New Location Opening!

You’ve probably heard and seen some buzz about our new physical storefront in Apple Valley…but if you haven’t…here’s all the details!

Grand Opening

Everyone is welcome to come to our Grand Opening weekend! You can pop by on Friday May 20th or Saturday May 21st and we’ll be open both days from 10-5pm! Stock up on your favorite products without having to worry about shipping, discover exclusive products that are only sold in-store, and enter a giveaway for a chance to win a bundle of AVNS products! (If you are out of state keep an eye out for our online inclusive giveaway in June!)

“We are calling the retail space The AVNS Market, and it has grown out of a dream I’ve had for the last few years. A dream to have a retail area where we sell products that are good for us and the environment, products that are fun, sweet & unique, while also being able to support other small businesses. We hope the AVNS Market will offer a relaxing, joy filled shopping experience for all.”

-Marianne Buck

Location:

7570 West 147th Street

Suite 301

Apple Valley, MN 55124

Hours:

1st & 3rd Weekends Of The Month

Friday & Saturday 

10am – 5pm

(Not open Sundays, Holiday hours may vary)

Since purchasing the business in 2018, someday being able to open a physical storefront was always the hope for the future of AVNS. Three years of hard work from the Buck family and AVNS family as a whole has finally paid off as we prepare to open our doors to anyone who wants to visit! 

“When we saw the space in Apple Valley, MN as a possibility for the business I immediately saw the brick wall and knew it could be something special. After deciding to move ahead with signing the lease (a huge scary step of faith), we focused on getting the business up and running for on-line orders. Once everything was running smoothly, I started thinking and processing through what it would take to turn part of the space into a relaxing shopping experience. Once I found some inspiration the transformation took off. 

Now that the shop is ready to open its doors to the public, I’ve found myself doubting the decisions and the journey, but then remind myself that my future doesn’t rest in my hands, I have confidence that God has led us on this journey and He doesn’t make mistakes. Over the last week or so I’ve been blessed with many affirmations about our decision, and recently found out that research is now showing that many people are moving away from doing only on-line shopping as they want to get out and shop in person. They want to touch, feel, smell and be around others after having 2 years of not being able to. I am amazed that a decision that my husband and I made months ago, which we felt was stepping out into the unknown, is now proving to be the right path for us.” 

-Marianne Buck

We love what having an online store has to offer: the ability to cater to customers who live far away, the efficiency that online shopping allows, and we hope to continue growing our online store for all our far away friends! 

We’re excited that our physical store will give people the chance to come and connect with us and our products on a personal level…not sure if you’ll like the smell of a particular soap? Now you can just pop by and sniff it for yourself!

I haven’t had the chance to explore our new line of candles yet, so my visit gave me the chance to sniff around and I absolutely fell in love with the quaint clay pot that the Sun-Kissed Coconut All Natural Soy Candle came in…not to mention the amazing smell and the fact that the lid and pot can be turned into a flowerpot and seeds after the candle has been used up! I had to take one home for a Mother’s Day gift!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have already had the chance to pay the Apple Valley Natural Soap Market an in-person visit, and let me tell you…once you walk through the doors into this dreamy naturally scented haven of crafted goods you’ll want to stay all day! 

One of the most exciting things about the AVNS Market is all the cool products that are only available in-store. Jewelry that incorporates essential oils, eco-friendly dish ware, cotton goods like blankets, towels and robes, reusable beauty products.

Hope you stop by!

Much Love,

Nora


Customer’s 5 Favorite Natural Soap Bars 2022

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

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

Wildflowers Coconut Bar

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

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

– Satisfied Customer

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

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

Lime Spa Salt Bar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Satisfied Customer

Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar

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

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

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

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

– Satisfied Customer

Lavender Rosemary Salt Bar

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

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

A multipurpose, brimming with goodness, HUGE salt bar!

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

Well, the answer is yes you can!

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

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

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

Black Licorice Hand Face and Body Soap

My favorite body bar!

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

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

There’s nothing like it on the planet!

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

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

– Satisfied Customer

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

Popular 2nd Favorites!

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

Lavender Lemon Salt Soap Bar

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

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

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

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

– Satisfied Customer

Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Bean Face and Body Bar

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

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

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

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

Kitchen Salt And Spice Bar

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

– Satisfied Customer

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

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

Ginormous 8-9 ounce bars.

