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

Beer = Perfect Hair?

I wish my hair was this long!

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

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

What Are The Benefits of Rinsing Your Hair With Beer?

Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

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

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

Malts and Hops for Hair

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

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

What is Malt?

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina on Pexels.com

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

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

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

– The Brew Enthusiast

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

Why is Malt Good For Hair?

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

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

What are Hops?

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

Wikipedia

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

Putting The Beer Rinse To The Test

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

Letting my beer get flat.

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

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

Results of my Beer Hair Rinse

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

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

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

My hair after the beer rinse (artificial lighting)

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

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

My hair after the beer rinse (used camera flash)

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


The Secret in Our Winter Skin Saver Bar: Lanolin

How to Get Rid of Dry Skin?

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

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

What is Lanolin? 

Photo by Shvets Anna on Pexels.com

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

What is Lanolin Used For?

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

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Lanolizing Wool and Cashmere

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

Lanolin Oil for Breastfeeding Mothers

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

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

Lanolin for Chapped Lips

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

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

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

Lanolin for Hair and Skin

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

Our Winter Skin Saver Bar Made With Lanolin

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

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

-customer

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

When Can I Get The Winter Skin Saver Bar?

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

Can you use this natural soap bar on your hair?

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

So guess what.

I decided to go ahead and try it myself.

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


3 DIY Tea Bath ideas

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

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

Chamomile Tea Facial With Honey

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

Green Tea Bath with Lavender

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

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

Black Tea Foot Soak with Epsom Salts

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

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

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

What’s your favorite kind of tea?

Much Love,

Nora


I Tried Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day

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

Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

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

What The CDC Has to Say About Drinking Water

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

Photo by jasmin chew on Pexels.com

Benefits of Drinking Water According to the CDC:

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

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

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

What Mayo Clinic Has to say about Drinking Water

How Much Water Do We Need to Drink Daily?

Photo by Nadi Lindsay on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

What Kind of Fluids are Best for Your Body?

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

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

What kind of Water is Best for Your Body?

Photo by JACK REDGATE on Pexels.com

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

Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day For a Week

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

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

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

Dilemma

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

What I learned

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

Dilemma

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

What I learned

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

Dilemma

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

What I learned

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

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


Do Your Christmas Shopping In One Day

Say it with me. Holidays can be hectic. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

With all the planning and all the prepping you probably feel like your head is minutes from exploding (cue festive silver tinsel bursting out of my ears) which is why I’ve been focusing my blogs for the past several weeks less on the science of beauty and healthcare and more on little ways to make this busy season just an itty bitty less stressful. I promise we’ll get back to the DIY Beer Hair Rinses, The Benefit of Tea Soaks, and all the other fun ideas I can’t wait to explore.

But not this week. This week I want you to take a moment to relax, enjoy some amazing soap, and get your Christmas shopping done with time to spare. Which is why I’m about to leak my Super Top Secret Christmas List for Friends and Family 2020. I hope you’ve got a pencil and paper.

Easy Christmas Shopping: does it exist?

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

It’s the night before all the big festivities, you should be home baking cookies, reading your favorite Christmas stories, and decorating the tree, but you’re not. Instead you’re racing through your local mall, getting sucked into overpriced boutique stores and paying waaaaaay too much for a set of wooden serving utensils your sister-in-law probably already has. Does your brother actually want his own popcorn popper set with 20 gourmet seasonings? Probably not…but oh well. Next year you’ll plan ahead…right?

This scenario is what many would identify as Last Minute Christmas Shopping, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has experienced it. 

But this year I put my foot down. No Last Minute Christmas Shopping for me…and guess what…all my gifts are already wrapped and under the tree…and I’m about to tell you how.

SPOILER ALERT

If you are reading this blog and think you might be related and or receiving a gift from me, you probably want to go read a different blog instead…unless you hate surprises in which case…I warned you.

Do Your Christmas Shopping in One Day

Without leaving the comfort of your bed. This year I handpicked a beautiful bar of Apple Valley Natural Soap for almost every friend and family member of mine. Apple Valley Natural Soap made this process incredibly easy because

  1. AVNS has a huge selection of not only soaps, but other high end beauty products as well making it easy to find not just something but the perfect something for everyone.
  2. Has an awesome deal that gets you a free bar of soap with every seven bars purchased (limited edition or already discounted bars do not apply).
  3. Has a Rewards Program that earns you points towards more free products.
  4. Allows you to support a small business while not sacrificing variety or quality.
  5. Ships quickly or makes free pick-up a breeze.

Find The Perfect Gift For Everyone

We’ve already established that our Christmas Soaps make the perfect hostess gifts, but what about all the other amazing people in your life?

