Customer’s 5 Favorite Natural Soap Bars 2022

These natural body bars were ranked at the top of the list!

I would like to take a moment to genuinely thank all of the people who took the time to complete our survey. I truly enjoyed going through the responses and reading the feedback that people left on why they love our soaps. I love many of the same things about these soaps and it warms my heart to be able to hear from all of you and knowing you care enough to put the time in to help us create this list.

Wildflowers Coconut Bar

Not on our list of best smelling body bars for 2021, but I honestly don’t know why not…since it has definitely become a staple soap in my shower!

“I love the scent of the wildflowers and the coconut is so nice on my dry skin!”

– Satisfied Customer

Enjoy our hard, long-lasting, super sudsy, uber moisturizing organic coconut oil body bars made with 100% organic coconut oil and nothing else. If you’ve never tried one of these—well, you haven’t really lived. What is the Wildflowers Coconut Bar like? Softly sweet, floral, and feminine.

Ingredients: saponified organic coconut oil and essential oils of lavender, sweet orange, bitter orange, cedar leaf, cinnamon leaf, fragrance.

Lime Spa Salt Bar

This salt bar was voted 4th best smelling soap in 2021! And customers who love this bar would agree!

This mega salt bar, weighing 8-9 ounces, is made with European spa salt which is solar evaporated and harvested from the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This salt is produced using the ancient method of solar evaporation in a region that is free of pollution and has high evaporation rates. Rich in trace minerals that help soothe pain, reduce inflammation, improve circulation and cell regeneration and hydrate tissue, European spa salt is one of the purest salts in the world.

European spa salt gently exfoliates and pulls out toxins and impurities from the skin. It actually feels like smooth marble and is extremely hard and long lasting. Clay removes bacteria, impurities, oil, and dead skin with its exceptional ability to absorb. This tightens pores and rejuvenates skin cells. Spirulina is a natural antimicrobial, it actually kills off candida, which can be an underlying cause of acne. It also contains 8 essential amino acids, and is high in protein, which is necessary for cell repair and growth. On top of that, spirulina contains a rare fatty acid known as gamma linolenic acid. That combined with being a rich source of antioxidants makes this a highly effective tool against free radicals. When free radicals are eliminated, this increases the skin’s metabolism, and helps your body produce new, healthy cells faster.

We also added organic shea nut butter to make a rich, creamy bar with a delightfully refreshing lime essential oil blend. There are many uses for our salt bars, and this one is great in bathrooms with lots of activity. As with our other salt bars, it lasts a VERY long time!

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic shea nut butter, and castor bean, European Spa salt, French green clay, organic spirulina, and essential oils of lime and organic may chang.

I haven’t tried this bar, but our salt bars are absolutely lovely and make for a amazing spa day product!

“Scent is like taking a vacation in the shower and the texture is absolutely luxurious”

– Satisfied Customer

Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar

Is anyone surprised that this bar made the list? Voted 2nd best smelling soap, it’s kinda a no-brainer. Like everyone, I LOVE the scent of this bar, but also the wonders it works on my face!

If you want to spin around and keel over from happiness, this bar is your ticket to glory. Made with freshly juiced, organic carrots instead of filtered water, this gorgeous, vitamin A packed bar will nourish your skin. Perfect for your face and all over too! Raw honey acts as a humectant, trapping moisture in your skin cells, and rich, emollient oils and butters will leave your skin soft and silky. But one of the best things about this bar is the juicy carrot tangerine scent that makes you think you died and went to tangerine carrot honey heaven. 

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic sustainable palm, organic sunflower, unrefined organic cocoa butter, mango seed butter, apricot kernel, and castor bean. organic carrot juice, organic raw honey, rosemary oil extract, grapefruit seed extract, and essential oils of lime, tangerine, litsea cubeba, orange, and basil.

“I have rosacea it’s AMAZINGLY gentle on my face, but still leaves it clean”

– Satisfied Customer

Lavender Rosemary Salt Bar

People love this bar for its amazing smell and long lasting quality!

Lavender and Rosemary, what’s not to love with this scent profile? Floral and herbaceous, like a walk through the garden.

A multipurpose, brimming with goodness, HUGE salt bar!

Also, have you ever wondered if you can use a salt bar for a shampoo?

Well, the answer is yes you can!

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

Giant bars of long lasting beauty. If you haven’t tried a sink salt bar, you haven’t lived.

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

Black Licorice Hand Face and Body Soap

My favorite body bar!

Our Black Licorice Hand, Foot & Body Soap is a natural bar created for black licorice lovers only!

The release of this fantastic soap is our first nod to the change of seasons and cooler months. This amazing black licorice soap is for those who simply just LOVE the scent of black licorice. Brace yourself for an incredible licorice scent along with a satisfying exfoliation experience from the black walnut hull powder (which also gives it the dark coloring). Licorice root not only smells great, but has many health benefits. The herb is used directly on the skin to help with eczema, skin rashes, psoriasis, and itchy, dry skin. Black walnut is also regarded to be useful in the treatment of skin diseases and complaints such as eczema, ringworm, athlete’s foot etc. It’s long been used as a natural remedy for acne, canker sores, psoriasis and other fungal infections.

There’s nothing like it on the planet!

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.

“I have dry skin and very dry hair (yes, I use this on my hair) and it leaves both soft and silky. Hands down the best cleanser I have ever used on my hair (even if it is too superfatted for most people).”

– Satisfied Customer

See what happened when I used this bar on my hair!

Popular 2nd Favorites!

Honey Carrot and Tangerine were both extremely popular again, but we also had some new soaps take the spotlight!

