powder, and white kaolin clay, our natural deodorant creme is safe and effective.

Our unscented version fights hard with the anti-bacterial, odor absorbing base ingredients, while our regular deodorant adds an extra level of protection with the antibacterial essential oils of tea tree, lavender, and lemon.

Made with safe, natural ingredients you can trust:

Organic virgin coconut oil, organic virgin jojoba, organic arrowroot powder, aluminum free baking soda, diatomaceous earth, white kaolin clay and unrefined beeswax.

Our ‘regular’ version also contains essential oils of lavender, organic tea tree, and lemon.

Does it Work?

“I really like this natural deodorant. It works really well. I feel better knowing I’m putting something natural on my skin. I have very sensitive skin so I wasn’t sure how this would be on my underarms. Thank you for a wonderful product!”

-Happy Customer

Sensitive Skin Solved

I hope this week’s blog was helpful in providing natural options for sensitive skin care. If this is your first read on the AVNS blog, WELCOME! Check out our Facebook for giveaways and featured soaps, and follow our blog for weekly articles on natural beauty tips, skincare, and haircare. To browse through all our delicious products: click here!

Much Love,

Nora


An All-Natural Acne Skin-Care Routine That Works

A skincare routine for your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond!

Having acne isn’t easy, it’s painful and deemed by society to be utterly embarrassing. Even if you’re on the warpath to defeating acne…those stinky, burning, drying prescription medications and specialized “acne kits” marketed and curated to cure acne can oftentimes do nothing for your skin and make the problem even worse. 

What if there was a natural and effective skin-care routine for acne that actually worked? Well, according to countless customer testimonies and some carefully formulated products, we may have found a solution for your skin whether you’re a teen or an adult.

Adult Acne

Acne as a teenager is common, but for some reason we are led to believe that once you hit those magic twenties all your acne vanishes (cue hitting a giant red button that says “WRONG!”). If you’re like me, you’ve probably realized that this isn’t the case and that acne could even be a lifelong struggle. 

Lifestyle Causes of Acne

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Even the most perfect skin-care routine in the entire world won’t cure your acne if there are external causes or habits contributing to acne. There are many factors that can lead to acne…from diet to what you wash your face with and it varies from person to person. Acne is often the visible reaction of your skin fighting bacteria. Paying attention to what you’re doing when you notice acne show up can help you prevent future acne flare-ups. Here are some common causes of acne that I have noticed in my day to day life that are mostly related to spreading bacteria to my face.

  • Constantly touching your face
    • Your hands pick up bacteria everywhere and every time you touch your face it transfers.
  • Not keeping nails short enough
    • Maybe having long nails works for you as a reminder not to touch your face, but since I am already a habitual face-toucher I try to keep my nails short so that the amount of bacteria that can linger and fester under my nails is limited
  • Not Routinely keeping phone or laptop clean 
    • Your phone and laptop are breeding grounds for bacteria because you touch them with your hands constantly and then you either touch your face or hold your phone up to your face…allowing those germs to travel!
  • Not changing your pillowcases often enough
    • Your pillowcase is your face’s main landing pad and that grime accumulates over the course of even a week.
  • Not drinking enough water

3 Step Natural Skin Care Routine For Acne

Once you’ve started combating the acne causing obstacles in your life, you’ll need a skin-care routine that takes care of the rest. Our recommended 3 step acne routine includes a natural cleanser, a natural hydrosol toner, and a natural moisturizer.

Natural Cleanser: Acne Battle Bar

Just wet your face with warm water, lather this soap bar all over your face and other acne problem areas, rinse with warm water, and pat dry with a clean cloth

This antibacterial soap was formulated for acne and contains a list of powerful natural ingredients and was created to be used on oily, dry and combination skin.

Organic neem oil: a powerful anti-bacterial oil known to be highly beneficial for battling epidermal conditions. 

Olive, grapeseed and jojoba oil: These oils do not clog pores, but may help heal acne scars. 

Bentonite clay: works to draw impurities from the skin. 

Colloidal oatmeal: gently exfoliates dead skin cells

Essential oils like tea tree and lavender: are known for their anti-bacterial, antiseptic properties.

Customer Reviews

You’ve heard me say it before and I’ll say it again: honest customer reviews are the best way to evaluate whether a product may work for you. What I love about these reviews is that they offer honest dimension and are an example of how this bar works off the page. Yes, some customers only need this bar, some may use this bar in conjunction with other natural products to see the best results, some must use it for a longer period of time to let their skin adjust to the new routine!