Of course, I understand that one bar of soap might not cut it for that extra special someone in your life…but four might…or how about an entire box of skin care and hair care products, customized and pre-packaged in a beautiful Christmas box? You could even let the soap be the stocking stuffer that inspired the gift waiting under the tree!

One note: I listed as many relationships as I could think of for this blog, but there are tons of very important, unique relationships I probably didn’t cover as well. I understand this and I honor those relationships, which is why I want you to look at this list as an inspiration rather than something set in concrete. If you’re facing the holiday season without a mom, think about mother-figures instead. Have a biological dad and a step-dad but don’t differentiate? Awesome, me too! Christmas is the time to celebrate family of all kinds. The first Christmas started with the unlikeliest, most unique of families. A mother gave birth to the son of God and the entire world changed forever, a truly beautiful reason to celebrate.

The Perfect Gift For Your Mom

She’s sacrificed so much for you, so give something back this year.

It’s why I’m parting with one of the Black Licorice Hand Foot and Body Bars I stocked up on back in October. My mom loves black licorice as much as I do and I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she receives her own full sized bar. I went the extra mile for her and paired the bar with a bottle of Organic Jojoba customized to smell just like the Black Licorice bar!

The Perfect Gift For Your Dad(s)

He’s supported you, so show him how excited you are to support him.

or

Get him something that means something to you

One of my dads grows an awesome beard during hunting season, and this year I was so excited about our new Natural Beard Shampoo Bar that I actually gave him his gift early!

p.s. He loves it!

I got my other dad the Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar because it is one of my favorite bars (and a TOP FIVE FAVORITE) and I want to share it with him!

The Perfect Gift For Your Brother

Find something he’ll love regardless of whether he enjoys getting his hands dirty or prefers keeping them clean.

My brother is an avid outdoorsman, so I got him the Wild North Shampoo Bar… a bar that will bring the subtle scents of the outdoors…in. Sometimes brothers can also be a bit forgetful, so I’m pairing his soap with a mat so his bar doesn’t accidentally glom to the rim of the tub.

The Perfect Gift For Your Sister

For all the times she was sweet to you…or maybe to make up for the times you weren’t so sweet with her.

I don’t have a sister, but if I did I would make sure she had a bar of our Wheat and Honey Almond Shampoo Bar or Chamomile and Orange Blossom Shampoo Bar. These bars are perfect for pairing with a sweet treat like Baking Betty’s Cookies! They make tons of unique and delicious cookies, are located in the Mall of America, and have a very similar, God-centered mission to AVNS!

The Perfect Gift For Your Aunt

Why do you look up to your aunt? Her Style? Authenticity? Work Ethic? Get her a bar that tells her what you appreciate most about her!

I have three aunts.

A Trendy Pumpkin Spice Bar for my trendy aunt.

An Unscented Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Bean Facial Bar for my down-to-earth aunt with sensitive skin (runs in the family)

The Sweet Rosehips Body Polish for my aunt so she can let those sweet, exfoliating sugar crystals do all the hard work for her!

The Perfect Gift For Your Uncle

This one is tricky. How do you pick a gift for a man with refined tastes who probably already has everything he needs? An equally refined bar of soap.

I got the Cowboy Shampoo Bar with my uncle in mind and as soon as I smelled it I knew I made the perfect choice. My uncle has a knack for coordination and a practicality that makes him an amazing chef and fantastic interior designer so I got him a bar with a unique and masculine scent profile I know he’ll appreciate. 

The Perfect Gift For Your Niece

I don’t have a niece yet, but I imagine she looks up to you just like I look up to my aunts and uncle, so get her something that makes her feel like she’s following in your footsteps!

I have a little cousin who is more of a little sister to me and she already tried a lot of AVNS products during my summer photoshoot blog…so I’m making her another gift instead, but pairing it with my all time favorite: Vanilla Latte Lip Balm.

The Perfect Gift For Your Nephew

I don’t have a nephew, but getting something you know he’ll use is always a safe bet.

Our Lotion Bar packs as a solid and is perfect for the nephew who loves to travel.

or

If he’s an athlete, our Extra Strength Balm is a hemp oil product that can be used by serious athletes to help relieve muscle aches and pains.

The Perfect Gift For Your In-Laws

Show them how much you care

Yes, it may mean letting go of another Black Licorice Hand Foot and Body Bar, but you know they’ll love it and that makes it so worth it.

The Perfect Gift For Your Grandfather

Give them something practical that shows them their hard work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. 

All of my grandfathers are shining examples of what it means to be a hard worker. My grandpas are always on the move. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, doing handiwork around the house, or plowing snow, they show their love through practical acts of service. So I got them bars they could get on board with: the multipurpose Man 2.0 Body, Shampoo and Shaving Bar and our Rugged Shaving Soap, a shaving soap to protect against the elements when my Papa is out and about!

