5 Unique Eco-Friendly Father’s Day Gifts 2022

I’ve been scouring the internet for 5 incredible father’s day gifts that are eco-friendly, organic, or produced by a small business! I’m not sure why, but a theme has emerged from this year’s gift guide search and I’m proud to title it: “cooking and cleaning: gifts for the scrupulous chef in your life.” I’m super excited to share these gifts with you today, and I hope they make your father’s day shopping just a bit easier.


Before we jump into this week’s blog I want to announce something super exciting: WE’RE STARTING A GIVEAWAY…TOMORROW.

Here are the details:

Enter to have a chance to win a Fantastic gift-set!

This Giveaway will start on June 15th and run until Father’s Day (June 19th)

To enter via social media:

1. Follow us on Instagram or Facebook

2. Like the giveaway post on Instagram or Facebook

3. Tag two friends!

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

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

1) Follow our blog

2) Like our most recent post (this one).

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

Contest closes on June 19th, at noon.

Good Luck!

This contest is only open to residents of the United States.

5 Unique Father’s Day Gifts

1) 5ElementsClayworks Stoneware Tumblers and Mugs $20-40

These beautifully hand crafted, wheel thrown ceramic tumblers and mugs are made by the same company as our new shaving sets. These shaving sets are a must have for those who love the traditional shave. They are a perfect compliment to our round Traditional Shaving Soaps and offer an eco-friendly option for storing and lathering up your soap.  Made specifically for AVNS by 5 Elements Clayworks in Florida, “each piece is hand crafted and therefore no 2 are ever identical. Even similar forms and same glaze combos used can yield different results based on the kiln atmosphere or clay batch used, so you can always look forward to a unique piece. While the shaving set is not intended for food use, all glazes are food safe and non-toxic.” 

2) DIY BBQ Making Kit by Grow and Make

What better way to celebrate your bb-cutie than with a BBQ adventure!

Description: Great DIY gift for DAD for Father’s Day!

Make your own tangy barbecue sauces with our Artisan BBQ Sauce Making Kit! Great for family projects. A DIY BBQ sauce kit is the perfect birthday gift for grill cooks, barbecue enthusiasts, or the dad who has everything! Simple instructions make this kit fun and easy for everyone interested in showing off their own exceptional BBQ sauce. Just add tomato paste, oil, and our kit ingredients to make three flavor-packed tomato or mustard-based homemade barbecue sauce recipes. Contains all the grilling spices and seasonings to give your barbecue dishes unique flavor, like cayenne, turmeric, garlic, and liquid smoke.

Grill Master Gift Box with Organic Spices by Fresh Jax

This grilling gift set has everything you need for a delicious grill-out!


“What’s the hardest part about shopping for the grilling guru in your life? They think they already have everything they need! This Grill Master Gift Set was made with grilling fanatics in mind. This set includes three organic spice blends, a grill master t-shirt to claim reign, grill master koozie to chill drinks, and 4 Alderwood grilling planks!”

Spice Blends

Peppered Habanero Hot Grill Spice: Turn up the heat on steak, kabobs, chili, wings, and caulifower!

Ingredients: Organic cracked black pepper, sea salt, organic cayenne pepper, organic habanero pepper, organic brown mustard seed, organic onion, organic garlic, organic parsley, organic lemon zest.

Grill Master Organic Burger Seasoning: Bean burgers, beet burgers, and beef burgers  alike, will warm you to your core-iander and have you feeling rose-merry with coats of this colorful blend!

Ingredients: Organic cracked black pepper, organic onion, organic paprika, sea salt, organic dill, organic coriander, organic thyme, organic garlic, organic fennel, organic rosemary.

Rosy Cheeks Organic Maple Bourbon BBQ Spice: Craft the perfect backyard BBQ when you use this on chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and baked beans.

Ingredients: Organic paprika, organic light brown sugar, organic cane juice, organic dried maple syrup, cherrywood smoked sea salt, organic onion, Himalayan pink salt, organic cracked black pepper, organic garlic, organic chipotle pepper, organic mesquite, organic flavors, organic cumin, organic turmeric, organic lemon zest.

4) Oven Scrub Cleaner: 100% Natural – Eco-Friendly Cleaner by Everneat


100% Natural Oven Cleaner powered with pumice stone & pure essential oils to deep clean your oven without toxic fumes

– Plant-powered ingredients

– Vegan & cruelty-free

– Powerful cleaning

– Refillable & reusable

– Approved by professionals

– Probiotic cleaning

Safe for:

– Porcelain-enameled steel ovens, racks & oven interior glass

– Cast-iron

– Scratch-resistant metals & surfaces

5) Eco Friendly Pet Hair Remover – Lint Brush by Modern Pets Living

This business sells tons of cool pet products, so if you’re looking for something even a little more “upscale” check out the rest of their site!

“A must-have minimalist design pet hair remover and a great substitute for your traditional lint roller. A comfortable wooden handle and large brushing surface area will make this daily task a breeze.

– 3 colors to choose from

– Natural wooden handle

– Self-cleaning housing

– Modern Matte Finish

– Electrostatic Reusable Brush

– Sustainable, green, and reusable

– Made from recycled materials

– Measurements: 12 in x 3 in x 1.8 in

Care Instructions:

– Gentle hand wash only

– Allow to fully dry before usage”

Don’t Forget!

To enter our Giveaway! Comment below to let us know which gift the man in your life would love most!

Much Love,


3 Important Skincare Tips for Mature Skin

Giving Your Skin What it Needs

Signs of aging are nothing to be ashamed of. 

You are beautiful beyond your physical appearance.