“I swear by this bar! I am not someone who battles with acne on a daily basis but I use this bar to help prevent the occasional blemish! I’m on my 4th bar and will never try anything else!”

-Happy Customer

“I bought Acne Battle and Charcoal Detox soap and use both twice daily. I have dealt with cystic acne on my chin for the past 15 years. It was so deep that nothing could quite go deep enough into the skin layers to deal with the inflammation, and the top layers of skin were thicker in the acne spots. Since using these soaps for the past 6 weeks as well as a exfoliator 2 times a week and tea tree oil applied each time, and It seems the layers of skin have been able to soften and bring up the cysts. 4 of the spots have healed completely already and 2 more are beginning to reduce and are much less inflamed. My skin overall is smoother and more even in skin tone. My skin’s moisture level seems much better balanced as well. I am looking forward to my chin being healed completely in the coming weeks. Thanks Apple Valley.”

-Happy Customer

“I have been dealing with acne for MANY years. I’ve been on several different prescription and non-prescription treatments. I’m really liking the Acne Battle Bar. I started with a sample, and I’ve since ordered a full bar. The smell isn’t great, but it’s not an issue for me. It lathers well even with my hard water. As I’ve gotten older, my skin has gotten more sensitive. Also, I live up north. As the temperatures drop, my oily skin becomes dry. The Acne Battle Bar definitely agrees with my skin. Some reviewers have seen immediate or remarkable results. Unfortunately, I have not. I still have some pimples, but I believe they’re smaller and are healing more quickly than they used to. Plus, my goal was to get off ProActiv. I have accomplished that and me and my skin are both happy!”

-Happy Customer

Natural Toner: Neroli hydrosol 

You can spritz this toner directly on your face, or saturate a cotton round and then gently apply it to your face or affected area.

This hydrosol is made from orange blossoms – faintly sweet, floral, and citrusy. This toner is perfect for oily skin.

Neroli hydrosol also contains alpha hydroxy acids which help exfoliate the skin, and is anti-inflammatory so helps soothe and calm skin inflammation like acne, eczema etc. It is also antibacterial, which is another reason it’s great for treating acne, plus is highly astringent (works to dry bacteria), as well as rich in vitamin C…an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, combats fine lines and wrinkles, and encourages supple skin.

Natural Moisturizer: Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, or Hemp oil

Just a few drops to a pump of one of these oils will go a long way when applied to your face. 

Each oil has countless benefits so knowing your skin type will help you determine which oil works best for you!

Jojoba Oil

This Oil Works Best For: Everyday use for every skin type and oily skin.

Mimicking natural healthy skin oil, jojoba won’t clog your pores. The benefits of jojoba are numerous and unparalleled. Jojoba is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and easily absorbed into the skin, leaving no oily residue. 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. To read more about the wonders of Jojoba oil for hair click here!

Argan Oil

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

Argan oil is a 0 on the comedogenic scale, which means it is unlikely to clog pores. 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. 

I have used our Organic Moroccan Argan Oil to spot treat minor acne and acne scabs with great success. I usually dab a tiny bit right on the spot before bed and when I wake up I feel like crustiness, redness, and visibility of my acne is reduced.

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.

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.

Some benefits of our Hemp Facial Oil:

  • CBD Oil may help keep skin soft and supple.
  • CBD oil may Treat acne due to its anti-bacterial properties, and its ability to calm skin and reduce sebum production. Since hemp seed oil is another ‘dry’ oil with its light and thin consistency, it helps tighten, tone and firm skin. Its astringent properties help minimize large pores that secrete excess sebum which causes greasy skin, blackheads and pimples.
  • Nourishing and moisturizing. Hemp oil makes a great moisturizer because it has a comedogenic rating of 0, and our other acne preventing favorite Jojoba oil is a 2. Argan oil is also a 0.
  • Dramatically decreases skin dryness to alleviate itching and irritation. It also relieves common skin conditions such as bug bites, infections, scrapes and wounds.CBD oil may soothe sensitive skin, and studies indicate that it may even be able to help inhibit certain triggers of disorders like psoriasis and improve eczema-prone skin.

Did You Know?

Our Acne Battle Bar isn’t the only facial bar our customers love, you can check out our full range of natural skincare products and facial bars! If you have an AVNS skincare routine you swear by we want to hear about it! let us know which products you use in the comments!

