New All-Purpose Liquid Castile Soap!

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

Why Castile Soap?

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

Why is Olive Oil Good For Your Skin?

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

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

Why AVNS Liquid Castile Soap?

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

Popular Name Brand Ingredient List

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

Apple Valley Natural Soap Liquid Lavender Castile Soap Ingredient List

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

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

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

More Castile Soap Options

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


Can You Use Natural Body Soap Bars On Your Hair?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the blog we’ve all been waiting for…

Okay, maybe just the blog I’ve been waiting for. 

Can you use your favorite AVNS Body Soap Bars on your hair?

This idea first occurred to me because my favorite AVNS Bar is the Black Licorice Hand Foot and Body Bar and I spent a lot of time wishing with all my might that it could’ve been a hand, foot, body, and hair bar. Then I realized nothing was stopping me from using it as a shampoo bar, and thus the inspiration for this blog was born.

AVNS is unique because All of our bars are made with natural ingredients, so there is nothing in our body bars that would harm or damage hair (please do not try washing your hair with name brand body soaps!). That being said, our shampoo bars are designed for cleaning and enhancing hair, while our body soap bars are designed to cleanse skin, moisturize skin, and act as a lather for shaving. 

Disclaimer!

I spent the entire past week testing out all my favorite body bars for this blog, but as I was writing out my findings I realized that I dove into this “ex-hair-iment” a little too enthusiastically. People. I was so blinded by the excitement of using my favorite body bars on my hair that I threw all logic out the window. See, I know exactly which shampoo bars are my favorite, which means I have access to the ingredient list on each of those bars. Had I been thinking like a sane person and not a soap-happy lunatic, I would’ve found body bars with similar ingredients as the ones in my favorite shampoo bars to give myself the best chances of finding a body bar that worked super well on my hair. OBVIOUSLY this means I have another, more scientifically backed blog to write. But for now, please enjoy the results of using some body bars on my unsuspecting hairs.

My Hair

My hair is medium density, medium porosity and has a varying curl pattern. I have chunks of hair that are all completely straight, and some chunks that are tight spirals…AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN! With each bar I tried, I give a recommendation for the hair type I think the bar could work best for because just because the bar didn’t work on my hair, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work great for someone else!

Black Licorice Bar

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic sustainable palm, organic olive, organic sunflower, unrefined organic shea nut butter, castor bean, non-gmo licorice root, organic black walnut hull powder, rosemary oil extract, and star anise essential oil.

My prediction: This bar is so moisturizing, that this fall we actually put a note under the description that the labels for this bar might have some oil spots. Knowing this, I imagine this bar might leave my hair a little heavy and straight.

The Process: This bar lathered nicely in my hair and smelled amazing, I was excited to give my scalp a bonus cleanse with the black walnut hull powder, which is known for its use to treat skin diseases. I sprayed my hair down thoroughly with my ACV rinse and then carefully brushed through it to detangle before rinsing. I finished by diffusing my hair on no heat until it was 80% dry.

The Results: I was surprised by the amount of curl I still had! I think someone with higher porosity hair could try this bar with better results because their hair will soak in all the oils better than mine can!

Wildflower Coconut Bar

Coconut oil for hair is widely renowned as a versatile hair product that nourishes, protects, and moisturizes hair. Tons of brands sell shampoos and conditioners with coconut as an ingredient. But what about just a soap made purely from coconut?

after being brushed out

My Prediction: I thought trying out a coconut bar would be helpful because once you’ve tried one, you’ve really tried the whole collection. My hair likes to be a dissenter and, as a rule, hates coconut. My hair despises coconut. Loathes coconut. I tried to put coconut oil in my hair once like I’ve seen tons of other curly girls do and it turned into a greasy mess that I had no option but to shamefully wear out of the house that night. I know there’s a good chance this could be a huge no-go, but I can’t resist trying because I love this bar so so so much for shaving.

The Process: This Bar LATHERS LIKE HEAVEN IN MY HAIR. I got in a quick and luxurious shave with the bar, rinsed the suds out and then sprayed not once, but twice with my ACV rinse…honestly I may have over-rinsed. I then brushed through to detangle, rinsed, scrunched, plopped for about 20 minutes, and air dried.

