New Products and Updates!

Give the Gift of Handcrafted Soap!

If you’re new to Apple Valley Natural Soap, welcome! As a small, online shop we take pride in creating custom natural products at quality prices that customers love. You’ve found this blog and/or our website at just the right time. Apple Valley Natural Soap products make for unique holiday and hostess gifts and we have a fantastic sale right around the corner! 

If you’re a loyal AVNS customer or blog reader, welcome back! This newsletter is full of info on our latest releases and upcoming events that I knew you’d want to know about. We’ve got some really exciting products on the shelf right now that you or a loved one needs to try!

New Products!

Signature Skin Collection

We’ve just released our first product in our new line of handcrafted skincare products! Marianne has been perfecting this line of products made with natural ingredients that work to bring your skin to perfection from any state! Keep on eye out for more products to follow.

Facial Toners

Our renewing natural facial toners are made from organic hydrosols and natural extracts. From our supplier of hydrosols; “We source only the finest quality organic hydrosols from highly regarded suppliers from around the world….A hydrosol is the aromatic water remaining after producing an essential oil via steam distillation. Steam distillation results in two complementary products – the essential oil and the hydrosol. When the plant material is brewed with water in the cooker, steam fills the pot, and as it rises, causing the plant’s glands to release its oils and essence into the steam. The aromatic water that was steamed with the original plant material is referred to as a “hydrosol”, which is like a much less concentrated essential oil. During this distillation process, the plant matter actually imparts the hydrosol with the water-soluble aromatic and therapeutic properties of the plant. They contain the essence of the plant in every drop, just like essential oils, but in a milder form.”

Hydrosols make fabulous ingredients for facial toners. Why? When you wash your face with cold process soap (which is slightly alkaline) and following up with a hydrosol toner (which is slightly acidic) it gently helps rebalance the pH of the skin. Your skin’s acid mantle is what keeps in moisture and blocks out toxins from the environment, so this is an important step in your skin care regimen. To these hydrosols we’ve added some amazing natural extracts which boost the skins ability to regenerate through enzyme and antioxidant activity.

Why is a toner needed in a skincare routine? 

A toner has multiple benefits for your skin and plays an important role in your skincare routine. A good toner can act on several levels adding and retaining moisture in the skin, gently exfoliating the skin for a bright fresh, clean look, and soothing the skin for a calm complexion!

Calming Toner Organic Neroli (orange blossom) hydrosol, Papaya (Carica papaya) fruit extract, Mango (Manifera indica) fruit extract, Radish root (Leuconostoc) ferment.

This faintly sweet, floral, and citrusy toner is great if you have oily/combination skin. Neroli hydrosol contains alpha hydroxy acids which help exfoliate the skin, and is anti-inflammatory so helps soothe and calm skin inflammation like acne, eczema etc. It is also antibacterial, which is another reason it’s great for treating acne, plus is highly astringent, as well as rich in vitamin C. The combination of the Papaya and Mango extracts increase enzyme activity and are attributed with soothing skin irritations and exfoliating dead cells. Papaya contains arginine, which is an amino acid that smoothes skin and aids in cell regeneration and Papain possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Restorative Toner Organic Rose Otto (Rosa damascena) hydrosol, Glycerin, Rose Otto (Rosa damascene) petal cell extract, Radish root (Leuconostoc) ferment.

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

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

*Rose Hydrosol is often referred to as Rosewater or Rose Floral Water but is actually a different product. Where Rose Hydrosol is the distillation of rose essential oil made with fresh-picked fresh rose petals and contains the essence of the plant in every drop. A flower water or rosewater, by contrast, is water that has been scented using essential oils. In addition, rose water will typically have additives that rose hydrosol will not.

To use – After gently cleansing skin morning and evening, mist evenly onto the face, neck and décolletage and allow to dry. Follow with moisturizer or facial oil like our Organic Moroccan Argan Oil. The moisturizer/oil will lock in the toner, leaving your skin soft and glowing.

Liquid Soaps

We released our liquid Castile soap line several months ago, and we are adding two new varieties to the collection! One is limited edition so get it while you can!

Unscented Liquid Castile Soap

Our premium Castile type liquid soap’s main ingredient is organic virgin olive oil, which deeply penetrates the skin, moisturizing and nourishing while cleansing. We’ve also chosen to combine the olive oil with a rich blend of premium oils to create a thick and versatile soap with creamy lather, gently cleansing while moisturizing, leaving skin feeling soft and smooth. 