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

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


Ten Foods for Healthy, Glowing skin

If you read last week’s blog you know that a good skincare routine is a must for maintaining a youthful glow, but there’s more to this skincare quest than meets the eye. The needs of healthy skin go beyond skin deep, and if your skin isn’t responding to the best skincare products on the block it might be because you’re missing this crucial step.

Healthy Diet Equals Healthy Skin

Sometimes cause and effect is difficult to identify, especially in the rush of everyday life. It’s tricky to be in tune with your body, but cultivating an awareness of how you eat affects your body is super important. If you still aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about don’t worry. I have an example:

Drink Enough Water

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Water intake may be the most important interaction between you and your body. Water plays a huge role in our health and beauty, water quality can even influence whether you have a good hair day! This shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that more than 50% of our bodies are made up of water. According to the CDC, water will

  • Keep your temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

How do you know you’re drinking enough water? Your body tells you! Not only will the darkness of your urine inform you of potential dehydration, your skin can too. Just perform a simple skin pinch!

Your skin isn’t just impacted by your water intake. Every food you eat plays a role in your skin’s performance. To help take pause and examine this concept more carefully, Let’s illuminate an old phrase in a new light, “Your skin ‘is what you eat.’” 

Ten Best Foods for Your Skin

These ten foods not only taste delicious, they’re also skin superfoods!

1) Fish

Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

According to an article in Healthline, eating fish like salmon may

  • Keep skin thick, supple, and moisturized.
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions 
  • Protect your skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation
  • Be a source of high quality protein, which is needed for maintaining the strength and integrity of your skin.

2) Avocado

Avocados are full of heart-healthy fats, but they also do wonders for the skin. Just like natural vinegar rinses add strength and shine to hair, and salt acts as a natural antibacterial agent on skin, avocado does its part to keep your skin smooth and young. According to an article on One Green Planet, avocados are the perfect natural beauty ingredient because they contain,

  • Chlorophyll to reduce inflammation.
  • Water to hydrate.
  • Vitamin E to promote softness and prevent wrinkles.

Do you have color treated hair that needs a little help? Give Avocado a go with our Rhassoul and Avocado Shampoo Bar.

3) Carrots

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

While you may be afraid using our Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar will turn your skin orange, you don’t need to worry about this. The fresh carrot juice in our popular soap won’t change the color of your skin. Carrots won’t change your skin color…unless you eat ten carrots a day for more than fourteen days straight (or if you’re a carrot loving baby as I once was). Unfortunately, I can also attest to the fact that eating carrots here and there will not improve your already imperfect eyesight. On the bright side, carrots may still benefit your skin. According to an article published in Healthline, “If you have a history of skin problems, such as rashes or psoriasis, adding carrot juice to your diet may improve the appearance of your skin. Carrots contain vitamin C, which has healing properties. It helps skin recover faster from external wounds and trauma. Beta-carotene in carrots also reduces skin inflammation, which speeds the healing process.”

4) Sweet Potatoes

Photo by Nastasya Day on Pexels.com

I love sweet potato fries. And now that I know they are full of sweet skin boosters I won’t be holding back. NDTV Food Desk published an excellent article on the skin benefits of sweet potatoes with the following insight as to why these orange taters are so beneficial, “Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin C and Vitamin E, both of which are very crucial to keep skin healthy, glowing and supple. Vitamin C helps boost collagen, which tightens your skin. The antioxidants present in sweet potato are also responsible for a natural sheen. Sweet potatoes are also a rich source of anthocyanins that help prevent blemishes and dark spots by keeping free radical activity in control.” This article also includes tips on the best ways to prepare them for all the benefits!

5) Green Tea

Drinking green tea may help regulate your skin’s oil production as well as combat acne due to a special compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). EGCG is  antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-androgenic the last of which, according to an article in NDTV Food Desk, “means that it regulates the production of androgens in the body, which in turn may reduce oil or sebum production on the skin.” We put green tea in our Green Tea and Nettles Shampoo Bar because green tea is full of potent anti-oxidants called catechins. Studies have shown that green tea may help reduce skin cancer, rejuvenate old skin cells, improve psoriasis and dandruff conditions, and neutralize damage done by exposure to UV light.

6) Tomatoes

Photo by Julia on Pexels.com

These zesty red fruits are my favorite. I eat them like apples with just a pinch of salt or sugar. Tomatoes aren’t just delicious, they’re also amazing for your skin!