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

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

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

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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

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

Meet Elise Marquam-Jahns

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

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

3 Skincare Tips for Mature Skin

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


Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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


Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

Antioxidant Beauty Facial Soap

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

Green tea extract for added skin elasticity.

Papaya with vitamin A for new cell reformation.

Guava for its anti-aging B vitamins.

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

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

Yogurt for its pore-tightening lactic acid.

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


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

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

A Word on Haircare

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

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

I’ll Say it Again

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

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

Much Love,


Want to become a Brand Ambassador for Natural Soap? Here’s How.

What is a Brand Ambassador?

A Brand Ambassador represents a company and promotes the company’s products either in person or on-line.

Apple Valley Natural Soap Brand Ambassador/Affiliate Program

We want people to have natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, options when it comes to health and beauty products. As a smaller business we do our best to reach people with quality, hand-made natural products, but sometimes we need a little help. The Apple Valley Natural Soap Brand Ambassador/Affiliate program was created so that people who love our products can benefit from sharing them with others via social media (Facebook, Instagram, personal blogs…you get the idea).

Don’t Think You’re Tech Savvy enough to be a Brand Ambassador? Think Again!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Okay, let me start by saying: I have never been a tech savvy person. When I tell people this they think I’m being dramatic. Then I tell how I failed my computer skills class in eighth grade. The story goes like this:

We were supposed to program a short animation of a cat doing the following: walking across the room, picking up a can of tuna fish, eating the tuna fish, turning green, and barfing.

After five hours of sweating over my keyboard and mouse my cat did this:

Turned green, walked…upside down across the ceiling, barfed (while still upside down), completely ignored the can of tuna, and then disappeared.

People don’t question me after that. 

Steps to Becoming an AVNS Brand Ambassador

I decided that if I could figure out how to become an AVNS Brand Ambassador, you could too. I spent the entire week attempting to learn the ins and outs of being a Brand Ambassador and even if I’m never successful, hopefully I can give you the start you need to become the best AVNS Brand Ambassador EVER.

Step One: Create an Affiliate Account Through Apple Valley Natural Soap

If you’re on the mobile version of our site it will say “Pages”

Once you’re on the AVNS website, click on “More” and then scroll through the drop down menu until you find the “Ambassador/Affiliate Program” tab. 

The Ambassador/Affiliate Page will walk you through the process and benefits and at the bottom of the page you’ll see a button that says “Register.” Click on it.

Here are the basics of becoming a Brand Ambassador

Setting up your account is super easy, as is setting up a Paypal account if you don’t already have one.

Step Two: Set Up a PayPal Account

I’m pretty sure all I had to do was enter my email…

If you know you’re putting all your profits towards more AVNS soap, we have an option for your commission to be in the form of store credit as well!

The trickiest part for me was the actual Brand “Ambassad-ing”

Step Two: Create Promotional Posts

We’ve already supplied you with banners (photos of your fav products) that can be found on your affiliate account. Just download the photo you want to post and then upload it to social media. I love Instagram and Facebook, but I quickly learned that I wasn’t as good at navigating them as I thought. It took me a while to understand that I couldn’t share a click-able link on my Facebook and Instagram stories. The trick is to put your affiliate link (which you can find on your account page) in your bio. And then direct people to your bio.

Aww, look at my cute lil affiliate link!

Not sure what a bio is? That’s okay, you aren’t alone! A bio is a place for you to introduce yourself on social media platforms and is typically under where your name is displayed. A blog is also a great way to share products with others

My First Post

I chose the half-sized bar banner because one of my favorite things about AVNS is the huge selection of unique soaps. I put my affiliate link in my Instagram and Facebook bios so that I could redirect people through my story. My Instagram gives me the option to share the post on Facebook and to that I said YES!

When people purchase through your affiliate link you’ll earn commission starting at 6%!

Why Be a Brand Ambassador for Apple Valley Natural Soap?

Apple Valley Natural Soap is about more than keeping surface-level clean. We design our products to exist in harmony with the environment and with your body. What we put in our earth and on our bodies MATTERS. We strive for a deep clean of mind, body, soul, and earth because we believe it is a noble undertaking. If you believe this, and want to help others achieve a deep clean then you’re already on your way to becoming an AVNS Brand Ambassador (if only we can get this pesky post to upload, am I right?)

Much Love,


How to Achieve the Perfect DIY Spa Day

In my opinion, there is nothing better than the perfect spa session. 


There is nothing better than the perfect DIY spa session. In fact, I’ve perfected the art of the DIY spa so, well, perfectly…that I’ve never felt the need to go to a professional spa.

I love a DIY spa day because you get to pick:

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
Who’s Invited

You can make it a fun project for the kids, a surprise gift for a friend or family member, or a romantic occasion with your significant other. 

What’s on the Spa Menu

You get to pick your spa treatments (hot wax treatment…but skip the intense leg massage? You got it!) 

The Products

And you get to use products you already know and love. Annnnnnnnd when you love Apple Valley Natural Soap you also know every ingredient that goes into your favorite soaps, lotions and scrubs.

Okay. So now that I’ve convinced you that a DIY spa day is the way to go, I’m sure you’re wondering where to start.

Don’t worry, we might be about to go all-natural with our products, but I’ve got you covered.

The Importance of Self-Care

Before we get lost in the excitement of sugary body scrubs and scrumptious body butters I want to say this: behind every amazing spa day is a source of meaningful motivation. Planning a spa day is a fantastic way to be intentional about self-care.

What is self-care?