The Results: My hair told me it didn’t like coconut, I probably should’ve listened. My hair honestly just seemed kind of confused, that is the best way I can think to say it. There were some nice curls, but also random frizz. My hair was pretty shiny, and it did feel nice and strong. I actually felt comfortable brushing my hair out once it dried because it felt protected (I usually never do this) I noticed that my hair has great texture for if I wanted to do any styling (like braids or buns). I think someone with straight medium dense hair  or hair that loves coconut should try this bar and tell me if it works for you.

Winter Skin Saver Bar

This bar is currently not in season, but if you’re interested in trying a bar with the legendary lanolin on your hair you should check out our Summer Skin Saver Bar!

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

So guess what.

I decided to go ahead and try it myself.

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

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

Epic Fail? Or Epic Learning Experience? You Decide.

I feel like I learned so much about my hair this week, washing with body bars gave my hair a chance to breath from curl creams and gels. I’m already planning a line up for my next body bar trial, what about you???

Much Love,

Nora


5 Things You Should Know Before Using A Natural Soap or Shampoo Bar

Have you been considering transitioning from liquid shampoo and conditioner to natural shampoo bars? 

Masala Chai Shampoo Bar

Natural shampoo bars are an amazing option for natural hair care for a multitude of reasons. Some of the benefits of using a natural bar shampoo include cutting down on waste, fortifying hair with natural ingredients instead of breaking it down with artificial chemicals and fragrances, and simplifying your hair care routine. One biodegradable shampoo bar filled with natural conditioning and restorative oils will last just as long, if not longer, than a plastic bottle of shampoo, and depending on what shampoo you are used to buying, may be quite a bit cheaper. I know it probably sounds too good to be true, you’re wondering what the catch is. No catch. However, as many natural soap lovers will tell you, it is true that there is a learning curve as you transition to your first natural shampoo bar. But never fear, this blog is full of tons of info and links to resources that go in-depth about everything you need to know about switching to natural hair care. For those of you who are already wise to the ways of natural shampoo, don’t think I forgot about you! This article will also include some pro-tips that will up your natural shampoo and soap game!

The importance of knowing what goes into your natural soap

Apple Valley Natural Soap is carefully hand-crafted in small batches using the cold process method of soap making. Resulting in a gently cleansing bar full of natural glycerin (a compound that attracts moisture into the hair). We use only high quality botanical oils and butters as well as all natural herbs, milks, juices, essential oils and spices to scent and color our soaps. These ingredients not only impart sensational fragrances and beautiful, rustic colors, but also add their own exceptional nourishing qualities. 

The importance of soft water for shampoo bars

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

Who knew the quality of your water had such a make or break impact on your natural shampoo experience? In short, using hard water with a cold processed natural shampoo bar will not work. Why? The minerals in hard water coat the shaft and rub against the scales that make up the hair shaft, causing them to stand up instead of forming a flat, protective layer. When used in conjunction with a natural shampoo bar, the shampoo molecules get stuck in the open gaps and get glued to the film on minerals coating the hair shaft. This makes hair dull and unmanageable. For more information on how to combat the effects of hard water on hair check out our blog. If you have hard water you can read all about solutions to hard water in this article!

The importance of using a hair rinse

A hair rinse is an essential part of a natural hair care routine because it keeps hair clean and shiny. Our Herbal Hair Rinse is made with apple cider vinegar and a collection of hair-nourishing herbs. Our Citric Acid Hair Rinses were made for those who don’t care for a vinegar smell and come in four crazy good scents, we’ve added aloe vera for additional soothing and conditioning of the scalp! To read in depth about why you need a rinse go here!

PRO-TIP: I detangle/ comb out my hair while I’m still in the shower and sometimes I have trouble detangling after using a shampoo bar. For an easier detangle, spritz your hair with your rinse after rinsing out your shampoo. The ACV will give your hair slip and make it easy to comb through.