While you’d be hard pressed to find any scientific evidence for the benefits of topical application, tomatoes are a great dietary supplement for promoting gorgeous skin. According to a Healthline article, tomatoes are full of anti-aging vitamins and can also reduce sensitivity to UV radiation.

7) Olive Oil

We love olive oil because it’s what we use to make our super gentle Castile Soap! Our virgin olive oil is chemical free and retains its vitamin content, the reason behind olive oil’s health benefits (especially vitamin E). Vitamin E protects skin from the damage of free radicals and can help alleviate symptoms of eczema. 

8) Walnuts

Photo by Candid Shots on Pexels.com

Welcome to the wonderful world of walnuts. The benefits of walnuts are so widespread that they even demand a yearly conference just to cover all the research being done on them! We’re just focusing on benefits for the skin, but if you’d like to learn about the other benefits of walnuts you can dive into the research here. According to registered dietitians quoted in an article published on SELF, “Walnuts offer up healthy Omega-3 fats that strengthen the membranes of your skin cells, locking in moisture and nutrients that keep it plump and glowing and keeping out toxins that can damage skin cells.”

Walnuts also make a great addition to a green, leafy salad and I love eating them with cranberries. 

9) Oranges

Oranges are a natural “skin-builder.” Oranges are full of vitamin C which, according to research published by the Linus Pauling Institute, “regulates the synthesis of the structural protein collagen. The role of vitamin C in the hydroxylation of collagen molecules is well characterized. Hydroxylation of collagen is necessary for its extracellular stability and support of the epidermis.”

10) Dark Chocolate

Save room for dessert because it might just help your skin! Dark chocolate is full of minerals and antioxidants that contribute to skin quality. A Femina article on the benefits of dark chocolate states, “Dark chocolate helps reduce dark spots and pigmentation and keeps skin glowing and healthy. It also works to bring back skin moisture and keeps it locked in, improves collagen content, and boosts circulation, all of which help delay the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” This is all the permission I need to get to snacking…”Hey! It’s for my health!”

I don’t know about you, but after this list of skin-enhancing foods I’m moments away from whipping up a leafy green salad sprinkled with buttery walnuts and flavorful tomatoes, tossed in a citrus vinaigrette and topped with a juicy piece of salmon. YUM.

Much Love,

Nora


3 Important Skincare Tips for Mature Skin

Giving Your Skin What it Needs

Signs of aging are nothing to be ashamed of. 

You are beautiful beyond your physical appearance.

That being said, your skin deserves the best care you can give it and you deserve to feel like you look as amazing as you are…no matter what your age is.

So you shouldn’t be ashamed for wanting to find the perfect make-up routine either.

Behind Every Great Make-up Routine is an Amazing Skincare Routine. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

This is especially true for mature skin. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, As we age, “changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin’s strength and elasticity.” For people 50+, a mature skincare routine means paying extra attention to your skin’s needs to prevent dry, dull skin from weighing down your glowing personality. Because I’m just a youngin when it comes to the beauty industry, I reached out to a professional make-up artist who specializes in mature skin to bring you the top three tips on caring for mature skin.

Pssst! Not over the hill yet? Not even over the anthill? You should keep reading, because it is never too early to find the perfect skincare routine and these tips apply to all skin!

Meet Elise Marquam-Jahns

Author at Sixtyandme.com, “Elise Marquam-Jahns is a professional makeup artist who is passionate about helping women 50+ get their glow back. She is the founder of Boomer and Beyond Beauty and recently launched “Boomer and Beyond Beauty with Elise” – a makeup and beauty YouTube channel specifically designed for women over 50.”

I spent the week emailing with this sophisticated skincare expert (and watching her informative Youtube videos) to learn as much as I could about how to best care for mature skin. 

3 Skincare Tips for Mature Skin

These three easy steps can be added to any and every skincare routine to help keep your skin luminous and healthy.