Lavender Lemon Salt Soap Bar

Lavender and lemon. A match made in heaven. I love this bar in the kitchen and the bathroom. And the living room and the family room and the bedroom and the…

Giant bars of long lasting beauty. If you haven’t tried a sink salt bar, you haven’t lived.

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

“This bar has a nice, refreshing springtime scent which is amazing and wonderful to have especially during the long winter months in Minnesota. The scent in your kitchen and on your hands is calm and up-lifting.”

– Satisfied Customer

Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Bean Face and Body Bar

Voted best smelling body bar in 2021. People love this face soap for its scent!

You know you want to wash your face and body in organic, virgin cocoa butter and Madagascar vanilla beans. Here’s your chance. Sumptuous—and zero calories. This pure cocoa butter soap bar is unscented, but you can smell the faint scent of organic cocoa butter and vanilla. Naturally. Perfect for sensitive souls.

Warning: This pure cocoa butter soap bar is extremely moisturizing and may reduce your need for extra moisturizers, thereby saving you time and money as well as simplifying your life. And who would want that?

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

Kitchen Salt And Spice Bar

“First, it smells wonderful. Second, it really does remove smells from garlic and onion from your hands. Third, and unexpected surprise: it took beet juice stain off my hands, and a spot of spilled tomato sauce from fabric. I can’t wait to keep testing this on mystery spots in the laundry!”

– Satisfied Customer

This bar is an excellent choice for cleaning odors from hands with its rich, spicy, fabulous scent. It’s my favorite bar for the kitchen, especially after chopping onions or working with garlic or peppers. It has two odor-killing ingredients: coffee and anise essential oil. Whether you are a gardener, a fisherman, or a mechanic, this is what you’ve been looking for.

Need exfoliation? Ground coffee beans and salt will do the trick to get off stubborn dirt. But you’ll also want to keep your hard working hands moisturized, softened, and protected, so we’ve packed this bar with loads of unrefined shea nut butter. European spa salt makes this bar antibacterial, rock hard, and long lasting. No more mushy soap by the kitchen sink. Really, there’s nothing not to love about this bar.

Ginormous 8-9 ounce bars.

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic shea nut butter, and castor bean, european spa salt, organic coffee, organic coffee grounds, and essential oils of anise, cinnamon leaf, cassia, organic may chang, lemon, organic eucalyptus, organic rosemary, ginger, and clove.

Chocolate Orange Body Bar

People love the orange and chocolate combination! It’s a reason to look forward to winter when this bar hits the shelves again!

Loads of organic cocoa butter (almost 50%!) give this bar its dreamy, creamy feel on the skin and its rich, chocolatey scent. Sweet orange essential oil adds that luscious twist of heaven. Don’t miss this special edition bar.

Some of the wonderful benefits from the ingredients in this tantalizing soap:

  • Cocoa Butter is readily absorbed by your skin for superb moisturizing, as well as a great antioxidant to protect the health and youthful appearance of skin.
  • 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.
  • Sunflower oil helps the skin retain moisture and is very high in vitamin E, an antioxidant which helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors.

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic cocoa butter, organic sunflower, sweet almond, organic coconut, organic olive, and castor bean, rosemary oil extract, organic cocoa powder, sweet orange essential oil, and mica glitter.

I definitely have to give the Lime Spa Salt Bar and the Kitchen Salt and Spice Bar a try! Which bars do you need to try next?!

Much Love,


3 Natural Ingredients That Are Great For Your Skin!

We’ve got so many great things happening at Apple Valley Natural Soap. We’re right around the corner from launching our new physical storefront, our newly formatted website is up and running (hurry and celebrate our new look with 10% off products for a limited time!)! We’re even working on a new and improved newsletter design! GREAT RIGHT? Of course, our most important goal is to make our products as GREAT as possible. This week, I pulled three of our best smelling bars (voted on by our GREAT customers) and today I’m going to be diving into what makes these three products GREAT…besides just how amazing they smell. 

Bella Rose Shampoo Bar (Voted Best Smelling Shampoo Bar)

This is not just a customer favorite, but a personal favorite shampoo bar of mine. I also adore the matching rose hips sugar scrub we sell and I’m even guilty of custom ordering my organic jojoba oil to smell like the Bella Rose Shampoo Bar. This bar has a fantastic body of nourishing oils and some cleansing clay, but what makes this shampoo bar so unique is the addition of rose hips.

Rose hips are amazing for your skin and hair because they provide benefits on multiple levels.

Rose Hips Benefits For Skin:

  • Contain nourishing fatty acids.
  • Contain skin-protecting antioxidants.
  • Skin soothing properties that may help reduce inflammation.

Reviews for the Bella Rose Shampoo Bar

“I’ve never had a shampoo bar make my hair so clean, shiny and beautiful! Besides how amazing this product leaves my hair, it smells flowery and wonderful. My man smelled my hair and said it even has notes of chocolate lol!”

“Wonderful product. I have color treated hair and this shampoo bar cleanses and conditions beautifully. And it smells great. Highly recommend it.”

Honey, Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar (Voted Best Smelling Body Bar)

This may just be our most popular product, it certainly comes across as having celebrity status with it’s bright, confident scent profile and warm, cheerful color. But this bar is also known for the wonders it works!

Instead of filtered water, this facial bar was made with freshly juiced carrots! And I suspect this is what gives this bar it’s edge as a game changer for faces everywhere! 

Carrot Juice Benefits For Skin: 

  • Vitamin C and iron content helps to balance skin tone.
  • Hydrates skin.
  • Helps promote glowing skin tone.