PRO-TIP: Vinegar is an awesome natural cleaner. When my bathroom counter gets dirty and needs a quick clean I will spray it down with a few squirts of my hair rinse and then wipe it down in a rag I’ve doused with warm water. It lifts toothpaste blobs, concealer smears, and any other sticky spots just like that! 

 

Don’t give up if your first shampoo isn’t perfect!

If your first shampoo bar experience does not go exactly as planned, you aren’t alone. The first time I used a shampoo bar my hair dried almost completely straight (photo evidence below). Was it shiny and thick? Yes. But I’m a curly girl and I like my curls! Hard water had been the culprit in that situation, but not using a hair rinse, using too many other products, and using the wrong bar can all be causes of a not-so-great hair day. When you switch to using a natural shampoo, you may find you no longer need all those additional products. I typically use a shampoo, conditioner, cream, leave-in and gel when I style my hair, but when I use a natural shampoo bar all I need is an ACV rinse and a couple drops of miracle working Argan Oil. Each of our bars is designed with its own unique ingredient recipe, so it may be a matter of finding the bar that works best for you. Some great starting bars are our Bella Rose Shampoo Bar, Pink Lemonade Shampoo Bar, and Man 2.0 Bar.

Letting your soap bar dry properly!

It seems like a minor issue, but when you’ve got a half melted soap bar welded to your tub or counter I guarantee you probably won’t be smiling or laughing. Letting your bar dry out between uses is so important to the lifespan and appearance of your bar! A soap mat is the easiest solution to this problem

PRO-TIP: Some of our most amazing bars utilize super cool ingredients that are darker in color such as skin-remedying black walnut hull powder or purifying activated charcoal. While using these bars in the shower is an extremely pleasant experience…the dark layer of soap scum they leave behind in the tub is less pleasant…but it doesn’t have to be if you use one of two very simple DIY cleaning solutions! Lathering a Luffa with one of our citrus or salt bars makes scrubbing away soap scum a breeze, or you can scrub away the scum with a simple baking soda paste of baking soda and water! I love that these two solutions are natural and don’t require heavy duty chemical cleaners!

Which bar will you try first?

Comment below with the bar you want to try, or let people know which bar you love the most! Follow our blog for weekly posts on haircare, skincare, diys and more!

Much Love,

Nora


Eco-Friendly Mother’s Day Gift Guide and Giveaway!

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY!!! Enter for the opportunity to win a Rose Gift Set featuring a Bella Rose Shampoo and Body Bar (Voted our best smelling Shampoo Bar), a Sweet Rosehips Body Polish (Voted one of my top three favorite AVNS products of 2020), a cotton eco bag, a white soap mat and a SUPER EXCLUSIVE BELLA ROSE CUSTOM SCENTED JOJOBA OIL (not featured in regular Rose gift set). This Giveaway will start on May 5th and run until Mother’s Day (May 9th).

To enter via social media:

1. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook

2. Like our Mother’s Day Giveaway post on Instagram or Facebook

3. Tag a loved one who you think would love this gift set!

For a bonus entry: share this post on Facebook or your Instagram story, announce your favorite AVNS soap, and tag us!

How to enter if you don’t have social media:

1) Follow our blog

2) Like this post

For a bonus entry: share our blog with a loved one by sending them our link over text or email…take a screenshot once you’ve sent the link and email it to us with the title: Mother’s  Day Giveaway!

Only residents of the United States are able to participate.

Eco-Friendly Mother’s Day Gift Guide

We all know the perfect Mother’s Day gift is a beautiful bar of artisan soap paired with a sugary body scrub, lip balm, or custom scented jojoba oil, but did you know our soap bars also pair beautifully with other eco-friendly products? It’s true, which is why I hunted down some amazing little companies that strive to make products exist in harmony with the earth we love so you’ll have all the options when it comes to finding the perfect gift for your mom, aunt, grandma, cousin, sister, or just plain wonderful woman in your life this year!

1) Natural Coconut Bowls Paired with an AVNS Coconut Bar

This zero waste, eco-friendly gift is as vegan as our coconut bars! Fill one of these bowls with a bunch of half-sized coconut bars for an adorable presentation! Check out Jungle Culture’s website with all their amazing products here!