Try our natural Castile soap for a nourishing and effective cleansing experience for your hands, face and body.

For hands and face; fill one of our hand thrown ceramic soap pumps for everyday use by the sink, or dilute this soap with water and fill a foaming soap pump.

For body; use in the shower or bath as a rich and cleansing, yet gentle body wash. Some even love using it as a shampoo!

For the household; dilute with water and use it to rinse food, clean dishes, mop, wash your dog, as well as your laundry.

Made with all natural and organic ingredients, the uses are endless.

As with all our other soaps, this liquid soap is cruelty-free, synthetic-free, petroleum-free, free from sulfates, parabens, artificial colors and phthalates.

Ingredients: purified water, saponified oils of organic extra virgin olive, castor, organic coconut, organic unrefined shea butter, organic jojoba. Mediterranean Sea salt.

Spirit of Christmas Liquid Castile Soap

Relax into the aroma of Christmas, with warm spice notes from classic cedarwood, cozy cinnamon and clove, infused with a touch of sweet orange and vanilla. Our Limited Edition ‘Spirit of Christmas’ premium Castile type liquid soap is a wonderful festive scent for this Holiday season! 

Ingredients: purified water, saponified oils of organic extra virgin olive, castor, organic coconut, organic unrefined shea butter, organic jojoba. Mediterranean Sea salt. Essential oils of cedarwood atlas, sweet orange, cinnamon leaf, clove bud and vanilla dark.

Recent Releases

Limited Editions

Our Christmas and Fall Limited Edition Soaps are out now and won’t last long! This is also your chance to grab our WILDLY POPULAR Winter Skin Saver (the first batch sold out in just four hours). 

Re-stocked

Shaving bowls and Brush Sets

Restocked just in time for your stocking! We’re adding new shaving bowls and brush sets to our store. These timeless clay and wood pieces look elegantly classic in any bathroom as opposed to plastic and aluminium cans. 

Candles

Our candles are going to hit the shelves any day, they go quick so keep an eye out!

New Website Updates!

We are always working to make the AVNS website the most convenient, pleasant experience it can be for our customers. We don’t have a physical shop, so we want our website to feel like a welcoming and personable place to be! We are so excited to offer a new option at checkout called EcoCart. You can choose to add a small amount of money to your order and that amount goes toward offsetting your carbon footprint! One of our main goals as a natural soap company is to leave as small a trace as possible, which is why we work hard to create reusable and recyclable packaging…and we are so pumped for this neat, online addition!

Thanksgiving Sale!

Keep an eye out for our fantastic Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale! Details will be on social media and in our newsletter!

Pop-up Shop!

WE ARE SO EXCITED! Our products will be available at a pop-up shop coming soon! Check out our retail location list to see if our products are coming to you anytime soon!

Collective Grace

(Pop-Up Shop)

20784 Holyoke Ave

Lakeville, MN 55044

(612) 840-8664

https://www.facebook.com/collectivegrace

Nov. 18-20 | Nov. 27 (Small Business Saturday) | Dec. 2-4

Hours:

Thursdays 10-6

Fridays 10-4

Saturdays 10-4

You Know What To Do!

Do not wait to do your Christmas shopping until the last minute, take advantage of these deals and order now and during the sale so that you get everything shipped to you in time for Christmas!

Much Love,

Nora


Unscented Shampoos and Soaps

Environmental Illness

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

Have you ever used a product and had a bad reaction to it? Maybe your makeup caused a breakout, or your cheap lotion caused an angry red itch on your hands? Some people deal with even worse reactions, and it’s called Environmental Illness. Environmental Illness can result in symptoms from a number of different systems in the body including neurological, immune, respiratory, and skin (just to name a few). These symptoms, which can range from a headache to irritated eyes, are brought on by chemicals in one’s environment. People with Environmental Illness are at constant risk of being exposed to chemicals which could trigger a reaction. Most people don’t think that a perfume or air freshener they use in their room or on their body could make such a negative impact on someone else’s wellbeing, but this is the case!

Information on Environmental Illness

Information on Scent Free Zones

Fragrances

While we think of toxic chemicals like exhaust having an impact on our health, we do not consider other day to day chemicals that live on our shelves and in our cupboards. Many fragrances are created with synthetic chemicals that are incompatible with our bodies and end up as an irritant whether it be physical or sensory.