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

Chocolate Orange Body Bar

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

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

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

  • Cocoa Butter is readily absorbed by your skin for superb moisturizing, as well as a great antioxidant to protect the health and youthful appearance of skin.
  • Coconut oil which is a super-oil full of naturally present antioxidants, it is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. 
  • Olive oil which is packed with anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it superb for hair, skin, and nails.
  • Sunflower oil helps the skin retain moisture and is very high in vitamin E, an antioxidant which helps to protect the skin from environmental stressors.

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


DIY Holiday Spa Ideas!

DIY Holiday Spa Ideas!

From festive facial masks, to Christmas themed foot soaks, we’ve even got some easy to make facial scrub recipes that you can give as gifts! Get in the Christmas spirit with these holiday DIY spa ideas that smell great and have wonderful benefits for your body! I might even throw in a hair mask recipe for good measure! All recipes have been selected from some awesome and super creative blogs, so be sure to check them out for more inspo! And don’t forget to stock up on all your Apple Valley Natural Soap favorites! Our Limited Edition Christmas soaps make the perfect spa touch!

Homemade Face Mask Recipes From Holland and Barrett

Cranberry and Nutmeg Christmas Face Mask

I jumped for joy when I saw a cranberry facemask, I love tart cranberry sauce and did you know cranberries are FULL of antioxidants?

Ingredients:

Photo by Irita Antonevica on Pexels.com

How to make a cranberry and nutmeg Christmas face mask

Blend the berries and grapes before adding in the other ingredients one by one

Apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing off

Apple and Cinnamon Face Mask

While Cinnamon can be a powerful ingredient in a beauty regiment, this recipe only requires a dash. The oatmeal in this holiday face mask makes for a gentle pick-me-up for your skin!

Ingredients

  • One peeled and grated apple
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of oatmeal
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of plain yoghurt

How to make an apple and cinnamon face mask

Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com

First peel the apple and cut out the core, taking care to remove any pips

Then grate the apple and add remaining ingredients

Mix together and apply to your face, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off.

Christmas Themed Facial Scrubs from Her World

Huge shout out to Alex James for these super fun facial scrubs!

Minty Candy Cane Scrub

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of coconut oil (or any other oil or your choice, but I personally recommend coconut oil)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • Peppermint extract*
  • Green/pink food colouring**
  • Vitamin E oil

How to make a minty candy cane scrub

Mix the coconut oil with the sugar. If you prefer a coarser scrub, add more sugar, and if you want it smoother then add less sugar. Play around with the consistency to your preference!

Add peppermint extract to preference, as well as vitamin E oil.

*As a natural soap company AVNS suggests substituting extract for a couple drops of essential oil (if you’re making a small batch less is more!) We also recommend adding a drop or two of tea tree oil for someone looking for help with acne-prone skin, as tea tree oil may help due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

**Keep your recipe natural by skipping the food coloring! Especially if you have sensitive skin!

Honey and Gingerbread Scrub

This recipe is full of yummies! Sweet almond oil is a fantastic moisturizer and so is honey!

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sweet almond oil
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1-2 teaspoon(s) of ground cinnamon

How to make honey and gingerbread scrub

Mix all the dry ingredients together first, and then add the liquids in while mixing well. For this particular scrub I decided to use a mix of almond oil and honey, as raw honey is antibacterial, full of antioxidants and super moisturising. It’s probably better than vitamin E oil, except that it’s slightly sticky! This scrub probably smells the best, and it’s edible too (which means that it’s safe for kids and can double as a lip scrub!)

Relaxing Homemade Foot Soak from GrandmasHouseDIY

While I always shop at AVNS for all my big holiday gifts, sometimes you need a quick, easy go-to that you can make by the batch for smaller Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. I plan on making this soak for all my co-workers this year, it’s so easy to make.

Just mix and pour and you’re done!

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 15 drops Cloves
  • 15 drops Cinnamon
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus

EXTRA DIY Holiday Hair Treatment from Allure

Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and potassium, so it soothes the scalp and promotes healthy hair growth. To make a pumpkin hair mask, blend two cups of chopped cooked pumpkin*, one tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of honey, and one tablespoon of plain yogurt. Apply the mixture to damp hair and let it soak for 15 minutes. Rinse and shampoo for smoother, shinier strands.

*make it easy for yourself and use canned pumpkin!

We also recommend adding a dash of cinnamon, which is great for an itchy scalp and will boost the smell experience!

Remember to stay hydrated, moisturized, and smelling great during this bitterly dry season! 