The Perfect Gift For Your Grandmother

Spoil her as much as she’s spoiled you. 

Both of my grandmothers exude tranquility and gentleness, so I looked for bars that would fit their vibes. One grandma is a beauty guru and I can’t wait for her to try her Antioxidant Beauty Facial Bar, full of pampering ingredients. My other grandma enjoys the soothing scent of lavender, so I got her the Oatmeal Lavender Body Bar made with oats to calm and soothe her skin.

The Perfect Gift Spouse/Partner

Nothing says I love you like a gift that shows them how well you know them.

Sigh, there goes another Black Licorice Hand Foot and Body Bar. I made the mistake of letting my boyfriend wash his hands with my coveted bar and ever since he’s been hinting about getting one of his own for Christmas.

The Perfect Gift For Your Co-workers

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Give them something unique to mix it up this year.

Don’t get me wrong, you can never go wrong with leaving a box of adorable cupcakes in the office with a little note saying “help yourself and happy holidays!” But how would you like to stand out this holiday season? I did. So I bought the Shampoo Bar Sampler Pack and put each sample in a plastic reindeer baggy with a little label and I am so excited for my coworkers to try them!

I hope your Christmas shopping just got a little easier!

Much Love,

Nora


The Inside Scoop On Our Christmas Soaps

Blast the Christmas music, put up the tree, December is here! Most of our Christmas soaps are still in stock, but they won’t be for long. These decorative bars are generously scented and make the perfect hostess gift, but that isn’t where the benefits end! Today we’ll be looking at the ingredient lists of our Christmas soaps so we can unpack all the amazing benefits these bars were designed to include. I’ll also be giving my personal thoughts on some of the bars, we’ll look at what customers have to say, and we’ll even hear from Marianne herself!

Our Christmas Soaps: a welcoming of the season

“I love Christmas, everything about it! And when it comes to our Christmas soaps, I LOVE each and every one of them as they all contain an essence of Christmas spirit. From the warmth of a cozy fire decorated with fresh evergreens, to a walk in a snow covered forest and minty candy canes, they transport the senses.”

-Marianne

Beneficial Ingredients in Our Christmas Soap Bars

Each of our Christmas soaps has a unique recipe and scent profile, but these benefits are so fantastic that we had to include them in every bar!

  • Lots of Olive oil which is packed with anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it superb for hair, skin, and nails.
  • Coconut oil which is a super-oil full of naturally present antioxidants, it is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. 
  • Shea butter strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, it helps make your skin more supple, more alive, nourished and radiant.

Natural Body Bars

Chocolate Orange Body Bar

Description

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.

Special Ingredient

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.

My First Impression

What I love most about this bar is the scent journey it takes me on. The first time I smelled the Chocolate Orange bar I expected to smell both the chocolate and orange at the same time, but I actually smelled them in order. First the warm cocoa-y scent filled the entire space and then a zesty orange scent snuck up from behind as a fun surprise. Did anyone else have this experience? Or was it just me???

Customers Say

“I love this soap! The lather is rich and creamy, smells yummy and love how my skin feels. The vanilla-tangerine-body-butter follows nicely with tangerine scent too.”

“I like the Chocolate Orange Body Bar. Great smell & it kind of reminds me of Tootsie-pops!”

Peppermint Body Bar (Out of Stock for 2020)

Description

Crisp, cool, candy mint. The perfect wake-me-upper on an early dark winter morning!

Like our other seasonal Body bars, this bar was created to be super moisturizing due to a higher fat content that has not been saponified. Body bars are especially great for dry skin, and here in the north we’ll take all the help we can get during the winter months!

This bar is currently out of stock for the season, but if you’re looking for your fix of peppermint try these!

Special ingredients

Peppermint Essential Oil provides a cooling sense of relief on skin

Natural Australian Red Reef Clay creates the creamy swirls of soap in festive ribbons. Australian Red Clay is wonderful for all skin types it has a gentle absorbent action that hydrates and restores vitality to the skin.

My First Impression

this bar is pure peppermint, absolutely delicious. A huge crowd pleaser, I had about five people smell this bar and they all loved it immediately. You can’t go wrong with this bar.

Customers Say

“I love peppermint and this smells wonderful!”

Merry Mistletoe Body Bar (Out of Stock for 2020)

Description

The delicious chill of soft swirling snow, the comforting scent of evergreen and warm cider, and the happy jingle of bells in the distance. That’s what this bar conjures up. Pamper your senses this Christmas season with our Merry Mistletoe body bar.

Special Ingredient

Chlorella is a type of algae found in freshwater. It’s a superfood for your skin and is known for improving skin tone skin health.