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

This quote on Active Minds, the nation’s top non-profit for support and education on mental health, beautifully sums up what self-care is and why it matters, “Self-care is important to maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. It means doing things to take care of our minds, bodies, and souls by engaging in activities that promote well-being and reduce stress. Doing so enhances our ability to live fully, vibrantly, and effectively. The practice of self-care also reminds both you and others that your needs are valid and a priority.”

If this year has thrown some unexpected challenges your way, raise your hands (mine are already up).

If you raised your hand you are a top candidate for self-care, and if you didn’t raise your hand you are too.

Self-Care Spa Day

The number one reason why I love a DIY spa day is because it allows me to transform my daily maintenance tasks from obligations to occasions. If I’m going to clean my body I might as well do it in style and comfort.

Exfoliate with Salt Bars or Body Polish

I love the way my skin feels after I exfoliate. Both salt and sugar make great natural exfoliants and the essential oils added to our salt bars and sugar scrubs are known for their additional health and beauty benefits. 

Salt Bars

A salt bar is a fantastic way to exfoliate and clean at the same time, so it is a great option for DIY pedicures (just scrub, pat dry, and follow with a little argan oil). The Lavender Rosemary Salt Bar is on my top ten AVNS list because it smells amazing, feels amazing, and also works as an amazing shampoo.

Sugar Scrubs

A sugar scrub is my go to for a perfect pre-shave exfoliation because sugar is a natural, gentle exfoliant and the moisturizing oils add an extra layer of protection for my skin when I shave. Our Body Polish is so moisturizing that after using it you may find you don’t even need to apply lotion! It comes in four delicious scents: Citrus Sugar, Matcha Mint, Sweet Vanilla, and Sweet Rosehips (my personal recommendation).

Shave with Coconut Bars

Shaving gets tedious, but with a Virgin Pina Colada nearby it can be wayyyy more enjoyable!

After exfoliating you’ll need to lather up and I’m going to promise you something. Using one of our coconut soap bars as shaving soap will change your life. I had been using shaving cream since I first started shaving and I was super skeptical about using bar soap, but after that first lather…whoa. Coconut Bars lather up so luxuriously, you’ll feel like the King or Queen of shaving.


While I wish a massage was part of my daily routine, it’s definitely a great way to ease the pain of sore, stiff muscles after a long day of work or play. Our Organic Virgin Jojoba Oil is the perfect massage oil and you can get it CUSTOM MADE with any of our soap scents. If you’re curious about what jojoba oil is you can read more about it here.

DIY Self-Care Massage (feet)

Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

As a dancer I spent a lot of my time walking around with sore feet. I wish I had this Youtube tutorial by PsycheTruth on how to give myself a foot-massage back then, but oh well.

DIY Couples Massage

It’s important to make sure you are in a good place before you start lifting those around you and a DIY couples massage may be the perfect way to lift as you rise! Check out Cleverly’s short, simple instructional video for an upper back massage!

Remember to Relax!

You’ve earned the right to relax this year, and we hope our products will help you achieve the pampering you deserve. For more DIYs, follow our blog. I’d love to know how you use our products to unwind after a busy day, so always feel free to comment below!

Much Love,


Argan Oil Vs Jojoba Oil for Hair and Skin

Why Try Oil for Hair and Skin?

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

What is Argan Oil?

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

Main Components of Argan Oil


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

Fatty Acid Functions

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

A Note About Linoleic Acid

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

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

Uses of Argan Oil

My wash day hair before and after deep conditioning with Argan Oil
  • Thermal heat protectant for hair: put 2-4 drops in the palm of your hand and massage into damp hair after showering. Your hair will feel silky soft after blow-drying.
  • Deep conditioner: wet hair with hot water, massage a small amount into the scalp and down the shaft of the hair, wrap with a towel, and let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash hair as usual. Alternatively, apply to dry hair before going to bed at night. Wrap in a towel and wash in the morning for soft, silky locks. Argan oil helps with dandruff and other dry scalp symptoms.
  • Makeup remover: put a couple of drops on a cotton ball and and gently remove eye makeup. Leaves the delicate skin around your eyes moisturized.
  • Facial moisturizer: apply a few drops to your delicate facial tissue and around your eyes and watch your skin soak it up and start glowing.
  • Beard oil: bearded people, you know what I’m sayin’, but if your beard needs additional TLC check out our brand new Beard Oil along with our other recently released men’s products!
  • Cuticle and nail repair serum: apply a drop to cuticles and nails at night and say good bye to cut, sore finger tips. Argan oil will strengthen and nourish your nails too.
  • Night hand oil. Two pumps rubbed into your hands before you go to bed leaves them soft and silky in the morning. (Also great for sunburns!)
  • Expectant mothers: apply organic argan oil to your tummy to help prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

What is Jojoba oil?

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

Uses of Jojoba Oil

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

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

One More Oil to Note

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

Battle of the Oils

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

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

Argan Oil Vs Jojoba Oil for Skin

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

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

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

Argan Oil vs Jojoba Oil for Face

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

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

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

Argan Oil Vs. Jojoba Oil for Hair

Hair Comparison

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

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

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

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

Much Love,


DIY Beautiful Summer Photo Shoot Ideas That Will Let Your Natural Beauty Shine

Does Your Instagram Need a Pick-Me-Up? Try These Easy Photo Shoot Tips and Tricks

Looking to achieve that flawless summer selfie, but not sure where to start? Trying to capture an intimate family moment without stepping out of it? I love a personal and atheistically pleasing Instagram, but maintaining one can be difficult. This blog is written from one amateur photographer to another. I’ll be walking you through some of my top tips (including the famed “hair water flip”) to get some naturally amazing photos with minimal effort (all photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge).