Reviews For Honey, Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar

“This bar is great for my face and body, the lather is wonderful and the scent is up-lifting. My skin feels soft and clean, never feels dried out. You won’t regret using this bar to cleanse your body, so treat yourself to something good for your skin.”

“This makes my skin soft and has diminished my lines in my skin due to the vitamin a rich carrot juice you should make a face cream with the same ingredients.”

Lavender Buttermilk Shampoo Bar (Voted 2nd Best Shampoo Bar)

Huge with our lavender lovers, this bar not only has a rich, dreamy lavender scent, but has a surprising amount of benefits that come from both the lavender and buttermilk. The buttermilk is what sets this shampoo bar apart from our other lavender bars. 

Buttermilk benefits for skin:

  • Keeps skin young looking by reducing the appearance of age spots.
  • Lactic acid exfoliates skin, keeping it soft and bright.
  • Buttermilk is gentle on sensitive skin.

Reviews for Lavender Buttermilk Shampoo Bar

“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!”

“I’ve used this on my scalp before. I got cancer, had chemo and was bald. Hair is back and so am I. Lavender is very soothing. I’m in heaven with the feel of my scalp and look of my hair! And the smell is lovely and stays in my hair. Hope it’s never discontinued!”

Leave a review and let us know why you love one of these bars!

Do you follow our newsletter? You can always sign up! It’s where we feature weekly soaps and advertise sales, deals, and giveaways! If you do receive our newsletter, keep an eye out for this year’s survey on our best smelling body bars…will our champions from last year hold their titles…or will a new victor be crowned?!

Much Love,


Is Moisturizer Actually Bad For Your Natural Skin?

Beauty blogs and companies love to jump on shock-value headlines, and this week we’ll be exploring one such headline. I’ve heard and looked into the great debate of whether washing your hair less frequently is beneficial many times with differing results, but what about your skin? Is moisturizing your skin a must to keep it healthy and supple? Or does it condition your skin to rely on outside sources of moisture, therefore causing your natural skin to become dry without the use of a moisturizer?

Of course, you may be skeptical…how can you trust information advocating for moisturizers when it comes from a company that sells a variety of moisturizing products? That’s a fantastic point and I assure you that Apple Valley Natural Soap wouldn’t waste the time and resources making moisturizing products if we didn’t hear consistent feedback that they benefit our customers time and time again.

Why Could Lotion Be Bad For Your Skin?

The argument against regular use of a moisturizer can be found on many trending beauty websites that quote the same dermatologist who makes these two points:

Moisturizer prevents skin’s natural exfoliation process

A moisturizer is meant to act as a barrier that traps in water to hydrate skin, but the argument is made that this barrier not only holds water in but keeps any dead skin cells, dirt, or germs trapped in the skin as well which leads to skin that is dull and prone to acne.

Our Thoughts

We agree that exfoliation is important, but we don’t see why you have to pick between a moisturizer and exfoliation when you can have both! Assisting your skin with manual or chemical exfoliation will prepare your skin for a moisturizer. You can keep your skin clear and fresh while still getting the benefit of that extra hydration that a moisturizer supplies! We find that a natural toner is a great gentle exfoliant for your skin…and we have soaps like our Acne Battle Face and Body Bar have physical ingredients that exfoliate too!

Using a moisturizer too often will unbalance your skin’s natural oil production

The argument made for this is that the regular use of a moisturizer will train your skin to produce fewer natural oils, making your natural skin dry and fragile without the constant use of a moisturizer. However, it is acknowledged that some skin types naturally do require additional moisture and that a nickel sized amount of a lightweight lotion on your face never hurt!

Our Thoughts

We agree that it is important not to over moisturize your skin. Our belief is that using a daily moisturizer that promotes your skin’s natural balance is the key to healthy and happy skin. In fact that’s kind of what we do best! Our cleansing soaps and moisturizes set us apart from other skincare companies because we use natural ingredients. Why does this matter? Natural ingredients have a tendency to mimic natural human processes, so our moisturizing ingredients are gentle and often function on a level similar to the natural oils your skin already produces! We know that there are so many unique skin types and we work to offer moisturizers that will meet many different skin needs. You can read in depth about our natural moisturizers in our two part blog about our moisturizers, but if you’re looking for an easy place to start I’d check out our oils. These include Jojoba oil, a lightweight oil that mimics sebum, the skin’s naturally produced oil. Argan oil, a luxurious but non-clogging oil that leaves skin extremely hydrated and protected, and our powerful Hemp Facial Oil which has tons of additional benefits!

And If You’re Still Not Sure…

You can always read this article written for Harvard Health Publishing!

Much Love,


Meet The Team: Sheila Cooke

Who makes Apple Valley Natural Soap products? We actually have quite a few incredible team members who put a lot of love into the delicate process that is crafting Apple Valley Natural Soap products. Today is all about one of our senior soap makers, Sheila! Sheila makes both AVNS bar and liquid Castile soaps.

What does a day making soap look like?

“I often make 2 batches in a day. This includes mixing the lye, measuring out all the butters, oils, and those wonderful- smelling essential oils,  and pouring the soap into two 30 inch molds.  These get cut by hand 2 days later after they’ve hardened up.”

Sheila is one of our soap makers who makes soap out of her home. She is a huge blessing to AVNS because she’s very knowledgeable about soap and continues to research and grow that knowledge. Sheila has a space set up specifically designated for everything soap in her home, which is clean, efficient…and has a great commute.

What are some of your favorite products?