Much Love,

Nora


Soaps for Eczema and Other Skin Conditions

Please note that although the natural soaps mentioned in this blog have worked wonders for many customers, none of them are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. 

The Benefits of Natural Soap

Dealing with skin conditions like eczema, acne, rashes, or even sensitive skin? Not a fan of expensive lotions, extensive skincare routines, and acne-kits that burn your face and bleach your towels? Try starting with a bar of natural soap. Natural soap is not a guaranteed miracle cure, but its unique composition and nature of ingredients has benefits that many of our customers agree have brought relief to skin conditions from acne to eczema. How is this possible? Natural soap is made in such a way that it retains moisturizing elements. Unlike many mass produced bar soaps, natural soaps clean your skin while also imparting additional hydration and moisture which helps soothe and strengthen skin. Natural soap is made with natural ingredients, the basic components of which are less likely to aggravate problematic skin. Natural ingredients also have so many natural vitamins and minerals that benefit your skin and keep it clean and clear! This combination of hydration and natural nourishment makes natural soap a wonderful starting point for skin conditions at a great price! 

This week I’ll go over some very common skin conditions that many people deal with. I’ve also pulled some of our top soap bars that have time and time again helped with customer’s biggest skin issues!

Eczema

Eczema can wreak havoc on the quality and appearance of your skin. Discoloration, dryness, bumpy or scaly texture, itchiness, and sensitivity are all symptoms that may accompany eczema. Eczema is caused by a gene variation that causes skin to be unable to retain moisture and keep bacteria and irritants out. Eczema often precedes asthma and can also be triggered by food allergies, especially in children. There is no cure for this condition, but supplying skin with moisture can help relieve symptoms.

Acne

Acne surfaces when your skin is clogged with oil and bacteria. Acne can range from mild whitehead and blackheads to deep cystic acne. Acne can be difficult to prevent, since there are so many factors that cause acne. Diet, hormones, and day to day contact with surfaces are all reasons why you might have acne. Over the counter acne remedies are expensive, only work short term and can oftentimes aggravate the skin further. Check out a great, natural acne routine here!

Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin varies incredibly from person to person. Sensitive skin is any skin that is abnormally prone to a reaction of some sort. Acne, rashes, dryness, and discoloration can all be the results of sensitive skin. Many people with sensitive skin have to be extra careful about what skin products they use because certain detergents, dyes, and fragrances can easily cause the skin to react. Finding products that work best for your skin is the easiest way to combat sensitive skin, but the road to finding those products may not be easy or enjoyable!

Calendula Castile

Uniquely formulated with organic virgin olive oil and calendula, this simple bar has been a wild success for many customers and is a huge hit with the babies!

“I had developed flaking skin around my nose and on my cheeks. probably an allergy. After using this soap for about 10 days, that condition is nearly gone. A wonderful product, would recommend it to anyone who has sensitive skin. Will buy it again.”

“I just love this bar of soap. It makes my 9-month-old’s skin soft and clean. He had a spot of diaper rash on his bum that was stubbornly hanging around and this soap moisturized it and helped it to heal. Hooray! It cleans us all up quite nicely and doesn’t leave behind any scent. I am all for simple when it comes to products that I use on my kids. Basically, I have tried to limit the things I put on their bodies and only use edible ingredients. Not that we *would* eat soap, but the ingredients are pretty simple nonetheless :-).”

“I use this bar on my daughter who has eczema, it is so mild and soothing for her skin. I use it on my 9 month old too. It feels good knowing that I am using something natural on their sensitive skin. Love all the products from Apple Valley Natural Soaps.”

Acne Battle Face and Body Bar

Neem oil, clay, and oats make this bar a powerful tool in combating bacteria, impurities, and build-up. 

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

“I just received my second order of acne battle bar. First off, the shipping is extremely speedy and the customer service is great. Second, the soap itself lasts a very long time. Third, it really does the job (just be patient and give it time) to heal your acne, cleanse your face and leave you feeling extremely refreshed afterwards. With acne there are no quick fixes but this soap has a combination of detoxing and cleansing ingredients that work extremely well. The neem oil (Indian plant that is known to be a purifier) is a nice touch that is hard to find in many western products. Try this soap out, I’ve recommended it to many friends and I’ll be buying this stuff for years. I can’t imagine using any other kind of soap. Thanks so much Apple Valley!”