This is the blog I’ve been waiting to write, and I could not be more excited about the fact that it features two of my favorite things: my cousin Emme (although we’re basically sisters), and Apple Valley Natural Soap products!

Tip #1: Go For Floral

Girl flower photoshoot

Nothing says “summer’s starting!” like flowers. Not only will flowers fill in a natural pop of color, they’ll also provide effortless natural texture and depth to your photo. Em and I adore this photo and it only took seconds to take. Flowers are a fantastic photo opportunity because there are so many varieties. You can go for warmer shades with flowers that are yellow, orange and red (dandelions, hawkweed, roses). If you’re looking for a cooler photo try blues, purples, and whites (violets, blue lupine, morning glories). The flowers in this picture are lilacs…which smell as great as they look!

I love Em’s modest, but confident pose and the fact that the only make-up she’s wearing is a little bit of Natural Lip Balm for shine makes this photo all the more beautiful! Our lip balm comes in unscented, but I would strongly recommend Vanilla Latte because it is my FAVORITE.

Trick #1 Get Creative With Angles

Flower photoshoot

Spending our summers in rural Wisconsin means we aren’t afraid of a little dirt! Emme was more than willing to get adventurous when I suggested she lie down right in the middle of the flowers…and it definitely paid off! While a little adjusting may be necessary, let yourself be inspired by the natural process of your photoshoot. The way Em’s hair curls around on the left side was accidental, but it turned out to be our favorite part of this photo. While nature exists for our enjoyment, please be mindful of creation. As Em and I like to say, “No plants were harmed in the making of this film!”

Super Secret Extra Tip For Gorgeous Summer Hair!

Caught between brown and blonde, I like to consider my hair tone a natural bronze. That being said, the sun always leaves me a little lighter at the end of summer. Anyone else? Part of me looks forward to the free, natural highlights, but I also worry about sun damage. Moroccan Argan Oil is a great natural thermal heat protectant for hair. Blessed to be a natural blonde, Emme does a great job of maintaining her beautiful blonde hair, and we’ve even got some shampoos like the Restore Shampoo Bar to help!

Tip #2: Try a Silhouette

Sometimes I wake up and I’m just not feeling ready for my close-up. On days like this, a silhouetted photo reminds me that physical beauty does not define me. While we progress towards a more accepting definition of physical beauty, I’m always working to remember that what really makes me beautiful is not what others can see on my body. I love this photo for the romantic experience it encapsulates. The wind, the water, and the feeling.

Unique Silhouette Sunset Photoshoot

Trick #2 How to Take a Selfie That Doesn’t Look Like a Selfie

This water hair-flip is an insta-photo opportunity that’s super simple to accomplish and looks incredible. I love a great picture of myself, but I feel super self-conscious and annoying asking people to take photos of me. That won’t be a problem here! For this photo you’ll need water, a video-recording device with screenshot or video capture features, and yourself.

How Do You Flip Your Hair With Water?

Sunset Water Flip

A water flip is super easy to accomplish. I find a way to prop my phone up near the end of my dock. Then I hit record. Once I get out in front of my camera I submerge my head in water and then toss it backwards. Longer hair will create a more powerful water arc, and shorter hair will create a more even arc because it won’t take as much effort to toss your head back. Well-conditioned hair is recommended. If you have the coordination, throwing your arms back through the water will create additional texture and shape in your image. Try different things! Your camera will record it all! Afterwards I go through the video and pause it on frames I want to keep. You can either screenshot these or use a video capture feature. This is super fun to do with young kids and teens.

Tip #3 Play with Light and Shadow

I love a dramatic look, so it’s no wonder light and shadow come into play when I get an idea for an impromptu photoshoot. Where you are in relation to the sun will determine which features are highlighted. You already know I love a classic silhouette, and getting creative with the sun can add a fun, personal touch to a photo. The two photos below were taken only a minute apart and all I did was adjust my phone for two completely different looks!

Stark sunset photoshoot
Glow sunset photoshoot

Trick #3 The Ultimate Make-Up Hack

While an all-natural look is my go-to, I love experimenting with bright colors. Emme and I call this the “mermaid eye.”

Argan Oil

As you’re about to see, a little argan oil goes a long way. You can enhance any low quality eyeshadow by layering it on top of argan oil. A simple base of argan oil will allow any cheap eyeshadow to stick and it will moisturize the skin below at the same time. I used a little argan oil on Emme’s eyelids and lips and then dabbed the shadow on for intense pigmentation.

Argan Oil…Again!

Natural Argan Oil

Instant natural shine. Just apply a little argan oil wherever you want to catch the light and you’ll shine in all your photos. As you can see, Emme’s cheekbones are radiant.

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you in some way to document this beautiful season. I’d love to see any photos inspired by this blog so please please please use the #avns or tag us in your photos and let us know how our products inspire you!

First time visiting AVNS? Follow our blog to stay updated and sign-up for our newsletter to begin your journey to natural beauty!

Much Love,


New Releases! All-Natural Products For Men

Beard Oil? Shaving Soap Bars? Shea Skin Therapy? Oh My!

What’s the difference between beard soap and regular soap? And what about beard oil? Is that oil pressed from beards? Well, my soap-loving friends, this blog is about answering all of those questions. I’m so excited for what’s about to come (coupon offer??? YES PLEASE) and I hope you are too…so read on!

Having Trouble Finding All Natural Products for Men?