My First Impression

Where the peppermint bar is more minty, this bar has a gentler crispness because of the essential oils of fir needle and scotch pine. 

Customers Say

“The oil of fir tree makes this soap smell just like Christmas. Love it!”

“I enjoy giving this particular bar of soap as a gift. I tuck one in w/a gift card for my hair stylist, I add one to my hostess gifts, and always save one for myself.”

Three Kings Body Bar

Description

Our beautifully swirled Three Kings bar has a regal, sophisticated, warm scent.

“I love the scent profile and meaning behind our Three Kings Body bar. The beautiful swirling within the bar and sprinkling of gold mica on top compliments the regal, sophisticated warmth of the soap itself. The name and fragrance of the bar were inspired by the Wise Men who traveled to see the new born king that first Christmas night. Following the star in the sky which was given as a sign, the Kings presented Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Our Three Kings Body bar is one way we point to the Christmas message of hope, joy & peace.”

-Marianne

Special Ingredient

Frankincense Essential Oils are said to contain properties that help reduce joint inflammation (Healthline).

Customers Say

“The fragrance of this soap is like nothing I have ever experienced. The frankincense, sweet orange, and cedarwood make me feel fresh and pampered!”

Shampoo Bars

While I long for the day AVNS makes a black licorice shampoo bar, I love that our limited edition christmas soaps include not one but two shampoo bars!

Winter Wonderland Shampoo Bar

Description

Enjoy wandering through a snow covered forest of evergreens, while capturing the warmth of the season with aromatic sweet orange, a whisper of cozy cinnamon and a dusting of nutmeg. As this nourishing shampoo bar has an amazing scent profile along with wonderful moisturizing properties for both skin and hair, this bar may just become one of your favorites, it’s definitely Marianne’s!

“My favorite Christmas bar, if I had to choose, is the Winter Wonderland Shampoo & Body bar, not only because it’s a nourishing shampoo bar with a thick sudsy lather, but because the scent profile transports me into my Christmas happy place. It captures the warmth of the Christmas with the subtle fragrance of evergreens along with sweet orange, cinnamon and nutmeg, I think we need to make a candle from this essential oil blend!!!”

-Marianne

Special Ingredient

Sweet Almond oil not only helps soften rough or dry skin, it also helps eradicate irritation, inflammation, skin rashes and effectively delays aging.

Customers Say

“I love it! Even came back and bought 3 more for gifts.”

Christmas Spice Shampoo Bar

Description

Relax into the aroma of Christmas, with warm spice notes from classic cedarwood, cozy cinnamon and clove, infused with a touch of sweet orange and vanilla. This shampoo bar will nourish and moisturize both hair and body, as well as enrich your bathing experience with warm holiday scents.

Special Ingredient

Wheat Germ is excellent for hair because it works by creating a type of protective barrier around the hair shaft. It holds in moisture and protein all while also protecting the hair from heat damage and UV rays.

Customers Say

“So LOVE this smell, and it’s the first shampoo bar I’ve tried. I love the extra lather!”

Which Bar Will You Choose?

No matter which bar you pick, you’re sure to benefit! There’s no better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than through the fantastic smells that remind us of this time of year’s seasonal cheer. Now I’m off to make some hot cocoa, but I’ll leave you with this cute little holiday joke before I go!

One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”

His wife asked, “How do you know?”

“Because Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

by Jorgen R., Prunedale, Calif.

Much Love,

Nora


What You Need To Know About Burning Candles

Get out your lighters, folks, it’s candle burning season! I’m often in awe of the fact that a tiny flame and a bit of wax can envelope your whole house in the delightful aroma of baked goods or crisp pine…but did you know that the type of candle you burn matters? That’s right. Today’s blog is an important read, one that could change the way you light candles forever.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

The Burning Question: are candles toxic?

People have always debated over the possible impact burning candles can have on your health. Some say burning candles can release harmful toxins into the air while others argue that the amount of toxins released through candle fumes are too minimal to do any real damage. So what’s the truth? 

Candle Wicks Matter

Lead in Candle Wicks

According to Healthline’s article on candle burning, we don’t need to be concerned about lead in our candle wicks unless our candles are manufactured outside of the United States. The article claims, “In 2003, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to ban the sale and manufacture of candles with lead wicks. They also banned the import of lead-containing candles from other countries.”

Although the import of candles containing lead from other countries was banned, I would be careful when making any online purchases from companies whose credentials are questionable. This includes buying candles off of sites like Wish or even Amazon, where items are cheap, but quality is questionable. If a company is already trying to scam you into buying low quality products, they probably aren’t above bending other rules…ones that could potentially jeopardize your safety. 