Exfoliate

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

While using the right cleanser for your skin has countless benefits, Elise points out that washing your face correctly is also an essential part of an effective skincare routine. In her Youtube video “6 Skincare Musts for Women 50+” Elise recommends using a sonic cleansing brush to wash your face instead of doing it manually because, “it doesn’t thoroughly get rid of everything that’s accumulated on our skin over the day.” Pollution, left-over make-up, and dead skin all contribute to build-up. Exfoliating with a brush removes this build-up and enhances the appearance and feeling of your skin. It also exposes your skin and allows the products you’re applying to be more effective. For example, exfoliating and then applying a toner will allow the ingredients to interact with the brand new skin. Rich in vitamin C our Organic Bulgarian Rose Facial Toner has tons of benefits for mature skin including possible lessening of fine lines and wrinkles over time, read more here. One important note about exfoliating is to not do it too often. Over use of a sonic cleansing brush can lead to raw skin, so finding a frequency your skin can tolerate is important. Exfoliating once every other day is a good starting point!

Moisturize

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

In her video, Elise lists moisturized skin as a priority for mature skin and we couldn’t agree more. Natural Soap is a great way to ensure that your skin is moisturized and cleansed at the same time, we even have a line of facial soap dedicated to dry skin. I wanted to know exactly what kind of ingredients were best for mature skin, so I asked Elise for a list of DOs and DON’Ts for skincare ingredients.

DON’T: Mineral Oil, Aluminum, DEA, MEA or TEA, DMDM Hydantoin and Urea, Parabens (anything with Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl), Phthalates, synthetic fragrances, alcohol, and Triclosan

DO: The most important skin care ingredients for me are Vitamin C + E plus Ferulic Acid (skin brighteners), Coenzyme Q10 and Matrixyl Synthe 6.  

Argan Oil is packed with vitamin E and a great natural moisturizer for both mature skin skin and hair and you can read about why that is here.

Antioxidant Beauty Facial Soap

One of our most pampering bars, the Antioxidant Beauty Facial Soap is packed with natural ingredients including:

Green tea extract for added skin elasticity.

Papaya with vitamin A for new cell reformation.

Guava for its anti-aging B vitamins.

Rosehips for their natural skin brightening retinol and vitamin C components.

Sea buckthorn for its collagen-creating Omega 7 fatty acid.

Yogurt for its pore-tightening lactic acid.

Rhassoul Clay absorbs impurities from hair and skin while leaving it soft and moisturized.

Protection

I have the same visor in two colors. That’s how much I love it.

I grew up believing that sunscreen was only meant for day-long sunshine marathons on the dock. Contrary to popular practice, you can benefit from wearing sunscreen with safe ingredients whenever you go outside. I have sensitive facial skin, so I always, always, always wear my signature giant sun visor. Elise recommends wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreen not only protects against skin cancer, it also preserves the appearance of your skin. According to the Institute of Health, “When UV rays enter skin cells, they upset delicate processes that affect the skin’s growth and appearance. Over time, exposure to these rays can make the skin less elastic. Skin may even become thickened and leathery, wrinkled, or thinned like tissue paper.”

A Word on Haircare

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The condition of our skin affects the condition of our hair too. In an article published in Good Housekeeping, the myth that grey hair is naturally coarser was debunked with this insightful correlation, “While gray hair feels coarse and rough, the structure of the strand hasn’t actually changed. When those melanin-producing cells run out of steam, the hair follicles also produce less sebum (the natural oils that hydrate hair). As a result, gray hair tends to be drier, which gives it that wiry texture.” Knowing that grey hair isn’t inherently difficult means we can do something about it! If you’re tired of touching up your roots now could be your time to embrace your grey! With hashtags like #greyhairdontcare you can find an online community of beautiful women supporting one another as they transition to elegant, icy hues.

I’ll Say it Again

Signs of age are nothing to be ashamed of. They represent the individual experience of life for every person on the planet. Our bodies were built as beautiful, temporary houses for our souls and they do so much for us while we inhabit the Earth. For this we are grateful. I’m personally grateful that I had the chance to catch up with a beauty mentor who also happens to be my amazing grandmother (did the same last name give it away??)! What are you grateful for?

Pictured left to right: my mom, me, my grandmother Elise and my aunt Erin.

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


How My Acne Made Me Beautiful: The Natural Way to Help Cure Acne

I let acne define my beauty

As a teenager I spent a lot of time reassuring myself that when I was in my twenties I’d finally be beautiful. I’m not exactly sure how this hopeful and destructive mantra worked its way into my head, but I’m guessing it had something to do with my belief that acne problems disappeared when you became an adult. When I decided I wanted to write a blog about acne I wanted to include photo evidence of my own acne battle, as proof of the struggle that was most definitely real.

Taken on a camping trip in Ely circa 2015. Where are your favorite camping spots?