Product Information

“Our coconut shell boho bowls are sourced directly from rural farms which allows us to work closely with local communities in order to create interesting and unique designs. We go direct to the farmers and each sale helps to support local industry in the region.

Jungle Culture is a proud member of the 1% for the Planet global organisation & movement. We pledge 1% of our sales to the preservation & restoration of the natural environment. We donate to domestic & international grassroots & environmental groups which helps make a difference in their local communities.”

-Jungleculture

2) Wildflower Seed Bombs paired with a Wildflowers Coconut Bar

Okay, I know I already talked about coconut bars, but this pairing is just too perfect! Every time you wash your hands you’ll be reminded of the flowery explosion about to burst in your backyard!

Product Information

“Embedded with prolific self-seeding annual and perennial wildflower seeds grown on our solar-powered Virginia farm, including coreopsis, baby’s breath, larkspur, poppy, wallflower, daisy, cornflower, zinnia, black-eyed Susan – these seed bombs gives both humans and pollinators plenty to be excited about.

Our zero waste, small batch paper is handmade with a process that is respectful to water resources, using 100% post-consumer material as a base. No chemicals are used, ever.

Plant in a sunny spot. Push the seed bomb gently into lose, moist soil, leaving the top uncovered. Water well, especially during germination which can take 10-30 days.”

MakersOfHyssopLane

3) Simply Organic Bamboo Bedding paired with a Bamboo Shampoo Bar

The amazing woman in your life will feel even more amazing as she climbs into a soft set of bamboo sheets after taking a shower and lathering up with our fresh and peppery Bamboo Shampoo Bar. No plastic allowed!

Product Information

“Simply Organic Bamboo is proud to provide bedding crafted from organically grown 100% bamboo viscose. All of our products are designed and manufactured responsibly by expert craftspeople.

We can change the world one small step at a time by making responsible decisions. That’s why every day we consciously choose to reduce our ecological footprint and protect the health of our customers because we believe it’s the right thing to do. Sustainability is at the core of how we operate – from sourcing eco-friendly & renewable materials, minimizing waste, recycling, and partnering with like minded suppliers who refuse to use harmful chemicals.

We respect our planet and its environment and only want the best for our family, friends and customers.  The earth is our home and we share the air, water, and sunshine with everyone.  Organic bamboo grows naturally and provides a beautiful fiber for our products unlike any other.  It helps us sleep and rejuvenate in the way nature intended…without toxic chemicals or their byproducts.  When we spend a third of our life in bed we want that time to be as healthy as possible.  Our Simply Organic Bamboo bedding gives us maximum comfort and the restful sense of knowing that we start each new day in good health and respect for our global home.”

Simply Organic Bamboo

4) Organic Mixed Citrus Box paired with a Mixed Citrus Soap Set!

Is your mother a citrus lover? Get her a box of delicious organic citrus fruits that are seasonal and sensational! Pair it with a set of four citrus half-sized bars that will provide her with lasting citrus joy long after she’s peeled her last orange! Pick from our citrus soaps here!

Product Information

“Enjoy a mix of seasonal, certified organic citrus. Boxes are packed with 2-3 different varieties of  what’s currently available and may include juicy delicious navel oranges, blood oranges, Meyer lemons, mandarins, tangerines or Minneola. We partner with other local, organic producers to bring you a fresh, rejuvenating mix of the best citrus.”

Frog Hollow Farm

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you’ve been inspired by these unique and personal gift ideas and I wish you the best of luck in our Giveaway!

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


A New Way to Use Soap: a reflection and guide to peaceful, reflective thought

Let’s Catch Up

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Every once in a while I like to take a mindful pause, contemplate the joys and difficulties of our current season of life, and write a more reflective piece for the AVNS blog. Why? It’s my way of connecting with all you wonderful people as a fellow human being. It’s also a chance to remind myself and the AVNS community that behind every beautiful bar of soap is a fantastic team of people who all have stories to share and lives to live. With this being said, I’m excited to share that over time and starting within the coming months we’re hoping to craft feature blogs for all of the amazing people behind AVNS…but for now I’ll have to do. 