“I love so many of the soaps, and it’s too hard to pick just a few! I LOVE citrus- our Grapefruit Mint soap comes to mind. I also love the smell of cocoa butter- try our Cocoa Butter Vanilla Bean! A newer soap that I love is Root Beer Float- dreamy! This last soap is more complicated to make,  but it’s definitely worth it!” What makes a certain soap more complicated to make? Apple Valley Natural Soap prides itself on crafting soaps that not only work wonders for hair and skin, but also have a unique look and scent. The Root Beer Float soap is such a soap, as Sheila explains what goes into the intricacy of crafting such a creative bar of soap, “The Rootbeer Float soap is a layered soap- it has a dark brown bottom layer (colored with Rhassoul clay) and a lighter, frothy- looking top layer,  so there are extra steps involved.  It gets even trickier because of the essential oils used to give it that wonderful smell- they make the soap set up super quickly and therefore you need to work VERY efficiently.” Order and timing is everything when crafting small batches of artisan soap!

Had you ever made soap before joining Apple Valley Natural Soap?

“My family and I have always looked for natural products, and we were already AVNS customers to some extent. We made a few things ourselves- toothpaste and deodorant-   but making soap is something I had never tried before joining the AVNS team.”

Sheila’s Quilt!

What do you enjoy doing with your free time?

“My husband and I have 6 school-age children whom I have the privilege of homeschooling.  This, along with making soap,  doesn’t leave a lot of time for hobbies,  but any extra time I get,  I LOVE to go to my sewing room and work on one of my many quilting projects.”

And my favorite question: If there was a bar of soap called the Sheila Bar, what would it be like?!

“Hmmm, tough one! Maybe a lemon-based bar with hints of the essential oil ylang ylang? I’ll need to try that one personally! Another thought is a coffee/chocolate/mint combination,  since I’m such a coffee lover!”

Yum, I’m down to try either of those bars! Check out our other Featured Team Members, and keep an eye out for the next one!

Much Love,


Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts and Ideas

Women. Listen to me. There are three TOP Valentine’s Day worthy AVNS products that I would highly recommend. If you asked me, “Nora, what product would you recommend for Valentine’s Day so I smell amazing and irresistible?” These are the products I would tell you you need to instantly get. Like right now. Order them now. The Bella Rose Shampoo Bar, The Sweet Rose Hips Body Sugar Scrub, and The Custom Scented Jojoba Oil scented like the Bella Rose. Using the Sweet Rose Hips Scrub in the shower feels like a luxury scented steam sauna and I can’t wait to get out of the shower and dry off so I can put the jojoba oil on my arms and legs right away! It smells that good!

Okay, now that I’ve directed you towards the products that will make you smell like a whole bouquet of sweet roses we can figure out what to get that special someone in your life, because if you’re like me time is ticking away and pretty soon your gonna get stuck buying a last-minute box of chocolates. Obviously our products make fantastic gifts for any occasion and a gift pairing that demonstrates creativity shows that you’ve put thought into your gift! I’ve been scanning Etsy for some unique Valentine’s day inspo and came across some ideas that are really sweet. I’ll be linking each product, but feel free to use these to spark your own ideas as well!

  1. Personalized Custom CD Mixtape Customizable Playlist
    • This is my go-to for a first valentine’s day gift. Is it totally cheesy? Yes. embrace the cliche. Picking out songs that mean something to you and the other person or remind you of them and your relationship is so much fun to do and share! You can create a musical map of your relationship. The song that played during your first kiss, the song that played that one time you got lost driving through the city at night, the song you always sing the wrong words to and it makes the other person laugh. The one you love is such a huge part of your life, and so is music!
    • This customized CD is a must for those who don’t have the skills or resources to burn their own CD (pointing enthusiastically at myself here). I love how you can even customize the name of the CD! I have personally used this seller and I loved how it turned out!
  2. Messages In a Jar
    • I love how this sweet, simple gift is so intimate and personal. You can write 50 different reasons why you love your special someone and they’ll have 50 days to read why that is! The glass container and cork lid just has such a classy, versatile look that could be kept on a bedside table, bathroom counter, or even a side table.
  3. Vitamin Me
    • Similar concept to the messages in a jar, this adorable vitamin container is full of vitamin capsules…but don’t swallow! You can put a little love letter in every capsule! This presentation is so fun and playful, perfect for a newer or younger couple gift. 
    • If you’re having trouble thinking of what to say…maybe that’s a sign the relationship is doomed. I’M JUST KIDDING! Sometimes I have trouble putting all my love into the right words too. This seller has you covered though and includes a QR code you can scan for a free pdf with tons of different ways to say, “I love you!”
  4. Valentine’s Day Macarons
    • If your darling has a sweet tooth this is the perfect gift! Definitely check out some of our vanilla products to go with these little cookies! Hint: looking for more of a hands on activity? Try baking your own macarons together!
    • “Valentine’s Day macarons! A perfect and delicious treat for anyone you love ❤ Every order is baked fresh. The macarons come with an assortment of designs, as shown on the listing pictures- painted cupid, white drizzle with valentine’s day-themed sprinkles, and plain pink. Last day to order for guaranteed arrival by Valentine’s Day is February 4th. You may choose any of our seven most popular flavors: (Vanilla, Chocolate, Rose, Cookies n’ Creme, Fruity Pebbles, Coconut, and Lemon). The filling will consist of buttercream or ganache, depending on the flavor you choose. These treats are gluten-free with the exception of our Cookies n’ Creme flavor.”
  5. Hand Stamped Penny Key Chain
    • I think this idea is so unique and special, especially since the backdrop is a penny! I would love this as a necklace option, too! This is the only idea I included that I haven’t personally tried some variation of so it’s kind of next on my list!
    • “This is a hand stamped “lucky to have found you” penny keychain. A heart can be stamped around the penny year. We can customize one side to your liking — Up to 4 lines, 9 characters max per line lowercase, 6 characters max per line if all uppercase.”