So for you, dear Reader, I made the long and arduous trek through my Facebook photos: a timeline of my most awkward and embarrassing years documented by photos posted with careless enthusiasm by a younger me.

I scanned every photo of myself, searching for the tell-tale traces of a bumpy forehead or a crusty, make-up coved chin spot…and came up empty. As expected, the girl on my Facebook is a total goofball (see grainy photo on the left), but unexpectedly, she’s virtually acne-free. How??

I tried to hide my acne


I grew up under a lens. At least, that’s how it felt. Facebook, Selfies, Snapchat, and Instagram are only a few examples of the visual and digital world that consumed my adolescence.

So how do you face this world when you feel like the face you have isn’t good enough? You put forth a face that isn’t yours.

So we cake on the make-up, we angle our cameras to adjust the parts of us that we don’t like, or we digitally make them disappear.

Hiding your acne won’t make it go away

I realized I didn’t need to find proof of my acne because it’s currently all over my face! And the only reason I don’t have pictures that prove I have acne is because I avoid taking them. (Although, I did find one. Please feel free to zoom in on the picture below so you can see the giant spot on the bottom right of my chin).

Taken in Bayeux, France in fall 2019.

Yes, that’s right. I’m almost twenty-two and I still struggle with acne.

And do you want to know something else?

That’s perfectly normal.

It’s okay to have acne

I am not abnormal for having acne, and neither are you. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, “For many women, acne can persist for decades, with flares common a week before menstruation.”

Decades.

While this information is comforting in its unifying nature, it still won’t cure the actual acne.

Getting rid of acne

Acne, pimples, zits — like adorable puppies — come in many shapes and sizes, grow rapidly, and typically in batches. Puppies are pretty great, but if you had to walk around with five of them hanging off of your face and biting you, you’d probably change your mind pretty quickly.

Now, if all the puppies on your face happened to be labrador retrievers, you could probably get rid of them by throwing a stick. However, oftentimes we find ourselves with a variety of puppy breeds on our faces so even if you get rid of the labradors you still have four terriers gnawing your chin. This isn’t an easy problem to solve, in fact, I spent about half my life trying to figure it out.

I’ve tried just about everything to get rid of acne over the span of ten years. When I saw a dermatologist as a teenager I was given a harsh face wash and a salve that smelled like rotten eggs. I eventually tried a three step acne kit that cleared my face somewhat and bleached all of my towels.

When I got tired of smelling like a floor-cleaning solution factory, I gave up and tried water-only rinsing my face twice a day which worked until it didn’t. At this point, I became desperate and went into a chaotic DIY phase. I made homemade face scrubs from anything I could find in my kitchen (would not recommend) and once I even covered my face with peanut butter (would really not recommend). I disliked the thought of switching back to something with harsh chemicals, but I felt like I didn’t have other options.

A natural solution for acne

It didn’t matter if I had one tiny pimple or a huge acne flare-up. I realized that the problem had less to do with whether I had acne or not and more to do with how I let my appearance dictate my sense of worth and value.

A few months ago I tried a sample of the  Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar. When I woke up, the painful cyst on my chin was barely there so I continued to use it for the rest of the week. During that week I had the clearest, most beautiful skin I’ve ever had (included proof in the picture below). This bar smells like glowing memories: a warm, happy deja vu…and can be used with any skin type.

Besides minimizing my acne, I felt like the Honey Carrot Bar also brightened my complexion and lightened my darker acne scars.

I was so thrilled with the results that I ordered the next biggest size along with a sample Acne Battle Bar, because my skin tends to get oily and I wanted a cleanser that would tackle everything from whiteheads to cysts. The Acne Battle Bar is packed with antibacterial, moisturizing and exfoliating ingredients like grapeseed oil and oatmeal…and the reviews glow as much as I want my skin to. Of course, I didn’t want my roommate to be jealous when all my fantastic soap arrived wrapped neatly in Tiffany blue tissue paper, so I had to order a sample Calendula Castile Bar for our bathroom counter, perfect for my roommate’s eczema (and also for my sensitive skin!). 

Because Apple Valley Natural soap is made with natural ingredients, it doesn’t cleanse with harsh chemicals and detergents that dry out your skin. Instead, our soap contains natural glycerin, a byproduct of natural oils and fats. Glycerin works as a humectant and draws water into the skin while also strengthening it. Studies have shown that Glycerin hydrates and improves the skin’s ability to defend against harmful agents, allowing it to act as a natural and effective cleanser.