Cotton Candle Wicks

Our soy and beeswax candles have cotton wicks, which is the wick with the lowest risk of emitting toxins since cotton is a natural material. The soy candles have a traditional cotton wick, while the beeswax candles have a cotton ribbon wick which is a beautiful unique design, giving a wider flame with excellent scent throw.

Fragrance in Candles

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Story time: once upon a time I came home with a name-brand candle and lit it right away because it was one of my favorite scents. That very night my younger brother just happened to have a case of extremely bloodshot eyes. What did my mother do? She instantly blamed my candle, blew it out and said, “These name brand candles smell good because they’re made to deodorize by covering up other smells, but that also means they’re loaded with toxins and allergens from paraffin wax and all the harsh chemical fragrances used.” This is the woman who told me peppermint essential oil could get rid of spiders, was she right about this too?

Well, she wasn’t right about my candle being the cause…turns out my brother had been using a popular mass-produced soap bar to wash his face and those harsh cleaning chemicals were doing the damage (obviously I need to introduce him to AVNS facial bars) but she still had a point…burning a candle made with fragrance that contains phthalates is not a great idea, no matter how good it smells.

What are Phthalates?

“Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are a common class of chemicals used in consumer products. They’re used as a plasticizer to make plastic more flexible in products like toys, vinyl flooring, wall covering, vinyl mattress covers, shower curtains, and plastic food packaging. They’re used as solvents or dissolving agents in things like detergents and lubricating oils.”

-madesafe.org

Phthalates are also used as a scent carrier to make a scent last longer and are found in many beauty products. Unfortunately, when these chemicals come in contact with our bodies they can do damage to our internal organs. For this reason, all of our fragrance is phthalate-free.

What Are Types of Candle Wax and How Safe are They?

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax (or petroleum wax) is a soft colorless solid derived from petroleum, coal or shale oil that consists of a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules containing between twenty and forty carbon atoms.”

-Wikipedia

Paraffin Candles vs. Soy Candles

According to the same Healthline article, while there is little to no evidence that burning paraffin wax releases large enough amounts of chemicals to pose a threat to human health, it is true that soy candles produce less soot and fewer chemicals making them a great alternative and just an awesome choice in general.

Is Smoke From Candles Harmful?

Photo by Mitchell Henderson on Pexels.com

According to another Healthline article on the risks of smoke inhalation, “Inhaling harmful smoke can inflame your lungs and airway, causing them to swell and block oxygen. This can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure.” Of course, inhaling a little smoke may not have this effect, but limiting how much smoke you inhale is always a good idea even when it comes to candles.

Fun fact: The European Candle Association recommends using a candle snugger or dipping the wick in wax to extinguish a candle instead of blowing it out. They also say you should ventilate a room in which you have extinguished a candle for 10-15 minutes afterwards.

Are Natural Candles Better?

Ditch Paraffin forever because there are two fantastic alternatives to consider!

Soy Candles

Yes! I already talked a bit about the benefits of soy candles as opposed to paraffin. Soy candles are a great cost effective option for a clean burning candle which emits no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants, making it less likely to trigger allergies. Soy wax is water soluble which makes spills an easy clean-up with soap & water. We use only Non-GMO soy wax in our soy candles to ensure they are as safe as possible!

Beeswax Candles

Did you know that beeswax candles are actually a natural air-purifier? Beeswax is a fuel which produces negative ions when burned. These negative ions negate the positive charge of air contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens like dust and pollen, and the neutralized ions are sucked back into the burning candle or fall to the ground where they can be swept or vacuumed. 

Our Soy and Beeswax candles are my-mom approved because they are safely scented with essential oils and phthalate free fragrances, and won’t make your younger brother’s eyes red…plus they smell amazing and burn slower and longer!

Much Love,

Nora


5 DIY Ways to Relax During the Holiday Season

New Hemp Oil Products Just Released!

Our new Pain Relief Cooling Cream and Rebalance Facial Moisturizer are hot off the…I mean cool off the press and just in time to ease your stress. You can check these two products out and read all about the uses and benefits of CBD in this blog to help you decide if these products are exactly what you’ve been looking for!

Feeling Stressed this Year?

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Spending quality time with family, honoring important historical and religious events, participating in the season of giving, and eating delicious food are all reasons to look forward to the holidays in November and December. Unfortunately, the holiday season(s) is also a sad and stressful time for many. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle, so this week I’m reminding you to take a step back when you feel overwhelmed: when the turkey isn’t done in time, when you remember those who are no longer with you, when your kids decide they’d rather kick and scream than participate in the annual family Christmas photo, and all those little stressors that build-up over time and make you want to lock yourself in the closet with all the christmas presents that still need to be wrapped…

Take a step back? When there’s so much to be done? Easier said than done, right? I totally understand. Which is why I’ve got 5 simple, natural relaxation ideas for you to pick from or, golly, why not try them all? Seriously. Aunt Ruth and Uncle Phil are arriving in two days and the guest-room is still a mess from being turned into a work-from-home office, not to mention the bake sale coming up…whoa, deep breath. You’ve got this.