If you were struggling to come up with something hopefully I’ve given you some ideas or at least a place to start! If in doubt…a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolate and some roses (or the bella rose collection) never disappointed me! 

Much Love,


Why You Should Try a Natural Toner

Have you ever used a toner in your skincare routine? If not, you might be wondering what a toner is, and what a toner does for your skin. Today we’ll talk about the benefits of using a toner for your skin (specifically a toner for your face), how it interacts with other steps in a skincare routine, and why you should consider using a natural toner.

What is a toner?

A toner is predominantly a liquid that is composed of ingredients that cleanse, refresh, and reinforce the skin. The toner is applied after the initial cleanse and before a lotion or moisturizer. In this way, toner acts as both a sealant for clean skin and a primer for other products.

Who should use a toner?

Anyone can benefit from a toner, since facial toners are known for targeting skin concerns from aging skin to acne. Toners are especially helpful for those with acne caused by clogged pores, since toners work on an extra level to clear pores. Different toners are also designed to target specific skin care needs, so make sure you are selecting the right toner for your skin!

What are the benefits of using a toner?

Toners work to do three main things:

  1. A final deep cleanse.
  2. A layer of protection for your clean skin.
  3. A primer that allows other skincare products to work more effectively on skin.

Why Use A Natural Toner?

Natural toners make the perfect toners for sensitive skin because they contain no alcohol which makes them extremely gentle. The natural ingredients in a natural toner are all added for a specific purpose. We have two natural toners in our new skincare line!

Calming Toner 

This faintly sweet, floral, and citrusy toner is great if you have oily/combination skin. 

Organic Neroli (orange blossom) hydrosol: Neroli hydrosol 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, as well as rich in vitamin C. 

Papaya (Carica papaya) fruit extract, Mango (Manifera indica) fruit extract,: The combination of the Papaya and Mango extracts increase enzyme activity and are attributed with soothing skin irritations and exfoliating dead cells. Papaya contains arginine, which is an amino acid that smoothes skin and aids in cell regeneration and Papain possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Radish root (Leuconostoc) ferment. – radish root has calming and moisturizing properties as well as preservative properties

Restorative Toner

This very hydrating toner nourishes skin health and helps restore skin’s radiance, beauty and youthfulness. 

Organic Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) hydrosol: Rose hydrosol* helps to balance the skin as it regulates sebum production, has antibacterial properties, helps heal sunburn and improves circulation. It is also a mild astringent, and attracts moisture making it very helpful for all skin types. With it’s light floral scent and vast number of therapeutic applications, this hydrosol from organic roses rejuvenates, hydrates, softens, and if used over time, can help reduce facial lines and wrinkles. Suzanne Catty, author of Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy, states that rose has an affinity with the heart and the emotional spheres of the mind, body, and spirit. It is known to promote emotional balance and a sense of well-being. 

Glycerin – is a humectant which traps in moisture

Rose Otto (Rosa damascene) petal cell extract- Rose extract also comes from the Rose Otto (Rosa damascene). It is extracted from the petals of rose flowers and contains over three hundred different compounds which not only help with premature aging, but also benefit skin in many other ways; anti-inflammatory, great for sensitive skin, treats redness and irritation, contains high amounts of Vitamin C, known to aid skin’s natural sun protection, promotion of good skin tone as well as improvement of skin’s elasticity. Plus let’s not forget about the wonderful aroma which is  known as a mood enhancer.

How to use a toner

Our toners come in an easy to use spray bottle…so after cleansing, pat your face dry gently and then mist toner onto face and let it dry before applying a moisturizer. We recommend our Argan oil as a moisturizer for glowing, soft skin!

If you’re familiar with AVNS products you may recognize these toners! They have been on our shelves for a long time and are now updated in quality to be better than ever! Which one is your favorite?

Much Love,


Full Body Skin Care Routine

These Full Body Skin Care Products Are Game Changers

If you live in the Midwest, you probably know how the cold, dry weather can take its toll on your skin. You may also know how easy it is to not shave your legs for a month because you’ve been wearing pants for that long anyway. So you’ve probably also experienced that occasion that calls for you to spend the entire day in the bathroom plucking, moisturizing, and shaving the month’s worth of hair that has accumulated on your body. Maybe it’s a date, or an event that requires a dress, or even getting ready for a poolside vacation…whatever the reason…your entire body needs a pick me up.

Today we’re here to get it done Apple Valley Natural Soap style. Featuring some of our products that will best help whip that skin into shape in no time!

Full Body Exfoliate

Exfoliating before you shave will loosen and remove dead skin that has accumulated or is stuck to the surface of your skin. This will not only help achieve a more even, glowing skin tone…but will also prep your skin for a nice close shave!

You can either use a soap with a built in exfoliant or bring in a third party exfoliating tool. What do I mean by this? I’ll tell you!

Exfoliating Soap

Grapefruit Peppermint Luffa Body Bar

Our Grapefruit Peppermint Luffa Body Bar is known to get the circulation going. This rejuvenating, invigorating, scrubby loofah soap bar will exfoliate those dead skin cells while stimulating blood flow resulting in smoother, firmer skin. Filled with the dried fruit fiber of the tropical luffa vine, this exfoliating natural luffa soap bar feels fabulous while filling your senses with the tangy sweetness of grapefruit followed by a slight peppermint twist at the end. This loofah soap has a medium strength exfoliation.