Photo by Suliman Sallehi from Pexels

Make manly maintenance a breeze with our exciting line-up of all natural products made with men in mind. Everyone deserves a quality skin care routine that covers all of your face’s needs from scalp to chin and Apple Valley Natural Soap has got one fresh off the press. Shampoo Bars, Shaving Soap Bars, Beard Oil, Skin Therapy Shea Butter and Beard Soap all designed with top-notch, all natural moisturizing ingredients. These products are meant to bring your skin to the next level.

Shampoo Bars For Men

Our natural shampoo bars are nothing new, just some classic favorites with rich, invigorating scents.

Man 2.0 Body, Shampoo, and Shaving Bar

Distrustful of 3-in-1 soap? I was too. With this all natural soap bar you won’t have to worry about low quality because this bar truly does it all.

Men, now you can have your soap, shampoo, and shaving cream too. Made with organic olive oil, organic shea nut butter, and organic jojoba oil for an ultra gentle, moisturizing treatment, as well as bentonite clay for slip and silk on your face when shaving, this deliciously scented shampoo bar lathers like crazy and will leave you looking, feeling, and smelling like a million bucks (and we don’t mean a million majestic male deer).

What The Men Say About This Shampoo Bar

As I always say, “when in doubt, check out the reviews.” These reviews are efficient and to the point, just like the men who probably wrote them.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

“Consistently good. A staple in my morning routine.”

-Customer Review

“This is a great shampoo bar, it lathers up quickly and does a great job…no plastic bottle. Very economical as the bars last a long time.”

-Customer Review

New Shaving Soap Bars

Shaving Soap for men

Nourishing Men’s Shaving Soaps handcrafted with natural and organic ingredients, created to build a luxurious and satisfying lather during a traditional wet shave.

The key to a good shaving soap is a high fat content so skin is protected during the shave, it will also nourish your skin so it doesn’t become dry and irritated. A good shaving soap is economically a great choice as it lasts a long time, and it is a wonderful option for your skin because it adds, not detracts, moisture. Ingredients such as olive oil, shea butter and avocado will do just that, nourish and protect skin during and after the shave. We’ve also added bentonite clay which brings slip to help the razor glide over the skin, and colloidal oats which help protect and soothe.

Classic Shaving Soap

Our Classic Shaving Soap is great for all skin types, but Classic’s blend of essential oils may assist those with oily skin. Cedarwood can help soothe irritation, inflammation, redness, and itchiness. Frankincense has powerful antiseptic and healing properties, bergamot is a natural cleanser so helps remove dirt and impurities and is great for those with oily skin as it helps to unclog pores, it also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Patchouli helps regenerate skin cells, which assists the healing of wounds and helps fade scars. Litsea cubeba contains antiseptic and astringent properties which makes it an excellent tonic for your skin, it also helps balance sebum levels on the skin surface and controls its production. And coriander (my favorite thing in the entire world) is very soothing, plus has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal properties.

Rugged Shaving Soap

Like our Classic shaving soap, Rugged is great for all skin types, but the blend of essential oils may benefit those with dry skin. Jamarosa oil is an exotic addition which is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Bay is warm and spicy plus offers antimicrobial and antioxidant benefits. Cedarwood can help soothe irritation, inflammation, redness, and itchiness, and ho wood has antiseptic, analgesic, antimicrobial, and soothing properties.

What The Men Say

Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Think you’ve got what it takes to leave a zesty review?

Now is your chance. These brand new products are looking for reviews and if you are among the first 50 people to try either of these natural shaving soaps and leave a review you’ll get a complimentary 10% off coupon for your next order!

Shea Butter Skin Therapy

Intense Nutrition for Skin, Shea Butter Skin Therapy is a super food for your skin! We have chosen only USDA CERTIFIED Organic Raw Unrefined Shea butter, pure and natural organic shea butter is the only one to use in order to reap all the benefits. 

Benefits of Organic Raw Unrefined Shea Butter May Include:

  • helping to relieve dry itchy skin.
  • elimination of greasy scalp and hair issues.
  • balancing skin’s oil production.
  • deeply moisturizing the skin.
  • retaining the elasticity of the skin.
  • may help symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema and dermatitis. 
  • treating skin conditions such as dry skin, eczema, rashes, stretch marks, and burns.
  • diminishing wrinkles.
  • clearing blemishes.
  • healing wounds, scars & skin discolorations. 

Our Shea Butter Skin Therapy is packaged in a 3.5 ounce violet glass jar with a smooth black lid. We have chosen this method of packaging to retain as much natural nutritional benefit of the product for as long as possible. You can read about the benefits of ultraviolet containers here.

Rosemary Mint Shea Skin Therapy

With the addition of 3 specifically chosen organic essential oils, this Rosemary Mint Shea Skin Therapy has a powerhouse of health benefits:

  • Peppermint essential oil has a soothing, cooling effect and is useful for reducing skin irritation and itching and the antibacterial properties present in peppermint oil accelerate wound healing. You can read a more in depth blog about the benefits of Peppermint essential oil here! Do you love that refreshing feeling on your skin & scalp from Peppermint? In addition to the Shea Skin Therapy, we have Shampoo, Body, Salt and Facial Bars, Body Scrubs, Lip Balms and many more products which contain this amazing essential oil.
  • Spearmint essential oil is not only a restorative, helping to repair the damage done to the body and aid in the recovery from injuries and wounds, it has antibacterial, anti fungal, and antiviral properties which can help get rid of infections. Spearmint essential oil is also an effective insecticide and can be applied to the skin for protection against mosquito bites. 
  • Rosemary essential oil helps heal and soothe eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and rashes due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its antibacterial properties that keep skin free from germs and other irritants that further aggravate eczema. 