The Importance of Easter

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I sincerely hope the contents of today’s blog are useful to you, wherever you may be on your life-journey and regardless of religious affiliation, however I do want to take a moment to share what stirred me to write this blog in the first place. Today’s blog was inspired by the recent Easter holiday, an important holiday for many AVNS team members, including myself. For Christians, Holy Week is a time of respectful reflection, gratefulness and celebration. Holy Week and Easter are commemorations of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a purposeful and powerful sacrifice resulting in eternal life in Heaven for all who acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God and their Savior. 

What Does Soap Have To Do With It?

Now you may be wondering, what does Easter, or even Christianity…or even religion in general…or EVEN just the acts of contemplation and reflection…have to do with soap? To be honest, I had the same question…which is why I turned to my Bible. I figured the Bible is just as much a historical account as a religious text, maybe I’d find some ancient soap recipe (probably involving saltor clay) to write about, but a quick internet search brought me to an even cooler connection…How To Soap.

Our popular Honey Carrot and Tangerine Soap!

The S.O.A.P Method

Well, that’s obvious…right? Just lather, rinse, and repeat with your favorite bar of AVNS soap and you’re good to go. I was surprised to learn that soap or S.O.A.P is actually an acronym for a method to read and reflect on scripture. How cool is that?! I found this method on Love God Greatly, a website for women’s ministry. I share the original method below, but I’ve also adapted each step so that everyone is able to utilize this method.

S.O.A.P

S – stands for scripture, or sentence-by-sentence.

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You’ll start by taking your verse or line and actually taking the time to write it out. It’s amazing how just the act of intentionally slowing down will allow you to really focus on what you are reading. If you aren’t so sure about religious texts you could always start with a piece of poetry you love or even song lyrics. If you’re curious or interested in what the Bible has to offer, here are a few verses that I find calming and encouraging.

Encouraging Bible Verses

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Proverbs 24:14 Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

O – stands for observation.

Ask yourself. What stands out to you as you read your text? Which words are repeated? Does it sound different if you read it out loud? Who is the speaker addressing? What is the tone? You’d be surprised how a deeper understanding of a text can teach you so much about life and yourself.

A – stands for application.

When in a religious context, you can ask yourself “How is God speaking to me today?” Also ask yourself in what ways you can apply what you’ve read to your personal life. Are there habits you need to change? Actions to take towards a goal you’ve set for yourself? A comfort you can fall back on in times of stress?

P – stands for prayer, or personal-dialogue.

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Talk to God. Tell Him about what you learned, ask Him about any questions that came up during your reading. If you aren’t familiar with prayer, think of the p as personal dialogue. Take a walk out in nature where you have some privacy and speak out loud to yourself, it may seem strange at first…but try it. Did you know that the act of talking out loud to yourself, or self-talk can actually improve concentration and self-esteem? If self-talk isn’t your cup of tea, try journaling. Write a letter to yourself, or a friend…even if you don’t plan on ever sharing what you write with them. If you’d like to try praying but aren’t sure how, try talking to God like He’s just another one of your friends or family members who cares about you. God is never judging you, he loves you and wants to know you.

Thank You For Your Time Today

I hope this blog served as a fun and interesting change of pace. If you’re interested in checking out our more typical posts (natural ingredients we use, benefits of the products we offer, etc.) 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

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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


5 Natural Remedies For Pets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natural Pet Shampoo

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

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

Beneficial Ingredients in Natural Pet Shampoo

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

Lavender Silk Shampoo and Body Bar

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

Jojoba Silk Conditioning Shampoo Bar

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

2) File your pet’s nails

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

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

Apple Cider Vinegar as a Natural Remedy For Pets and Humans

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

3) DIY Ear Cleaning Solution

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

4) Apple Cider Vinegar for Itchy Skin

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

5) Flea and Tick Repellent

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


Pets and Essential Oils: Is it Safe?