I went to art class right after picking my package up and decided to have an impromptu photo shoot with my soap and my art supplies.

These bars are working wonders and I love using a small pump of Organic Moroccan Argan oil for an extra moisturizing boost.

If you suffer from dry skin, the Antioxidant Beauty Facial Soap Bar is packed with vitamins that will pamper and brighten your skin. Regardless of your skin type, you should try to keep your skin hydrated and clean. I do this by trying to drink at least six glasses of water a day and changing my pillowcase every week. 

You define your own beauty

My acne is hormonal, which means that sometimes the only real way to get rid of it is time. My acne makes me beautiful because it reminds me that I am more than my appearance. I love, love, love using Apple Valley Natural Soap to wash my face. Even when there’s nothing I can do about my acne, washing my face makes me feel beautiful because it smells SO amazing and feels soooo dreamy.

As I scrutinized pictures of myself for flaws I could expose for the purpose of this blog, I continually caught myself on this heartbreaking thought: “She’s so beautiful, and she didn’t know it.” I still criticize my appearance all of the time, when I should be appreciating the beauty I already have. I celebrate my younger self for her beauty: her beautiful intellect, her beautiful humor, her beautiful thoughtfulness. God made everyone with natural beauty, inside and out. We hope that our products will encourage your natural outer beauty, so that your inner beauty can shine.


Everything You Need to Know About Castile Soap

How is my love for acting related to Castile soap?

When I play a character in a show, I not only get to fill their shoes, I also trace their footsteps. 

Here I am with my fellow actor Dah in our production of I Hate Hamlet. I absolutely loved my costumes for this show…I felt like a princess!

Because of this, I’ve travelled through a number of character paths that have taken me around the world: I’ve stolen a Commedia dell’arte romp through the winding canals of Venice, floated through the dreamscape of Charles Dickens’s London, explored the historical and haunted flats that make up the New York City skyline, and washed a peasant’s laundry in (and I think you’ll see where I’m going here) Castile, Spain.

Castile? Wait, isn’t that a type of soap?

You guessed it!

The history of soap

Early soaps were made from combining animal fats and plant oils with salt or ash. This primitive soap was used for cleaning cooking utensils and medicinal purposes rather than for beauty and personal hygiene. As soap making became more refined it also became more expensive because it required both technique and coveted family recipes. Prices only dropped after production became more mainstream when chemicals were introduced to simplify the process.

What is Castile Soap?

Castile soap has been around for quite some time, but unlike the first soaps ever made it does not contain animal fat or ashes. However, a traditional Castile soap is also free from modern chemicals used in most mass-produced soaps.

So if it doesn’t have chemicals or animal byproduct, what exactly is it made of?

Olive oil.

And I’m sure you already guessed where those olives were grown.

Spain exports the world’s majority of olive oil and the production of olive oil in Spain can be traced back about 3,000 years. Although Castile soap got its name from a specific region in Spain, Castile soap can be made with olive oil from anywhere…which has its disadvantages.

The benefits of olive oil in Castile soap

Because Castile soap is generally defined as soap made with olive oil, many companies can get away with using small quantities of low grade olive oil while still labeling the soap as “Castile Soap” This soap will not have the same benefits as a soap composed of high quality olive oil.

Now, the advantage of using olive oil from outside of Castile is that it allows us to pick from the best. In keeping with the origins of the first Castile soaps, our organic virgin olive oil is sourced mainly from the Mediterranean region. Our true Castile soaps provide a gentle cleanse and act as a nourishing moisturizer. Our virgin olive oil is chemical free and retains its vitamin content, the reason behind olive oil’s health benefits (especially vitamin E). Vitamin E protects skin from the damage of free radicals and can help alleviate symptoms of eczema.

We choose to go organic with our virgin olive oil and many of our other products to promote the protection of the earth and water from harmful pesticides and we want our Castile soap to do the same for your skin. Our Calendula Castile Bar is the perfect soothing solution for sensitive skin (babies would highly recommend it…if they could talk). Our Lavender Castile Bar will create a calming, creamy lather…perfect for shaving! I know I’ve got the Lavender Orange Castile Bar on my wish-list and I’ve got an audition for Antigone tomorrow so I’m ready to get into character (Greece likes its olive oil too!)

Wish me Luck!

Nora