1) Breathe

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

(Like I just said, right?) It seems too simple to be so effective, but focused breathing is actually the first technique listed in an article published in Harvard Health Publishing on relaxation techniques. Deep, even breaths will help calm and regulate your body and mind. You want to take deep breaths that draw all the way into your stomach. If you place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach as you breathe you can feel where the breath is engaging. Movement should be in your stomach and not in your chest in order to provide the benefits breathing offers. To stay focused, you can use a visual to time your breath like this Youtube Video.

2) Exercise

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Exercise is awesome. Why? According to Mayo Clinic, “Physical activity may help bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.” Aerobic exercise such as biking, running, or continuous dancing is designed to increase your blood oxygen levels. When the amount of oxygen in your blood increases it makes you feel more alert and less groggy. Not super confident about your exercising skills? Don’t worry, a simple kitchen dance party is something the whole family can participate in and all you need to do is move your body around! *If you have a history of health concerns, exercise caution when exercising and know your limits.

3) Take a Warm Bath

Not only does a hot bath help loosen tight muscles, it also gets you some much needed alone time. We know how much a bathing experience can improve your quality of life, which is why Marianne builds AVNS around this concept each and every day.

“For me, Apple Valley Natural Soap is more than a business. It’s a mission. My goal is to glorify God through this business and help you find the joys of rejuvenating and nourishing your body naturally from head to toe. Through your sense of sight, touch and smell, hopefully you’ll be reminded that it’s the simple pleasures of life that make that life memorable.”

-Marianne

So get some amazingly festive-smelling candles, a good book or your favorite playlist, some Sweet Rosehips Body Polish, A bar of your favorite Christmas Soap (COMING SOON!) a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and reemerge from your steamy oasis feeling like the natural, relaxed beauty you are.

4) Repetitive Prayer or Journaling

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Sometimes the people in your life may not get it, but your God does. A quiet place and some time with God may be just what you need. Repeating a prayer or even a bible verse over and over again may be a comfort. If your head feels too full, you can also try journaling. Letting all your thoughts, worries and questions out can be extremely therapeutic and a helpful way to navigate confusing or emotional situations. You can write to God, or a loved one, or even your future self. Whatever puts you at ease.

5) Connection through Creating

Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

Aka…is anyone else a stress baker? The title of this technique is a bit vague, but that’s because everyone is unique! There is nothing more relaxing to me than whipping out that sack of flour in the dead of night and quietly measuring the correct amount of sugar as I frantically try to make as many chocolate chip cookies as I can before someone comes out and asks me what I’m doing or even worse…offers to help. If Batman works alone, I bake alone. I love the preciseness and repetition baking requires. I love the sensory progress of baking and the delicious outcome. Getting your hands dirty and immersing yourself in a project can be wildly satisfying. Whether you enjoy painting, carving, or coloring, let your creativeness flow and feel the stress flow out of your body too…scone anyone?

Keep An Eye Out For Amazing Deals

I hope one or all of these techniques are helpful to you as you try to navigate this holiday season. I can’t wait to take a nice long bubble bath after finishing this blog! Speaking of bubbles, AVNS has some awesome things in store for you this holiday season. Marianne has been hard at work prepping Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales, as well as a fantastic Thanksgiving give-away…not to mention the fact that our Christmas Soap release is RIGHT around the corner! During the next couple weeks you’ll want to stay updated through our blog, newsletter, and social media for amazing deals that will basically ensure that all your Christmas-gift shopping is a breeze.

Much Love,

Nora


Your Fall Hair Care Routine Matters: Here’s Why

Dry Hair? Really Care?

Photo by Tomas Anunziata on Pexels.com

While you might be shocked to hear that a change in season means a change in your hair care routine, if you think about it, it makes sense. Dry skin is a notorious problem in the fall and winter months. Why? The low moisture levels of the air actually create a sort of vacuum capable of quickly sucking the moisture right from your skin. Same goes for your hair. In the fall, your hair is more prone to dryness, frizz, flatness, fragility because moisture in your hair evaporates (imagine trying to snap a dry spaghetti noodle versus a cooked spaghetti noodle). So if dry, cold fall weather is inevitable, is dry, flat hair also inevitable?

No!