Exfoliating Bag

This handy little Cotton Bag allows you to scrub up with your favorite Apple Valley Natural Soap while it’s tucked inside. One side of the bag is an open mesh, while the reverse side is soft like a washcloth. The bag is large enough to hold any of our soaps, whether a full bar or smaller. We recommend the open weave side for washing only short hair, and the washcloth side for face and body. It will also work great for collecting all the end pieces of your favorite soaps so nothing is wasted, and makes a fantastic gift!

Shaving Soap

Next you’ll want to lather up with a soap that will give you the optimal shave. You can either go with a shaving soap, or a Castile soap that will give you a fantastic lather for shaving. If you’ve used the Natural Cotton Bag to exfoliate you can simply use one of the shaving soaps as the soap in your bag, scrub up a lather, and go right into the shave!

Full Body Moisturizing Products

Finding the right lotion can be difficult especially if you have a variety of skin types. My skin is definitely more prone to breakouts on my face, chest, and upper back…so I use a variety of moisturizers depending on the area.

Legs and Arms

Sweet Rosehips Body Polish

I recommend finishing your shave with a final sugar scrub. You will get a final round of gentle exfoliation, and you’ll also moisturize your legs in the shower. Our sugar scrubs are full of nourishing oils that will leave you without the need for lotion afterwards (psst. Sweet Rosehips Body Polish is my fav).


After using whichever AVNS facial bar you love most on your face, follow with a spritz of toner and a couple drops of our Organic Moroccan Argan Oil which won’t clog skin and will leave it soft and supple!

Everything Else

Using Jojoba oil on the areas of your body that may be prone to oiliness is the perfect solution because the composition of jojoba oil mimics the natural oil your body produces: sebum. This makes jojoba oil a light, gentle moisturizing option. I love using a custom scented jojoba oil for a scent boost! To explore the difference between argan vs. jojoba oil read our most popular blog post here!

Deep Target Skin Hydration

Sometimes dry scaly skin gets out of control and needs the extra mile to recover. Hands and feet deal with the most wear and tear and exposure and often become dry or calloused. For problem areas like this I recommend applying one of two products: our whipped baby butters, or shea butter skin therapy. Once you’ve applied these products on your hands or feet cover them with socks or gloves to lock in every ounce of moisture and let the magic soak in overnight.

TLC Tip for Toes!

Toenails and feet can be difficult to clean and maintain. Be eco-friendly! Clean and use an old toothbrush to scrub between toes and under toenails!

Hopefully this has been helpful in rejuvenating your skin, you’ll feel all over fresh afterwards!

Much Love,


What is collagen, and why do people use it?

Collagen is a protein located in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons that provides structure in holding these parts of the body together.

There are two types of collagen. Endogenous collagen is the collagen produced by your body. Exogenous collagen is created by an outside source, like supplements. Today we will discuss collagen’s role in the body, as well as the uses of exogenous collagen as we seek to answer the question: does collagen in beauty products really revitalize the skin or reverse the skin’s aging process?

Your body needs to produce endogenous collagen to function. A lack of collagen can lead to health problems. Exogenous collagen is used for many different purposes which we will go over today. 

Here are some quick and interesting facts about collagen taken from a Medical News Today article:

  • Collagen occurs throughout the body, but especially in the skin, bones, and connective tissues.
  • Some types of collagen fibrils, gram-for-gram, are stronger than steel.
  • Collagen production declines with age and exposure to factors such as smoking and UV light.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a strong, fibrous protein that acts as a tough chain link between cells. I like to picture it as the supporting beams or chains of a bridge. There are at least 16 different types of collagen and it makes up one-third of the protein content in the body. Most of the collagen in your body is limited to three main types of collagen, each with its own structure and function.

As a skincare company, type one interests us most…”Type I collagen is the most abundant collagen in the dermis. It comprises about 80% of dermal collagen and plays a major role in providing tensile strength to skin. It is composed of two identical alpha chains and a third chain of different amino acid composition. The genes for these different chains are thought to be on chromosomes 17 and 7 respectively.” (Weedon’s Skin Pathology)

Roles: What does collagen do?

With age, collagen weakens, leading to wrinkles and cartilage problems.
found on Pinterest

As you can see in the diagram, collagen acts as a supporting structure for the epidermis. Collagen also plays a part in replacing and revitalizing dead skin cells. As you age, the body naturally produces less collagen and the quality of collagen produced decreases as well. So is there a way to produce more collagen?

Uses of Collagen: Medical and cosmetic

Skin fillers

Collagen injections can improve the contours of the skin and fill out depressions.

Wound dressing and healing

Collagen can help heal wounds by attracting new skin cells to the wound site. It promotes healing and provides a platform for new tissue growth.

Guided tissue regeneration

Collagen-based membranes have been used in periodontal and implant therapy to promote the growth of specific types of cell.

Vascular prosthetics

Collagen tissue grafts from donors have been used in peripheral nerve regeneration, in vascular prostheses, and in arterial reconstruction.

Treatment of osteoarthritis

Collagen supplements or formulations may help treat osteoarthritis.

Skin rejuvenation

Do products with collagen actually rebuild skin? Science sadly says no.

“Many products containing collagen, including creams and powders, claim to revitalize the skin by increasing collagen levels within the body. This is unlikely, however, as collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Any benefit is probably due to the moisturizing effects of these products. They do not directly increase collagen.”