“Ok I am 40 with seriously oily skin that is constantly broken out. Been dealing with this since I was in 4th grade. I try everything on the market just to see. I spend 150.00 a month on really expensive cleansing cream and acne cream to help. The routine was ok but I still had enough acne I would not go out without makeup on. My daughter (16) told me about the shampoo bars and I decided to try this acne bar. Again I try everything for this problem. I can’t believe my results. I was so worried it would make my acne worse but it has been a lifesaver. I am saving so much money. It’s so simple, one product. My face has just a few and I mean few small pimples. It isn’t dried out. I have yet to use an acne cream with it. And I can go without makeup because you really can’t even see the few pimples I do have! I could cry I am soooo happy. All my life dealing with this problem and this simple bar has taken care of my wreck of a face and turned it into something I can let the world see without embarrassment! If you have problems you really got to try it. It took only three days to notice a difference. I have used this now for two months. The only time I break out is well we all know. But even then it isn’t bad. I can’t say enough how wonderful this is”

Unscented Coconut Bar

Just pure coconut. Moisturizing and cleansing!

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

“I was plagued with eczema and numerous cysts that kept appearing and I had no answers from my doctors. Nothing was helping and I was so miserable. I searched and searched for a soap that was natural, scent free and made of only coconut. Natural coconut has antibacterial and antifungal properties that are so good for your skin. This soap leaves your skin soft and clean without that tacky soap feeling. I am happy to say my eczema and cysts went away within a week and have not been plagued with it since. I love this soap. Please do not stop carrying this product. It is the best I have found on the market.”

More Soaps That Could Change your Life

The following soaps have been reviewed continually for their skin-improving abilities! Feel free to read through the reviews for yourself!

Honey Carrot and Tangerine Face and Body Bar

Basil and Lemongrass Salt Bar

Cocoa Butter and Vanilla Bean Face and Body Bar

Charcoal Detox Face and Body Bar

Much Love,

Nora


Why Choose AVNS?

Here’s why Apple Valley Natural Soap Company is the right company for you!

Made with Natural Ingredients

Our products are made with a variety of plant and animal based ingredients (all products are cruelty-free, which you can read more about below!). We use ingredients from Coconut Oil to Lanolin and we always use the highest quality ingredients we can find from the most ethical sources.

Why Choose Natural ingredients?

Why would you want natural ingredients over chemically manufactured ingredients? There are a couple reasons! One reason why using natural ingredients in products benefits you is because natural ingredients are often more gentle on skin. Artificial chemicals and dyes are used for their sensory properties, but that’s about it, many times harsh dyes and detergents can take a toll on your skin and leave you with rashes and irritation. The second reason is pretty cool, natural ingredients naturally happen to have a lot of additional benefits for skin and hair. For example, essential oils we use to scent products also have a variety of properties such as antiviral properties, anti-inflammatory properties, soothing effects and more. 

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

I think the best thing about our soaps is that they are all biodegradable! This means that when they come in contact with the earth they break down and re-enter the soil without ever leaving a trace of their existence. This makes a natural bar of soap like our Earth Shampoo Bar the perfect bar to take with you on a camping trip! We also work super hard to make all of our packaging as eco-friendly as possible by either using reusable bottles or recyclable packaging.

Organic, Vegan, and Cruelty Free

What does it mean to be organic?

Organic food is food produced by methods complying with the standards of organic farming. Standards vary worldwide, but organic farming features practices that cycle resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Organizations regulating organic products may restrict the use of certain pesticides and fertilizers in the farming methods used to produce such products.”

-Wikipedia

What does it mean to be vegan?

Vegan products are products that contain no animal product or byproducts. People follow vegan lifestyles to live harmoniously with the earth and its creatures and to reduce the amount of inhumane animal-related practices. 

We are proud to offer a large selection of vegan soaps like our very popular Man 2.0 Body, Shampoo, and Shaving Bar!

What does it mean to be cruelty-free

Cruelty-free means that no animal was harmed in any part of product creation or testing. To read more about this, check out this article!

All of our products are cruelty-free!

AVNS is a small, family business!

Why support a small business? 

Supporting a small business not only has large scale benefits, but personal benefits too. As an online shop, we do have the blessing of being able to ship our products all over the United States, but the majority of our customers are from good ole’ Minnesota. When you buy within your local community you help the local economy. A small business has to have the drive and creativity to keep up with name brand companies, meaning you will often discover that the result of this effort is continual unique and quality products. As a small business we also have the time to focus more closely on the wants and needs of each individual customer. Your shopping experience goes from detached and mundane to personal and engaging!