Lavender Bergamot Shea Skin Therapy

With the addition of 2 specifically chosen organic essential oils, this Shea Skin Therapy is designed to soothe and heal skin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  •  Lavender essential oil has many health benefits for the skin. Most of these benefits can be attributed to its antiseptic and anti fungal properties. It is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is also commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. 
  • Bergamot essential oil has anti-inflammatoryantibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It has the ability to inhibit the growth of germs, viruses, and fungi. It can also effectively prohibit skin infections and help heal scars and other marks on the skin. It may also make the distribution of pigments and melanin uniform, resulting in the fading away of marks and scars on the skin.

Beard Oil

The moment I know you’ve all been waiting for, what is beard oil? Don’t worry, it is not the oil pressed from beards. 

Our Nourishing Beard Oil contains seven beneficial premium oils as well as four essential oils which target hair growth and conditioning, as well as beard and skin health.  Full of powerful antioxidants to help nourish your beard and facial skin, this oil may:

  • help relieve any irritation of new growth.
  • soften and hydrate dry, brittle facial hair for more control
  • rejuvenate facial skin.
  • be an invaluable tool in tackling dandruff and flakey skin patches.

Nourishing Beard Oil is safe and effective for daily use and is best when applied after showering while hair is damp and soft (You have no idea how many times I had to go back because I accidentally wrote bread instead of beard).

Much Love,


You Can Benefit From Vegan Natural Soap (Even if You Aren’t a Vegan)

Veganism. What is it?

Photo of vegetables by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

A vegan’s lifestyle centers around the refusal to use animal products. 

Vegan vs Vegetarian

Veganism differs from vegetarianism in that a vegan avoids all animal-sourced products including, but not limited to meat. From vegan soup to vegan soap this means vegan diets, vegan clothes, and even vegan cosmetics must be void of all animal products. 

Why Go Vegan?

Photo Vegan by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

The benefits of a vegan lifestyle extend past simply contributing to the increased quality of animal life. According to an article in Medical News Today, Health benefits of a vegan diet include better heart health, lower cancer risk, and weight loss. Planning a vegan diet also enforces the practice of being conscious about what you put into your body…but what about what you put on your body?

The Benefits of Vegan Natural Soap

All Apple Valley Natural Soaps are cruelty-free certified, this means that none of our ingredients or products have been tested on animals (unless hand-crafted for animals). Just because a product is cruelty-free does not mean it does not contain animal products. While some of our soaps do contain ethically sourced animal products such as silk and honey (read more about how we obtain these ingredients here), we also offer a variety of vegan options. Vegan natural soaps are gentle, nourishing alternatives to vegan soaps that still use harsh chemicals. 

5 Vegan Natural Soaps You Have to Try

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Go Green By Going Orange!

Not only are these five soaps vegan, they also all contain orange essential oils! It’s these hot summer days that have me dreaming about a cup of zesty orange sherbert (vegan recipe PLEASE!!!) and after trying them, I think you’ll agree that these soaps smell just as delicious.

1) Rosemary Orange Shampoo Bar

Rosemary Orange Vegan

This is such a sweet, pretty thing. The vegan orange illite clay is peachy pink and has tons of fantastic benefits. Mango butter softens, conditions, and adds antioxidant properties, and the essential oil blend of rosemary and orange is absolutely incredible. It makes you woozy in love. (You think I’m exaggerating? Try one and find out for yourself!)

“This shampoo bar is awesome! I love how it lathers up so nicely and cleans my oily hair so well. I had gone no poo using baking soda for shampoo, but would occasionally use a natural shampoo as well. This bar fits my needs of being natural and keeping away all the nasty chemicals found in regular shampoo. I can still go 2 days without washing my hair just like when using the baking soda. I’m hooked on Apple Valley’s shampoo bars!!”

– Customer Review

2) Orange Anise Salt Bar

Orange Anise Vegan

This striking and modern looking vegan salt bar is made with an artisanal blend of european spa salt (you can read all about our skin-nourishing salt here). Activated charcoal made from coconut shells provides a deep clean. The scent is an utterly addicting blend of spicy anise and sweet orange. You’ll be looking for excuses to wash your hands.

“We’re huge fans of the salt bars, but the orange anise bar is my current favorite. It’s amazing on my face, too.”

-Customer Review

3) Lavender Orange Castile Bar

Lavender Orange Vegan

Smooth, relaxing, dreamy. A 100% organic olive oil soap, a true Castile, beautifully scented with lavender and sweet orange essential oils.

A true Castile soap is the most gentle and mild of soaps, safe even for babies and those with ultra-delicate skin. You will not get a bubbly lather from a Castile bar, but rather a rich, thick, creamy highly emollient lather that is perfect for shaving. Castile soaps made with only olive oil are a gentle and effective option for even the most sensitive of skin and may be a great vegan soap for acne!

“Very sudsy soap…and smooth! Very gentle and right amount of oil to really feel like your covered in silk. I will purchase this again. The smell is just right.”

-Customer Review

4) Chamomile and Orange Blossom Shampoo Bar

Chamomile and Orange Vegan

Fishing for a clean, vegan start to your day? The lure is an organic chamomile and calendula infused oil blend to which we’ve added generous portions of coconut, mango butter and organic jojoba to cleanse, nourish and moisturize your scalp and skin. The scent in this shampoo bar will captivate you.

“This shampoo is absolutely AMAZING! My hair has never felt so nice! It also didn’t cause any breakouts for me, which is amazing since I’m almost allergic to everything on the planet. The scent isn’t overpowering and is so light and airy. I’m definitely going to buy more soon!”