By simply being cognizant about what hair care products you’re using, you can combat the hair-damaging effects of the fall and winter season. There are two main things your hair needs to thrive this fall and making these small adjustments in your hair care routine will help make all the difference. This blog includes everything you need to prep your hair for fall including product recommendations and DIY hair hacks!

Hydrate

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

When we think about extreme hydration, usually our go-to is deep conditioning and hair masks. We’ll get to those in a second, but first we have to discuss the basics. 

Shampoo

We often think of our shampoo as the cleansing side of the shampoo and conditioner duo, but think of the benefits of a shampoo that not only cleanses, but also moisturizes. Shampoos with hydrating agents are going to give your hair the base level of protection it needs to survive the winter months. Oils and butters are a great ingredient to look for in shampoos because they will coat the strand and lock in the water absorbed during your shower or bath. I combed through our shampoo bars to find some bars with excellent hydrating properties to keep your hair silky and lushious all fall long!

Marshmallow Aloe Shampoo Bar

Marshmallow Herb: The marshmallow herb is incredibly moisturizing. To get the most benefit from the herb, we let it sit in oils for a while until we get a mucilage that makes a fabulous vitamin and mineral-rich detangler for curly hair, this is what goes into our soap. Marshmallow root also nourishes and rehydrates dry cells, making this a great bar for dry hair, scalp and skin.

Aloe: Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. It’s fabulous for skin because it’s rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene which nourishes skin and scalp deeply. Also, due to its antifungal and antiviral properties, it prevents itching and reduces dandruff and flaking, it also has very potent anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce redness and inflammation. If that isn’t enough, it also acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny, plus it promotes hair growth. 

Jojoba Silk Conditioning Shampoo Bar

This is an ultra conditioning shampoo bar for dry hair and scalp that also adds silk and shine to the hair shaft while taming the frizzies. Unrefined organic cocoa and shea nut butters make up the bulk of this formulation.  Add to that a generous amount of jojoba and you have—A MIRACLE! While this conditioner shampoo bar does not work as a detangler (even miracles have limitations), it does do an excellent job of conditioning and really helps reduce tangles and snarls, it is our version of a natural conditioner bar.  Plus the added silk peptides will make your hair amazingly soft, shiny, and silky.  It may feel a bit sticky while your hair is wet, but hang in there, because when it dries, that feeling disappears as the silk hardens on your hair shaft, protecting and strengthening it with silica and 18 different amino acids.  Use it on your body for the same silky-soft sensation. This Jojoba Silk Conditioning bar makes a great shampoo conditioner to use either by itself, or following another shampoo bar. Create as much conditioning lather as you feel is necessary to work through your hair, or just the ends, and rinse out. Made with certified organic ingredients.  

Deep Conditioning 

As a rule of thumb, people who deep condition do it about once a week. You don’t want to over moisturize your hair, but you do want to prep it for the week. Figure out what works best for your hair!

Argan Oil

I have used argan oil as a deep conditioner for my curly hair with jaw-dropping results…and you can too! Plus you can use it on your body and face.

Deep Condition with Argan Oil

Wet hair with hot water, massage a small amount into the scalp and down the shaft of the hair, wrap with a towel, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash hair as usual. Alternatively, apply to dry hair before going to bed at night. Wrap in a towel and wash in the morning for soft, silky locks. Argan oil helps with dandruff and other dry scalp symptoms.

DIY Deep Condition
Photo by mododeolhar on Pexels.com

Because I hate how messy DIY deep conditioners can be, I will always recommend Argan Oil, but if your deep conditioning needs are urgent you can DIY a deep conditioning mask with household ingredients. Back when I straightened my hair I would mix extra virgin olive oil and honey, warm it in the microwave, apply it to clean wet hair, put a plastic cap over it and let it sit for an hour. When the hour was up I’d wash my hair with two rounds of shampoo to get all that oil out, then I’d dry and style my hair. It would be soooooo thick and shiny. Once I went to dance class after deep conditioning and all my friends were like, “What did you do to your hair???”

Be Gentle

It’s short, simple, and easy to do! Using a gentle touch with your hair can make just as big a difference as keeping it hydrated can. Give hair-pulling ponytails a break, cut down on heat styling when you can. Most importantly, pick gentle products. This is where natural hair care shines. Our shampoo bars are perfect for fall because they don’t strip your hair like harsh mass-produced shampoos, but enforce your strand with hydrating ingredients! Not only are they gentle on hair, our delicious, and naturally scented soap is gentle on skin and effective against germs!

If you found this blog helpful, follow it! You’ll get weekly updates on products, the inside scoop on ingredients we use, tips and tricks for looking and feeling your best, and hopefully a little chuckle here and there!

Much Love,

Nora


Info and Ideas for a Safe and Eco-Friendly Halloween!