– James McIntosh, Medical News Today

We do not add collagen to our products for this reason, but we do include ingredients that may improve, stimulate, and encourage collagen growth and production.

Our Buck Shampoo and Body Bar contains a super beneficial micro-algae called chlorella.

Our Bamboo Shampoo Bar contains silica due to it’s bamboo content. Natural Silica rebuilds collagen when it has been damaged by free radicals.

Our Antioxidant Beauty Facial Soap contains sea buckthorn. Sea buckthorn contains a collagen-creating Omega 7 fatty acid.

Preventing collagen loss naturally

Keeping skin moisturized and healthy is important. Using soap with ingredients that protect skin and encourage collagen production can’t replenish collagen, but they can aid in the process of keeping skin healthy

Maintaining a healthy diet with nutrients that may support collagen formation include:

  • Proline: In egg whites, meat, cheese, soy, and cabbage.
  • Anthocyanidins: In blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries.
  • Vitamin C: In oranges, strawberries, peppers, and broccoli.
  • Copper: In shellfish, nuts, red meat, and some drinking water.
  • Vitamin A: Occurring in animal-derived foods and in plant foods as beta-carotene.

List of nutrients obtained from Medical News Today

What damages collagen?

A poor diet that is high in sugar, smoking, and sun exposure are leading factors in damaged collagen.

Avoiding tobacco and excess sun exposure and following a healthful dietary and exercise regime can help reduce visible aging and protect collagen, keeping the skin, bones, muscles, and joints healthy for longer.

So let’s all make some smoothies with kale and take a jog, huh?

Much Love,


New Year’s Rediscoveries

The New Year season is especially sentimental for me because it’s around the time I composed and released my first blog for Apple Valley Natural Soap. I had just returned home to Minnesota from my three month study abroad trip in Europe, and having suffered recent loss, felt lost myself. Starting my work with Apple Valley Natural Soap brought me the joy and focus to work through that time, and my first blog helped me process the grief and change that life brings with it. 

Last year we faced grief and uncertainty together, as the pandemic stretched out before us with no clear definition for the type of world we would be left living in. Yet, we chose to look forward. To push forward into the next year believing that good was in store for us and to turn to those around us for support and camaraderie. To me, this includes the beautiful AVNS community.

So once more, I’d like to take pause. To turn around from my spot on the mountain, see what I’ve come from, and take a breath before turning back to the path. I hope you’ll take the time to join me on this journey. Lay down the burdens, challenges, joys, and accomplishments you’ve accumulated over the past year and think about where you’ve come from and where you’re going. 

I won’t lie, this was a difficult year for me. It seems the older I get the more grief I’m given to deal with. I am thankful that my ability to comprehend and grow through this grief continues to expand as well. I know I’m not the only one facing hardships in the AVNS community, as both I and the Buck family have had to say goodbye to our favorite furry friends this past season. I imagine many of you have faced grief to, and I can only offer my most sincere condolences.

I usually start thinking about how I want to approach the coming year before it’s even arrived. Whether it’s focusing on the small things, or trusting God with the bigger picture…there is always something clear on my mind and this year was no exception. 

We think about New Year’s resolutions as new starts, new habits, a brand new us. But this year has me thinking, what was so wrong with the old me? Does growth ever include backtracking? What about the pieces of myself I loved that got lost somewhere along the way? For the first time, I’m contemplating the idea that the process of growing yourself is not solely the accumulation of new growth, but the continued nurturing or intentional revival of the best parts of yourself throughout your lifetime.

This year, I’ve picked my resolutions from a pool of things I’ve loved about my past self and life. Things that have brought me great joy, things about me that have made the world a better place even if just on a microscopic level, things that have grown me and stretched me and got me to where I am today. Things I want to reclaim for the life ahead of me.

I invite you to grab a paper and pen and sit down with me as I list the three things I want to rediscover in my life. Let’s not only write them out, but let’s brainstorm ways in which we can make these resolutions realities too, sound like a plan?

  1. Get back into improv comedy
    • Why: connects me with others, teaching it brings joy to others, brings joy to me.
      • Offer to lead a beginners workshop at my workplace.
      • Teach a workshop for my old college improv troupe.
      • Branch out and see if there is a school or theatre program that would want to start an improv troupe.
  2. Freshen up my Spanish skills
    • Why: connects me with others, expands my world of communication, brings joy to me
      • Try downloading an app like Babble or Duolingo.
      • Read children’s chapter books in Spanish at my own pace.
      • Find a Spanish club in the local area.
  3. Dance more
    • Why: dancing makes me happy, keeps my body happy and healthy.
      • Make more time to dance for fun in the living room.
      • Take a Zumba class.
      • Take lessons to learn a new style of dance.

What I love about the theme of this year’s resolutions is the do-ability and stress-free nature of the goals I’ve set for myself. I’m not focused on scrambling up the ladder of success, I’m building that ladder stronger so that when the time comes to climb I feel safe and supported in my endeavors. I’d love it if those who have read this blog would take the time to leave a comment with one New Year’s Rediscovery they’d like to focus on this year.

Much, much love,


My 3 Favorite AVNS Products for 2021

Phew! Sneaking in right under the wire today with my top three picks for AVNS products in 2021. Apple Valley Natural Soap prides itself on having a HUGE selection of products. I’ve been working my way through them for about two years now and have yet to try all of them! We love being able to offer something for everyone, from naturally moisturizing oils, to natural salves, deodorants, and muscle relaxing cream…and of course all of our fantastic soaps! While customers have agreed on our best smelling soaps, bars that work best for skin issues and conditions, and soap bars that are just plain lovable…today is all about me and what I think (it’s like an early gift to myself, heehee). You can read last year’s list here!