Why support a family business? 

Family businesses are often some of the most hard-working, cooperative, businesses you’ll find. What does this mean for the products or services offered? They are going to be higher quality. A family business is run with family in mind, which means that the core values of a family are ingrained in every aspect of the company. A business built on loyalty, honesty, trust, and compassion is a company that won’t let you down. We’ll treat you as a part of the family because to us, you are!

Why Choose Apple Valley Natural Soap?

Our products speak for themselves! Our customers have had great success on their journeys to healthier skin and hair. Our bars have helped with skin and scalp conditions, as well as improving overall quality of skin and hair! You can read honest customer reviews of every product in our store.

Much Love,

Nora


Meet The Team: Amanda Buck

If supporting small family businesses that make quality, environmentally friendly, natural products is your thing then Apple Valley Natural Soap is definitely for you! I am always so inspired by the families behind every family business, probably because I’m a part of one and I know how much sacrifice and team effort goes into the operation. I also think it’s essential to acknowledge each role a family member plays in a family business, every person is needed. Which is why I’m so excited to be featuring one of Marianne’s lovely and talented “right-hand-daughters” for this feature: Amanda!

Who Takes All The Photos For AVNS?

Photo of the beautiful Bella Rose Bar!

If you haven’t already guessed, it’s Amanda! One of my favorite things about the AVNS website is the gorgeous visuals of every available product, but when, where and how do those pictures get taken? I asked Amanda to walk me through the process.

“I set up the equipment required for a shoot, pick out the products involved, take many different shots at many different angles, locations, etc. to make sure I have the perfect shot for editing. I transfer all my photos over to editing and select the shots I like the most and fit my vision, then edit the photos to flow seamlessly with the others on our website and social media. I then get them sent off to my mom where she uses the photos where she needs. When it comes to product specific photos I will either use a Lightbox or set up somewhere outside to get that natural aspect. I use Lightroom to edit my photos, adjusting the lighting, exposure, colors, saturation, angles, and healing any blemishes in the soaps themselves. I try not to use filters or any intense editing, as we want the beauty of the natural and raw soap to come through.”


Born Into The Business

Amanda is no stranger to AVNS products and some of her favorites include the body butters and sugar scrubs, but she explains that a lot more goes into a family business than just just testing fun new products and giving the daughter seal of approval, “The most challenging thing about being involved in my family business is having it take over a large part of our lives, conversations, and planning.” To Amanda, this sacrifice is worth it. “The most rewarding part is simply being able to see the fruits of our labor pay off and the experiences we get to have thanks to the business.” What does this look like? Amanda says that her favorite family pastimes are road trips and family adventures, “It can be a little bit crazy, but it’s always such a fun time.”

In the midst of taking care of her role in the family business, Amanda makes time to grow in other interest areas of her life, “I enjoy spending time with my amazing boyfriend, trying new restaurants and coffee shops with my friends, shopping, working out, and spending time outside.” She values the practice of a balanced lifestyle just like her mom, and this isn’t the only thing she’s learned from her hardworking boss and mother, “I have been able to see how difficult and rewarding owning a small business can be. Both my mom and I have entrepreneurial spirits and it is fun to see how she has taken this business and grown it into what it is today. I have seen the dedication, long hours, and sacrifice it takes to run a business of your own and I can say with certainty that after learning what I have from my mom and AVNS, I could start and run a business of my own someday.”


Of course, I always have to ask my favorite question:

If There was a bar of soap called the “Amanda Bar”, what would the ingredient list feature and how would you describe the finished product?

“If there was a bar of soap called the Amanda Bar, it would be a salt bar that targeted exfoliation with fine salt, anti-bacterial properties that heals skin blemishes like acne, but also adding moisturizing oils back into to the skin finished off with a fresh, muted, floral and warm scents with lavender and cardamom, sea salt, and vanilla.”

Who else wants to see this bar hit the shelves? I know I do!

Much Love,

Nora


New All-Purpose Liquid Castile Soap!

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

Why Castile Soap?

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

Why is Olive Oil Good For Your Skin?

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

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

Why AVNS Liquid Castile Soap?

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

Popular Name Brand Ingredient List

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

Apple Valley Natural Soap Liquid Lavender Castile Soap Ingredient List

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

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

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

More Castile Soap Options

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

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

Much Love,

Nora


Why Does My Scalp Itch and How Can I Find Relief?