-Customer Review

5) Mango Citrus Shampoo Bar

Mango Citrus Vegan

Soft citrus with a hint of floral, this bar is super rich in Mango Butter! This totally vegan mango butter has high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids which makes it a moisture rich food for skin and hair. It reportedly aids in the slowing of hair loss through the treatment of scalp conditions such as dandruff, eczema, or psoriasis. Mango butter is readily absorbed into skin and hair, supporting cell regeneration of the scalp, which ultimately promotes hair growth as well as helping to strengthen the overall structure. It is also known to help repair split ends and help add volume to hair.

Thinking About Going Vegan?

Whoa, with soaps like those even a hardcore carnivore might be convinced to go vegan (What’s that Mr. T-Rex? You’d like to place an order for all five bars? Sounds good, we’ll be on that as soon as we get the time machine up and running).

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading all about the benefits of vegan natural soap. If you enjoy reading about the benefits of natural ingredients you can follow our blog to receive updates on future posts. Share this post on social media to keep your friends in the natural beauty loop! If there’s a specific ingredient you’d like information on, or just a question in general feel free to comment below and your suggestion could become a future post!

Much Love,


Can You Get Rid of Sunburn Overnight Naturally? Here’s How I Do It

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July is coming in Hot Hot Hot. With the 4th of July right around the corner we want to look and feel our best when we celebrate our country’s independence (and if you don’t live in America you can probably still relate to a quality day of fun in the sun). There’s only one problem with a sunny day…


Photo by Sarah Schorer on Pexels.com

Sunburned skin is hot, painful, and embarrassing. As someone who loves being outside during the summer I’m always careful to wear sunscreen, but even after applying sunscreen I sometimes still end the day with a painful sunburn. No one wants a painful sunburn. Which is why I developed a method to get rid of sunburn. And fast. Today I’ll be walking you through my post-sunburn process. My sunburned skin healing method isn’t backed by rocket-science, but it works for me and it hopefully works for you too. I’m serious. If I’m ever famous for something it would be this method.

Picture This:

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

It’s the day before the 4th of July. You’ve got the day off and you wake up early for some last minute gardening because it’s your turn to host the 11th annual backyard BBQ. As you bend down to pull your first weeds you remember that you forgot to put on sunscreen. The sun glows gently in a blue, cloudless sky and you think, I’ll be fine. The rest of the day passes in a blur, early neighborhood parades, an afternoon on the lake. You laugh and chat while the sun blazes in the sky and then while it dips softly out of sight. It isn’t until you look in the mirror and feel the heat rising off your shoulders as you’re getting ready for bed. You’ve made a terrible mistake. You are no longer a human being but a painful, human blister. You forgot to wear sunscreen. What will you do now? Especially with your big event only hours away?

The Importance of Hydration for Healthy Skin and Sunburned Skin

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

Regardless of whether sunburn turns you into a temporary lobster *points at self* we all need to protect our skin from the sun’s rays. This method is not an alternative to sunscreen. I repeat. Not an alternative to wearing sunscreen. Wear sunscreen with healthy & safe ingredients. As you’ll see in a moment, a major part of my method involves hydration. Hydration keeps your body stable and regulated. Hydrated skin is healthy skin and when you’re dehydrated your body is at a disadvantage. Read more about the dangers of dehydration here

How to Hydrate Sunburned Skin: My Personal Method

Start Drinking Water

Photo by Arnie Watkins on Pexels.com

As soon as you realize you’ve sizzled in the sun for a little too long start drinking water. You have to stay hydrated inside if you want to stay hydrated on the outside. According to Mayo Clinic, drinking 11-15 cups of water a day has a ton of benefits aside from keeping your skin bright and supple.

Use Your Shower to Lock in Skin’s Moisture

Nothing feels better than a shower at the end of a long, hot day, but sunburn can make showering an unpleasant experience (in my experience). Can anyone else attest to the claim that hot water on sunburned skin BURNS??? It took me years to discover a shower that would lock in the moisture without boiling me alive.

Shower with Warm Water

Start with a temperature that your sunburned skin can handle and then as your skin adjusts you can gradually increase to a warm temperature your unburned skin is comfortable at. 

Natural Soap Keeps Skin Hydrated

One of my greatest obstacles when trying to keep my skin hydrated, especially when sunburned, was using soap that only contributed to dry skin. All those harsh chemicals may have kept me clean in the moment, but they put my skin at risk for future damage. Natural soap gently cleans skin while locking in moisture. For a gentle, skin protecting shower, a Calendula Castile Bar will treat your skin like a baby.

Our Marshmallow And Aloe Shampoo Bar may also do wonders for sunburned skin. 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 anti fungal 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. What more could you want?

Cold Water Rinse on Sunburned Skin

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

While there is controversy on whether rinsing with cold water actually makes your hair shinier (potential future blog?) There is no doubt that cold water on sunburned skin feels like instant relief. At the end of my shower I take a brave breath and turn the water to cold. Let the cold water run all over your body until the skin feels cold to the touch and your insides are starting to feel like an icicle. 

Pat Skin Dry with Your Towel

Rubbing yourself dry will only irritate the inflamed skin.

Apply a Quality Lotion

Our Lotion Bars Have been Upgraded to Eco-Friendly Cardboard Containers!

I always apply the thickest lotion on hand. We have some awesome, ultra-hydrating lotion bars that are just perfect for this (in unscented and oooooh my favorite: lavender). If lotion isn’t your thing we make a Organic Herbal Salve (with stellar reviews) which is chock full of soothing, certified organic herbs infused in a base of organic, extra virgin olive oil and unrefined beeswax, this salve is amazingly multi-purpose and economical. Apply it to rashes, bug bites, sun burn, wounds, dry, cracked skin, bruises, diaper rash and more! We also offer an Organic Hemp Seed Oil that you can read about here.