History of Our Naturally Scented Products

Sweet Rosehips Body Polish

We offer a variety of soaps ranging from unscented to scented with phthalate free fragrance. We are always working towards scent options that are the most natural, but we sold some of our soaps for over four years under the impression that the pre-mixed blends we were using in a few of our bars were pure essential oil blends.  Since that time it was discovered that those blends contained pure essential oils AND a small percentage of phthalate-free fragrance oil to boost the natural scent. We had to decide whether to discontinue those bars and disappoint many of our regular customers, or to continue to carry them and give people the choices they wanted. We made the decision to carry the bars, and let our customers make their own choices in this regard.

What is the ratio of scent in our soaps?

All of our scented varieties of soap contain 2-3% essential oils—to add scent as well as therapeutic value—and 98% other ingredients (oils, water, clays, milks, etc.).  The few soaps that contain the uncertified blends ALSO have therapeutic grade essential oils in them. We did a lot of experimenting because we wanted to make our scents totally unique.  The fact that these soaps contain a mix of the blends in question PLUS our own essential oil additions also drives any percentage of any fragrance oil down even further (less than .5-1% of the entire batch). 

If you are a purist (please see 2020 UPDATE), these are the soaps/products that are scented with a mix of pure essential oils AND may also contain a minimal amount of phthalate-free fragrance oil which augments and enhances the scent:

Chamomile and Orange Blossom soap, Bella Rose soap, Marshmallow and Aloe soap, Green Tea and Nettles soap, Wheat and Honey soap, Lavender Buttermilk soap, Vanilla Butter soap, Wildflowers soap, and Sweet Rosehips Body Polish.

2020 UPDATE: We have started introducing a natural plant based fragrance alternative to some of our soaps which once had the essential oil & phthalate free fragrance blend. This is only happening to soaps and products where finding a scent match with essential oils is not possible. Our desire would be to only used essential oils as they give benefit to the hair and skin as well as scent, but when this is not possible, we have chosen to use natural plant based fragrances. These natural fragrances are plant-based aromatics which are produced using pure essential oils and aromatic isolates derived solely from natural, raw botanical sources. All of these natural fragrances are certified to be free of synthetic ingredients.

Products currently using the natural plant based fragrances:

Sweet Vanilla Body Polish, Jasmine Rose Citric Acid Hair Rinse, Coconut Milk & Citrus Shampoo Bar.

Unscented Shampoos and Soaps

Be mindful of those around you who may have an intolerance to fragrance while still smelling great! Our unscented soaps and shampoos may be fantastic options for teachers and other employees who work in fragrance free zones! Try our Simply Shea Shampoo Bar or wash your hands with our Salted Chocolate Sink Bar!


The Best Ingredient for Smooth Skin: Goat Milk

Goat milk is an underrated ingredient in the skin care community with unparalleled benefits. We here at Apple Valley Natural Soap are such huge fans of goat milk that we decided one bar with goat milk wasn’t enough! This week’s blog is all about our new Limited Edition Geranium Blossom Goat Milk Shampoo Bar and why it is so fantastic. We’ll also explain exactly what it is that makes goat milk such a must have in your skin and hair routine!

Benefits of Goat Milk

Photo by Linda Prebreza on Pexels.com

Goat milk has a ton of fantastic agents contributing to its overall beauty enhancing structure! Goat milk works mainly to smooth and enhance skin, and works its wonders on even the most sensitive of skin.

Smooth

Vitamin A and lactic acid content in goat milk help to gently exfoliate skin.

Enhance

Lactic acid acts as a humectant drawing moisture into your skin. Lactic acid also elevates the production of ceramides, which helps to tighten and strengthen your skin! Check out our Lavender Buttermilk Bar for more of this goodness!

Gentle on Sensitive Skin

Goat’s milk has the same pH as human skin,which means it is extremely compatible with our skin’s surface and won’t cause reactions.

Goat Milk For Hair

Goat milk works a similar magic on hair as it does skin! Not only does it moisturize a dry, flaky scalp…but the protein content is fantastic for strengthening and protecting the hair shaft. Goat milk is a great natural ingredient for curly hair because of its protein content!

Apple Valley Natural Soap Goat Milk Shampoo Bars

What is the easiest way to get goat milk into your skincare and haircare routine? Try using it in a bar of soap! We have two super different, very unique bars that incorporate goat’s milk for an all over gentle cleanse from head to toe!