An itchy scalp is an annoying distraction that can be caused by many things. Itchy scalps can be the result of dandruff, reactions to hair care products, fungal infections, and even lice. We have a little secret that has done wonders for itchy scalps, but if your itchy scalp persists, the best option is to always get a dermatologist’s advice!

Dandruff

Did you know that dandruff isn’t just an overly dry scalp? Dandruff is actually a symptom of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis and occurs for many reasons including dry skin…but also overly oily skin. Dandruff comes with its own evils, including causing forehead acne. Dandruff can be difficult to treat, but one of the best ways to combat dandruff is to use a gentle daily shampoo such as our Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Bar, or our MAN Shampoo Bar. Natural soap makes a wonderful, gentle soap for acne because it won’t strip the scalp with harsh chemicals and also imparts the benefits of natural oils onto the hair and scalp! Try our Acne Battle Face and Body Bar if you struggle with acne!

Allergic Reactions to Haircare Products

So many hair products are made with synthetic chemicals that don’t interact well with human skin. If you aren’t rinsing your hair well enough when you shower, all the leftover build-up from your shampoo and conditioner and other hair products will sit on your scalp and irritate it. 

Finding hair care products when you have a sensitive scalp can be difficult. Natural shampoos are one solution to this problem. Many of our customers have found relief from skin conditions with our shampoo bars! Another great way to get rid of build-up is with an acidic hair rinse! Try our Herbal Vinegar Rinse for the best hair and scalp of your life!

Fungal Infections, Mites and Lice

Sometimes unwelcome critters and bacteria find their way onto our scalps…gross, right? Fungal infections manifest when fungus is allowed to grow in a hospitable environment. The best way to take preventative action against fungal infections is to keep hair clean, moisturized, and dry. Using a shampoo with antibacterial ingredients will further help prevent fungus from setting up shop on your scalp.

Fact or Fiction: Lice Love Dirty Hair

The stigma that lice and mites prefer dirty hair to clean is completely false! Lice and mites don’t discriminate and will happily inhabit any scalp they can find. The best way to avoid lice is to stay out of contact with it. This includes caution around people who might have contracted it and bedding (hotels especially) that see a lot of traffic! Your dermatologist can help rid you of these pests. 

Soap Company’s Recommendation for Itchy Scalp!

Our natural salt soap bars are perfect for washing hands and bathing due to their natural antiviral, antibacterial & anti-fungal properties from the salt, essential oils and carrier oils such as coconut and castor. Plus, weighing 8 – 9oz each, our salt bars last a very long time!

We recommend our Lavender Lemon and Lavender Rosemary Salt bar for itchy scalps. Not only do they have salt, a natural antibacterial agent…they also have antibacterial, anti-fungal essential oil blends to keep your scalp clean!

Yikes! My scalp is itching after writing this blog, time for a good ole scrub-a-dub!

Much Love,

Nora


How To Fix Oily Roots and Dry ends

Greasy roots and dry ends can ruin a good hair day. The key to fixing greasy roots is a shampoo that helps balance the scalps oil production. What kind of shampoo fixes oily roots? The best kind of shampoo for dealing with oily roots is a moisturizing shampoo that also has an ingredient that actively absorbs oil (like clay). Your roots get cleaned and your dry ends get the hydration they need.

Roots Get Greasy Fast?

Many people will try to combat oily roots by overwashing their hair with shampoos that contain harsh detergents to lift oil from the scalp. 

Short term, this seems like a solution, but your scalp produces oil for a reason. The oil your scalp produces is called sebum, which actually benefits your hair when the appropriate amount is distributed along your hair shaft (usually occurring naturally when you brush your hair). 

Sebum protects your hair shaft and makes it shine, but too much leads to oily roots. When you constantly strip your scalp of oil it sends a message to your scalp that it needs to produce even more oil…leaving you with greasy roots.

A moisturizing shampoo made with oils that protect the ends of your hair and gently cleanse your scalp won’t cause your scalp to overproduce sebum. The best moisturizing soaps are natural soaps and shampoos.

Why Do My Roots Get So Greasy?