How Do You Pick AVNS Products?

There are a couple ways to pick out AVNs products based on what you’re looking for! There are three resources to help you find exactly what you need and they are as follows.

  1. The AVNS website menu: we try to make our website menu as easy and as personable as possible. Many of our soaps are sorted by scent, our shampoos are sorted by hair care needs, and our skincare products are often branded with skin sensitivity levels in mind. This is the most basic starting point for helping you find what you’re looking for.
  2. Reviews: I believe reviews are essential! Many of our customers know how to write a fantastic and detailed review and will let you know exactly what worked or didn’t work for them. Reviews are how I first made my AVNS product selections.
  3. Our blog: I am constantly doing all the hard work for you. This is your number one spot to find in-depth info on our soaps and other products. I pull together skincare routines, do product features that go over ingredient benefits in detail, and compile reviews to make product recommendations based on what our customers love. If you need help, there’s probably a blog that covers it. And if there isn’t, just let me know in the comments!

My Top 3 Favorite AVNS Products For 2021

Wheat and Honey Almond Shampoo Bar

Description: A treasure trove of anti-oxidants from the wheat germ and sweet almond oils are packed in our Wheat and Honey Almond shampoo bar. Nutrient and mineral-rich raw, organic honey will add a lustrous shine to your hair and help keep your skin radiantly youthful and healthy. This shampoo bar is also enriched with unrefined cocoa butter and unrefined shea nut butter for a moisture-drenching, all-over treat. The scent is a sweetened summer honey touched with lemon, lavender, bitter almond, and ginger. Warm and dreamy!

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic coconut, organic shea nut butter, castor bean, organic sunflower, unrefined organic cocoa butter, organic jojoba, wheat germ, and sweet almond, raw organic honey, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of lemon, Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus, fragrance.

What I love about this product

I’ll be honest people, it’s the smell. Oh my sweetness. The Wheat and Honey Almond Shampoo Bar smells AMAZING. I buy this bar just to sniff it. I’ve smelled a lot of Bath and Body Works candles in my day, but they can’t compare to this soap. I love that this bar isn’t cloying, it isn’t an overwhelming sugary sweet, but it isn’t subtle either. It honestly reminds me of a shortbread or almond biscuit. Very buttery and warm! I also love that it has so many moisturizing, nutrient rich ingredients including sunflower oil, sweet almond oil and honey! When you unpack this bar and take your first sniff you’ll close your eyes and let out a satisfied sigh. It’s that good I promise.

Custom Scented Jojoba Oil

Description: Looking for an all natural body lotion that will leave your skin luminous and softly scented? 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.

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Just a little goes a long way. Use it as an all over body moisturizer after a shower, or do what I do and use it in the shower after you’re done washing.  Simply pump the jojoba on your arms and legs, rub in, and you’re good to go! It’s my favorite, fast way to moisturize my skin. Jojoba also makes an incredible massage oil.

Our Organic Jojoba comes unscented, just pure Organic Virgin Jojoba oil, or lightly scented in our Relax blend (A BLEND THAT SMELLS DREAMY!) which has the addition of lavender, benzoin (smells like vanilla), mandarin, geranium, sweet marjoram, frankincense, palmarosa and ylang ylang essential oiis. The last three essential oils are not listed on our labels as the blend was revised after the labels were printed.

OR get your jojoba CUSTOM MADE in any of our soap scents for $19.95. Just select the Custom Jojoba option and let us know what you want in the Instructions to Seller portion of the check out page. If you’re looking for some scent ideas for your custom Jojoba, simply scan through our many soaps and let us know the name the soap which appeals to you and we’ll custom make your jojoba. If we are unable to fill a specific scent profile we will contact you.  (Please allow an additional 24 hours processing time for your custom jojoba.)

This smooth, silky, body-drenching goodness comes packaged in a 4 oz bottle with a convenient Yorker twist top for easy application.

What I love about this product

I love our jojoba oil for an easy light lotion or a couple drops in my hair for extra shine and protection. I feel like maybe I was late to the game…because I don’t know why you’d order plain jojoba oil when you can custom scent it. This has to be one of our best kept secrets and it isn’t even a secret! Your skin and hair can smell like whatever you want it to! I would recommend getting it scented like our Bella Rose Bar or our seasonal Black Licorice bar (two of my favorite products from last year…hmm, maybe we could even scent it like our vanilla latte lip balm?) I’d also love to get a jojoba oil custom scented like our deodorant…speaking of which…

Regular Natural Deodorant Creme

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 (perfect for sensitive skin), while our regular deodorant adds an extra level of protection with the antibacterial essential oils of tea tree, lavender, and lemon.

Do you have sensitive skin? Check out this article with product suggestions for those with sensitive skin! 

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.

Directions: Using a dime-sized amount of deodorant, allow it to warm between fingers before gently applying to the underarm area until fully absorbed. Use as needed.

UPDATE: These deodorants are now have a new look! The same fantastic odor fighting ingredients are now packaged in Eco-Friendly glass containers. Also, some of the ‘Regular’ deodorants were accidentally filled to the top of the jar making them 2.7 ounces instead of 2 ounces. A little added bonus until the extra full jars are sold out.

What I love about this product

Transitioning to natural deodorant was the easiest skincare transition I’ve ever made in my entire life. All you really have to do is use it. Here are the top five things I would say about switching to natural deodorant creme.

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

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

Let me know if you also love these products! Or which one you’re planning to try first!

Much Love,