Organic CBD Oil Supports Skin’s Natural Healing Process

Repeat Every Night or Morning

I hope this works as well for you as it does for me. Comment with your results below if you try it out or share your own personal sunburn banning routine! We love to stay connected with you, so follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on all the exciting news (Limited Edition Summer Skin Saver Soap will be available mid-July!) including sales and new releases!

Much Love,


Hard Water Effects on Hair and What You Can Do About it

Hard Water Giving Your Hair a Hard Time?

If your hair seems lackluster you might blame it on your products, but your hair products might not be the problem. If your water supply comes from a hard water source you may be experiencing effects of hard water. In this blog we’ll cover everything you need to know about the harmful effects of hard water on hair. Read to the end to learn about treatments for hard water. Before we get into everything and explain the relationship between hard water and hair we have to look at Dihydrogen Monoxide.

Have You Heard of Dihydrogen Monoxide?

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According to the Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division, Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid.

Dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide According to DMRD:

Photo by Liam Ortiz on Pexels.com

“Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.”

“Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.”

“DHMO is a major component of acid rain.”

“Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.”

“Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.”

The Most Crucial Thing to Know about Dihydrogen Monoxide

It’s also known as water.

Dihydrogen Monoxide is Water?

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Yes, DHMO is water. The Dihydrogen Monoxide Parody is used as a way to highlight how a lack of scientific literacy and misleading wording can create misplaced fear. My tenth grade chemistry teacher actually made us write a paper on why or why not we should ban DHMO and then used it as a prank to teach us that not everything you read online is trustworthy (and made all of us feel super silly. Thanks, Mr. Shipway.)

While anyone would argue that the pros of water outweigh the cons, there is some truth to the idea that water isn’t always beneficial…in fact, hard water can wreak havoc on your hair. 

Today we’re going to talk about hard water vs soft water, how you determine your water’s hardness, the effects of hard water on your hair, and how you can protect your hair from hard water. 

So, without further ado…Mr. Shipway, this one’s for you.

What is Hard Water?

According to USGS, Hard water is water with a high content of dissolved minerals, specifically calcium and magnesium. 

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is treated water with a low concentration of dissolved minerals and as APEC water explains, the only ion in soft water is sodium.

How Hard is My Water?

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Water hardness is measured on a scale and is dependent on where you live and where you get your water from.

An easy way to determine if you have hard water is to pay attention to whether your skin or glassware maintains a film/residue after using your water. If your hands still feel slimy like you’ve been playing pattycake with a fish…or your glasses have white traces then you may have harder water. 

Like I said, water hardness depends on where your water comes from and where you live.

If you live in a city that gets its water supply from a river, then you will likely have soft water. If you live in a city (or rural area) that gets its water from wells, then you will likely have hard water.

According to Premier Water Technologies, where I live, the water hardness is 22-24 gpg (grains per gallon). That’s about five times harder than the average. 

Trust me, I don’t need a bunch of fancy research to confirm this fact because I wash my hair with it all the time.

The Effects of Hard Water on Your Hair

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All of the extra minerals in hard water interact with the hair shaft, rubbing up against them in such a way that causes the hair scales to stand up instead of laying smoothly. This puts hair strands at risk for being more vulnerable to breakage, but also leaves them exposed to soap residue. 

While we want the nutrients in soap to penetrate our hair, we also want to be able to rinse out the excess. When the hair shaft is rough, soap gets stuck in the cracks, leaving a residue that leaves hair dull and weighed down. 

As you can imagine, our super moisturizing shampoo bars do not like hard water.

Solutions for Washing Your Hair with Hard Water

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If you’re bummed because it seems like your hard water situation may prevent you from using Apple Valley Natural Soap Shampoo Bars, you might be in luck. We have some hard water solutions that will allow you to keep sudsing away with our shampoo bars.

  1. Filtered Shower-head
    • A filtered shower-head will filter out chemicals and leave you with softer water. A previous customer had great success with a Culligan Filtered Showerhead. Although Marianne has soft water and has never had the need for a filtered shower-head, she’s heard positive reviews from people who use an Aquasauna filter as well.
  2. Baking Soda
    • Another possible solution which some customers have had success with both at home when hard water is present, and when traveling, is with baking soda. Baking soda may help with hard water and even transitioning to shampoo bars as it counteracts the buildup from hard water minerals. There are two ways that people have found works well using baking soda:
      • One: take your damp shampoo bar and dip into a little baking soda and then lather the bar up on your head. Rinse and then follow with an acidic rinse which will pH balance your hair and scalp. Using a hair rinse changed my curl game. You can read about the importance of hair rinses here.
      • Two: mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 8 ounces of water, shake well and saturate hair with this mixture before shampooing. Rinse, and then finish with an acidic rinse which will pH balance your hair and scalp. I’ve used this method with happy results.
  3. Distilled Water: 
    • If you’d prefer not to use baking soda, there is always the option of using distilled water to saturate your hair before shampooing and then again afterwards to rinse. Distilled water contains no minerals, so once hair is saturated, shampooing with a natural shampoo bar will be a breeze.

Mr.Shipway may have tricked me, but he taught me a valuable lesson, too. Now that you know the truth about hard water, you’ll be ready the next time someone tries to pull one over on you with the old “Dihydrogen Monoxide Scare. ” Just teach them all about the effects of hard water, see who’s scared then (but don’t let them worry too much, because you have a solution for that!)

Much Love,