Hello AVNS community! My name is Abigail Paige, and I’m a ballet dancer living in Washington D.C. I’ve been many places throughout my dance journey, but I was born and raised in Lakeville, Minnesota. Living naturally was a huge part of growing up, and a lot of those principles have stayed with me through the years. I am and have always been a huge animal lover, and am so blessed to have been able to find a job at a little pet store half a block’s walk from my apartment. The company’s focus is providing 100% natural pet food and products, so I really resonate with the objective and have learned so much in my time working there.

I remember the worst thing about getting sick when I was younger – essential oils had to be diffused in my room at night. This is by no means a bad thing, in fact it’s an incredibly effective solution, however it meant my beloved little dog Pippin wouldn’t be able to sleep in the room with me as he usually did. If essential oils are a large part of your daily lifestyle, you may have heard something similar to what my mom would tell me, that essential oils are toxic to pets. This is true in some cases, but fortunately for those of us who love both our furry friends and the benefits of essential oils, not always.

There are many factors that go into how safe it is to use essential oils around your pet. As we know, dogs and cats have extremely powerful noses, so keep in mind that a scent that is just barely perceptible to us may be incredibly strong and irritating to them. The type of oil being used largely varies the effect it will have on your pet. Some oils actually have calming or healing effects on pets, while others are highly toxic. It also depends on whether the oils are being used for topical treatment or being diffused in your home. Many oils, like tea tree, are beneficial when applied topically but harmful when inhaled or ingested by the animal.

Every pet will respond differently to various oils, so be sure to always monitor your pet’s outward signs while using essential oils in your home. Essential oils should be used with special caution around cats and flat-faced dog breeds, who are more prone to respiratory issues. If you have access to a vet, ask them about which specific essential oils are safe for your pet.

Which Oils Are Safe?

In general, the most important oils to avoid with all animals are high-phenol oils and those with high concentrations of pinene. These can cause liver toxicity, skin irritation, or respiratory issues for your pet. Some of the most common include:

  • Oregano
  • Wintergreen
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Tea Tree
  • Peppermint
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus oils
  • Cassia
  • Nutmeg
  • Mountain Savory
  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fir

Some essential oils that are generally safer to use around pets and may actually have some benefits are:

  • Chamomile – calming, restful sleep, eases upset stomach
  • Clary Sage – calming, anti-bacterial
  • Sweet Marjoram – calming, inflammation, anti-bacterial, digestion
  • Frankincense – calming, anti-bacterial
  • Valerian – calming, restful sleep, skin soothing, digestion
  • Ginger – joint pain, digestion, inflammation
  • Cedarwood – insect repellent, calming, immune support, pain relief
  • Lavender (AVOID with cats) – skin soothing, calming, insect repellent
  • Helichrysum
  • Rose

As may be obvious, there are a plethora of essential oils out on the market. It may be overwhelming to know that no “dos & don’ts” list is completely foolproof, but rest assured that the best person to ask regarding the safety of your pet is a licensed veterinarian. Some vets are even able to do blood tests to see if your pet will have an unusual reaction to a certain oil.

Topical vs. Diffusion

Topical application of certain essential oils can have many benefits for pets, and sometimes oils that you would otherwise avoid may be recommended for medical benefits for your pet. For example, tea tree oil is often used as a flea and tick repellent or hot spot relief. However, it is incredibly important when applying any oil to a pet’s fur or skin to remember to heavily dilute the oil with a carrier oil. This brings the strength of the oil down to a more manageable level for your pet and decreases the risk of any unwanted reactions. AVNS carries a high-quality virgin jojoba oil that works as a wonderful carrier oil for topical application. In addition, it also comes with its own benefits of soothing, conditioning and healing your pet’s skin and coat. Just be sure to order the unscented one when using on pets, so there are no unnecessary ingredients other than the intended oil being applied.

Young Living Essential Oils’ website recommends using a 9:1 ratio of carrier oil to essential oil for small dogs and cats, and a 4:1-3:1 ratio for medium and large dogs. It’s best to apply the oils by rubbing them together in your hands and stroking your pet gently. Be careful not to apply oils in an area where your pet could easily lick them off, as ingesting oils may seriously harm your pet. On their back or base of the neck is usually the best place to apply.