There are many reasons why you might be more prone to oily roots including genetics, acne and bacterial issues, skin conditions, and overwashing. If you want to fix your oily roots and be able to go longer between washdays you have to set your hair up for success

Using a shampoo with clay will help decrease the amount and appearance of oil in your roots. Clay has an absorption power that pulls in oil and clarifies your scalp. You can read about the clays we use and their beauty benefits here

Greasy Roots Shampoo

My roots get greasy after 24 hours and I’ve found great success with this Rhassoul and Avocado shampoo bar. This bar was formulated with ingredients to combat problematic hair! And will keep the ends of your hair moisturized!

Rhassoul Clay:

  • Contains a high percentage of silica, magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Absorbs oil and impurities from both the skin and hair

Avocado oil and Avocado butter:

  • Softens and soothes skin
  • Increases production of collagen
  • Locks in moisture
  • Fatty acids gives hair shine and silky texture
  • Helps fight frizz

Aloe vera:

  • Contains proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp.
  • Rich in vitamin C, E and beta carotene which nourishes skin and scalp deeply. 
  • Has antifungal and antiviral properties, it prevents itching and reduces dandruff and flaking
  • Also has very potent anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce redness and inflammation. 

“I am absolutely in love with my shampoo bar!! This was the first time I tried shampoo bars and I did so much research to find the cleanest brand. There was no question AVNS won that category by a long shot. Then they won because they offer 5oz bars instead of 2oz like most others. Then they won on the price. I have very oily hair and struggle to find hair products so I was nervous and kind of negative about whether or not it would work. Well, I used it ONE time and I was never turning back. My hair has never lasted so long without being oily. It doesn’t have any residue or waxy feel leftover after showering, it smells amazing, feels great, and moisturizes my scalp- which usually flakes with other shampoos. I was shocked and amazed and I have recommended AVNS to everyone I know. I also used the baking soda trick (I love that they offer so many blog posts and tips, especially since I was a first time user) and the Lavender Mint hair rinse. Another amazing product I highly recommend. I was getting so many compliments on my hair and people asked what I was doing. I was happy to say “only AVNS!” If you’re on the fence, just go for it. It’s worth it. Thank you AVNS for making clean products that actually work.”

-Satisfied Customer

Acid Hair Rinse To Clarify Roots

Another great way to clarify your scalp and hair is with an acidic hair rinse. An apple cider vinegar rinse will remove build up from your hair and smooth your hair shaft, our Herbal Hair Rinse is made with herbs to further strengthen and cleanse your scalp and hair. This rinse is made to aid the soothing of skin conditions and may help prevent acne!

I hope we’ve helped to “clarify” when it comes to questions about how to get rid of oily roots! Follow our blog for more information on who we are and the natural products we make!

Much Love,

Nora


Meet The Team: Marianne Buck

I’m so excited for this week’s blog because it will kick off the first post in our series of “Meet the Team.” There is an amazing team of incredible people behind AVNS who contribute so much towards the quality of our company and the fantastic products adored by so many people. Being a small business allows us to take the time to put a spotlight of appreciation on every person involved with AVNS which will happen right here every month in our blog. If you’re thankful for the AVNS team don’t hesitate to show the love by giving this post a like and follow our blog!

Marianne Buck: the owner of AVNS

Marianne is easily one of my greatest role models. Her dedication to her craft and business is an inspiration, but equally so is her evident dedication to her family life and most importantly her love and respect of the Lord. This being said, it shocks me every time I realize I’ve only met with her in person 3 times in the almost year and a half that I’ve blogged for AVNS. 

Before my time with AVNS, if you’d asked me to imagine what a remote work relationship looked like, the first words that would come to my mind would be detached and professional. While what we do is certainly professional, there has never been a lack of genuine warmth and compassion that fills the void of our long-distance work space and this is because of Marianne! Today I hope you all will get the chance to know the amazing woman who runs your favorite soap company just a little bit better (warning, she’s pretty cool).

Starting Small

It’s hard for me to remember Marianne didn’t always own Apple Valley Natural Soap, in fact, she started out as just another customer with a love for natural skin products. Inspired by AVNS, Marianne began making her own soaps and with the encouragement of friends who had willingly tried her products with satisfying results, she and her husband opened a shop on Etsy. Within the course of two years Marianne was offered the chance to buy AVNS twice, the first time she felt it wasn’t the right time, but two years later after quite a bit of prayer Marianne felt as though the Lord was moving her in a direction she could not refuse. AVNS has continued to grow steadily since, staying focused on finding a balance between making products customers know and love while also staying true to the production of natural eco-friendly products and packaging. Read the full story in her own words here

Running a Creative Business

Marianne’s work space 🙂

I’d argue that the craft of soap-making is a three-fold artform made up of scent, visual presentation, and sensory experience. Mastering all three of these elements is no easy task, so adding the business aspect on top of everything else is enough to keep anyone busy, including Marianne who, by taking on AVNS, has taken on quite the juggling act,  “I love being creative, so I have to make sure I don’t lose that part of me. I am also still learning to balance my time wisely between my family and the business. I learned very quickly running a business can swallow you up!”