Should I hand out candy this year on Halloween? Should I take my kids Trick Or Treating during the pandemic? What are my options for safely handing out candy? And what am I going to do for a Halloween costume???

If you’ve had any of these questions in the past few weeks you probably aren’t alone. This week I’ve pulled together some sources and ideas that will hopefully help answer your questions about how to celebrate Halloween during the pandemic, solve your dilemmas, and give you a little costume inspiration!

Should I Let My Kids Trick Or Treat This Year?

Rudri Patel’s article in The Washington Post is a fantastic place to start if you’re still trying to decide whether or not to take your kids Trick or Treating during the pandemic. The article discusses factors to consider such as the current activity of the virus in your community and household health risks. It also shares ideas for safety precautions and alternative Halloween activities that are pandemic friendly. 

Safe Trick Or Treating During the Pandemic

The CDC has also released a detailed page on Trick Or Treating Guidelines for this Halloween. Much of their advice focuses on things that are second nature to us now (social distancing, hand-washing, mask-wearing) but it was still helpful to have those steps spelled out in a Trick or Treating context because they clarified a couple details that could easily be confusing. For example, they encouraged Trick Or Treaters to incorporate masks into their costumes, but cautioned that a costume mask was not the equivalent of a protective mask. 

Idea  #1 A Safe, Eco-Friendly Way to Hand Out Candy

I thought the 6ft candy slide mentioned in Patel’s post was pure genius, but if you aren’t blessed with a slide-like slope outside your house I came up with another alternative. I was inspired by my pets and in a moment you’ll know why. You can put out a box of plastic gloves, but if you use pet bags then people can reuse them for their pets at home!

How to Bag Your Candy

If you’re a dog parent, there’s a good chance you’re already a pro at this method. It’s the same strategy that many pet parents use to clean up after their pet’s…um…”daily doings.”

You basically slip your hand inside a bag and use it like a plastic mitten to grab a handful of candy. Once you’ve got the candy, just use your other hand to flip the bag inside out so your candy is inside of the bag. Your skin will never come in contact with the candy or the bowl! You could leave these out for guests to take, purchasing a dispenser is super cheap. Or you could bring your own roll along with you as you scour the streets, that way you are the only person touching the bags as well!

Alternative Halloween Activities in 2020

A night at home on Halloween with family is never wasted. Whether or not you choose to celebrate Halloween, there are plenty of ways to spend a fun Friday night indoors.

Stay Up Late

If your children typically have a bedtime, let them stay up until midnight playing board, card games or a monster mash dance party! (If they can’t make it until midnight you can do what my parents used to do on New Years and set a fake timer for midnight). 

Watch a Movie

Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, it’s a great night to watch a movie. Pick a movie that your whole family will love or a “scary” one that will get you in the Halloween spirit! 

Eat Delicious Treats!

What is a night in without all your favorite snacks! A chip and dip buffet to go with your game night? A popcorn bar to complete your movie marathon? And don’t forget the candy! My favorite thing about Halloween is getting to eat the leftover Halloween candy. Now I don’t even have to worry about some kids dumping the whole bowl in their bags and running away because all the Halloween candy will be left over Halloween candy.

Design a Haunted House With Your Kids

Drape blankets of chairs and tables to create tunnels, put wet towels in the bathtub or shower and have your kids walk barefoot through “the spooky swamp.” Have them stick their hands in a bowl of zombie brains when they walk through the evil scientist’s lab (don’t worry, it’s just a bowl of cooked spaghetti noodles.)

Tips For an Eco-Friendly Halloween

We love anything and everything eco-friendly. That’s why our bars are biodegradable, our soap mats are recycled, and our packaging system is always being reevaluated to make it as environmentally friendly as possible. We want you to be super safe this halloween, and we also want to help keep the earth safe. Here’s a couple things you can do to make the most of your halloween and cut down on waste

Save and Cook Your Pumpkin Seeds

My mom’s pumpkin seeds are legendary to me. I could honestly eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner if my stomach would let me. Our recipe is savory, but some people make them sweet, too.

DIY Your Candy Container

No need to go out and buy a candy bucket when you have a good old fashioned pillowcase! You can always get crafty and decorate a commemorative pillowcase as well!

DIY Your Costume

Use what you already have to make the coolest costume ever. You’ll definitely get extra points for creativity. And if you incorporate an AVNS bar of soap into your costume or that of a family member, or even better, if you or a member of your family dress up as a bar of AVNS Soap you’ll get extra points from us! That’s right! You can get rewards points! If you email us or tag us in your story on SM we’ll give 25 points if the bar is incorporated into a costume, and 100 points if the soap is the costume! You must have a rewards account to participate.

Better get designing!

Much Love,

Nora