If you’re like me and love to use an essential oil diffuser in your home all day every day, you’re probably wondering how safe that is for your pet. Like topical application, there are ways to the reduce the chance of a negative reaction from your pet and help them stay feeling comfortable in their own home.

  • Try to stick with pet-safe essential oils.
  • Use less concentration than you normally would – only add 1-2 drops to your diffuser at a time.
  • Don’t run the diffuser constantly, only for intermittent periods of time.
  • Place the diffuser high up or in an area where it’s not dispensing directly near your pet or where your pet might be able to knock it over.
  • Always be sure your pet has another area to go and leave the room that oils are being diffused in if they are uncomfortable or irritated by the scent.
  • When using a new oil around a pet, do a test run of the diffuser for 10-15 minutes and closely monitor your pet’s reaction. Watch for scratching, excessive drooling/panting or sneezing, lethargy, redness around face, or vomiting. If all seems well, continue using it in short time periods while always keeping an eye out for any of the aforementioned symptoms.

Essential Oils in Pet Shampoo

Just as is with human beauty products, fragrances in pet shampoo can be a common irritant for many pets. Fortunately for us natural-conscious pet owners, AVNS has designed a pet-safe shampoo bar packed with priceless natural ingredients specifically for your furry friend! Olive, castor and coconut oils along with colloidal oats rejuvenate, soothe and moisturize any dry or irritated skin. Shea butter does the same while also conditioning your pet’s coat for a shiny, healthy finish. Last but not least, natural pet-safe essential oils of lemongrass, frankincense & cedarwood add their own healing, calming and insect repelling benefits. This bar is more than just a bath, it’s a smorgasbord of valuable and helpful ingredients to keep your pet happy, healthy and looking beautiful.

If you’re looking for a different scent or maybe even for something you might already have in your AVNS soap stockpile, check out all the other bars that are safe for use with pets:

Pets are an integral part of our home lives. Although the responsibility can be daunting, we take every effort to make sure they have the longest and happiest life possible. When we make the choice to “go natural” in our own lives, we do it because we care about what we put in our bodies. Our pets share a home with us, so why not use the same intention with them?

Until next time,

Abigail


Apple Valley Natural Soap’s 5 Best Smelling Shampoo Bars

According to you, me, Marianne and Tia!

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

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

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

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

5 Irresistible Smelling Natural Shampoo Bars

1) Bella Rose Shampoo and Body Bar

Soap Profile

Description

Bella Rose Shampoo Bar!

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

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

Ingredients

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

Commentary

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

2) Lavender Buttermilk Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

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

Ingredients

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

Commentary

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

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

-Satisfied Customer

3) Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

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

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

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

Special Beneficial Ingredients in this Bar

Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com
Coconut oil which is a super-oil full of naturally present antioxidants, it is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
Olive oil which is packed with anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it superb for hair, skin, and nails.
Jojoba oil is a natural anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, its properties keep the scalp clean and healthy. It can also prevent hair loss and thinning caused by the clogged hair follicles as it dissolves and clears these blockages and promotes the development of new hair cells, which can lead to hair growth.
Shea butter strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, it helps make your skin more supple, more alive, nourished and radiant. We could keep going, but you probably get the idea.
Peppermint and Tea Tree essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties. Peppermint adds a cooling effect which can help eliminate the urge to scratch, while tea tree thanks to it’s fantastic anti-fungal properties is great for fighting dandruff. Tea tree oil fights the fungus that causes dandruff without drying out the scalp, it can also serve as a natural conditioner and eliminate problems that lead the scalp to flake.

Ingredients

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

Commentary

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

4) Lavender Silk Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

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

Ingredients

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

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

Commentary

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

5) Key Lime Shampoo Bar

Soap Profile

Description

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

Ingredients

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

Commentary

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

Notable Top Five Favorite Shampoo Bar Lists

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

Tia’s Top 4 Shampoo Bars 

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

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

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

-Tia, AVNS Content Creator

Nora’s Top 5 Shampoo Bars

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

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

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

-Nora, AVNS Content Writer

Marianne’s Top 5 Body Soap Bars

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

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

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

How to Choose Your Next Bar!

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

Much Love,

Nora