So what does Marianne’s work day look like? While it’s fun to imagine her in a white lab coat with a fridge full of fresh ingredients blending, mixing and concocting away…Marianne says otherwise,  “I don’t really have a typical work day, but if I’m not running around somewhere with my son getting him to classes and other commitments, you’ll find me at my desk in an office. I like to start my work day between 8-9 am, answering emails, connecting with companies who work with us behind the scenes, and checking orders and questions on our site. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I’ll be getting orders ready to process and preparing the paperwork for one of our employees to package and ship them out.” At AVNS teamwork makes the dream work, and Marianne never hesitates to throw herself into every aspect of her company, “ I also fill in where needed, so occasionally you’ll find me cutting soap, organizing things in the curing room, experimenting with new ingredients or a new product or product line, researching recipes and new ways to improve AVNS. It really can be a never ending list of things to do, but I’m learning to prioritize and adjust my time as needed.”

A Family Effort

Marianne loves reading in her free time!

Behind every small family business is a hardworking family and Marianne’s is no exception. Most members of the Buck family already have jobs or activities that keep them plenty busy, but they’ll all contributed to AVNS at one time or another and are always willing to pitch in when needed, “when we started with AVNS every member of our family was involved…Currently Amanda does photography for us and is also helping in a few other areas where needed…Natasha used to package almost 100% of orders and so has since declared ‘I’m all soaped out for a while’…Ethan continues to do data and timesheet entry for us and occasionally wrapping soap, and Darin helps wherever is needed. This mostly means that when we need to move soap around in the curing room, he’s the muscle!” With such a busy schedule, I was curious to know what Marianne does with any spare time, to which she replied that there currently isn’t much of!  “I do love a good book, to go out with my husband, spend time with each of my children (although this doesn’t happen as much as I’d like as they all have busy lives.) To visit with a friend, plus, I love to be creative when I have the time. Being creative can be anything from experimenting with a new product recipe to baking.”

The Future of AVNS

The greatest reward of running AVNS for Marianne is hearing, “the testimonials from customers who love the products…hearing how the products have helped them heal, or that they simply feel better using natural products…I’m reminded how much AVNS is not just a business, but a ministry.”  Marianne’s dream is to help more people discover the joy of using natural products while also contributing to the community, “I would love AVNS to continue to grow where we can expand into either our own physical brick and mortar store, or to be in stores across the country. I don’t envision AVNS in big box stores, but smaller boutique type stores where we can support other small businesses.” In terms of products, “the future of AVNS is still going to revolve around our soaps as they are what we are known for and what customers love about AVNS. But we will continue to introduce new eco-friendly, natural products to our customers. I always want to be transparent with AVNS and have gone the extra mile in research and fulfillment to make sure what we use is something I can stand behind with integrity.”

Who ‘Nose’ Where That Smell Is Coming From???

Because AVNS has no official storefront yet, the Buck household is the central hub for everything and anything AVNS, which comes with an unexpected side effect. “Because all finished products end up with us before being shipped out to customers, our home has a wide variety of scents which are always present. So much so that the essential oils have been absorbed into every nook and cranny within our home, but we don’t notice the scent anymore, but when we are out and about, it’s not uncommon for comments and conversations around us to start like this “do you smell peppermint? I wonder where it’s coming from, it smells good. Seriously, do you smell it?” 

If there was a bar called “The Marianne Bar” What would the description and ingredient list look like?  

“Oooo, it’s totally the Lavender Silk Shampoo Bar. I created that bar with me in mind as I love the scent of fresh lavender, and I wanted a bar which would moisturize and strengthen my hair without weighing it down. An interesting thing about this particular bar is that I’ve had customers with hard water who have success using it as a shampoo. I’m sure it’s not a hard water success for everyone, but I heard about it years ago and it always stuck with me.”

Thanks For Reading!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know us! We’ll be back next month with another team member feature.

Much Love,

Nora