Geranium Blossom Goat Milk Shampoo

Description: This beautifully scented floral shampoo bar has been created with some pretty amazing ingredients which we think you’ll love. Do you love floral scents? The essential oil blend of geranium, orange and lavender will transport you to a summer flower garden. Not only that, but if we’re loving everything floral, why not consider our addition of Rosehip extract? Rosehips are high in antioxidants which can help improve the appearance of hair as well as help protect it. But we didn’t stop there, we’ve also added rich goat milk which brings its own fantastic benefits to this shampoo bar. Goat milk helps leave hair soft and manageable, it also repairs damage, is good for dry scalp and helps with dandruff, leaving a healthy scalp. Goat milk along with the following ingredients create a regenerating, nourishing and sudsy shampoo bar for those who love everything floral!

Photo by Robert Goldenowl on Pexels.com

Coconut oil which is a super-oil full of naturally present antioxidants is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. 

Olive oil which is packed with anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating squalene, making it superb for hair, skin, and nails. 

Jojoba oil is a natural anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, its properties keep the scalp clean and healthy. It can also prevent hair loss and thinning caused by the clogged hair follicles as it dissolves and clears these blockages and promotes the development of new hair cells, which can lead to hair growth. 

Shea butter strengthens your skin by stimulating the production of collagen, it helps make your skin more supple, more alive, nourished and radiant. 

Goat milk is rich in calcium and protein as well as vitamins and minerals, all of which aid in strengthening and maintaining healthy hair.

Rosehip extract is high in antioxidants and may help improve hair’s healthy appearance by supporting the restoration of moisture in hair strands, eliminating frizz or split ends, and may also help protect against hair loss. Because of these qualities, it may also be a benefit to hair which is chemically treated, bleached, or otherwise damaged due to heat or coloring. 

Ingredients: Saponified oils of organic olive, organic coconut, castor, organic sustainable palm, unrefined organic cocoa butter, organic unrefined shea nut butter and organic jojoba. Goat milk, rosehip extract, essential oils of geranium, orange, lavender & clary sage. Rosemary oil extract.

Italian Garden Shampoo Bar

Description: Can’t afford the time or money for a trip to the Italian Riviera? Don’t let that stop you from treating your HAIR to the delectable fruits of Italy! We stuffed this bar with emollient olive oil and grapeseed oil, rich goat milk which leaves hair soft and manageable, repairs damaged hair, is good for dry scalp and helps with dandruff and leaves your scalp healthy. We have also added a mysterious and intoxicating essential oil blend that includes marjoram, mandarin, lavender, petitgrain and geranium. Fantastico!

Ingredients: saponified oils of organic olive, organic coconut, castor bean, grapeseed, organic shea nut butter, organic sustainable palm, and organic jojoba, goat milk, parsley, alfalfa, spirulina, rosemary oil extract, and essential oils of Lavender, Orange Sweet, Mandarin Sicily, Geranium Egyptian, Cedarwood Atlas, Marjoram Sweet, Frankincense, Palmarosa, Lemongrass, Ylang Ylang and Petitgrain Sicily.

Get this limited edition bar before it’s gone!

Much Love,

Nora


Meet The Team: Eliana Melody

We love nothing more than expanding our team and we are so excited to welcome Eliana as our new social media and design manager. She’ll be taking over Tia’s role as content creator for our social media platforms. We will miss Tia so much, but we know there are great things in store for her and we are so grateful for all the work she’s done to help build what Apple Valley Natural Soap is today…and we can’t wait to see where Eliana plans to take us in the future…which she’ll reveal a bit about in this blog!

How’d you come to join the AVNS Team?

“I had known the previous Social Media Manager, Tia, and she had reached out with a job opportunity to work with AVNS. She recommended I inquire and apply for the position and from there I was hired. I have loved it ever since!”

Eliana is a perfect fit for Apple Valley Natural Soap, “I  love all things organic and natural and when I found out AVNS produces products that were all natural, cruelty free, and filled with ingredients that are not toxic, I immediately knew I wanted to work for them.” She also loves our huge variety of products and how we select our natural ingredients for their natural benefits! 

What is your vision for the future of AVNS social media?

Eliana has two main focuses for the future of the Apple Valley Natural Soap social media platforms. The first goal is to make sure that all of our unique products are showcased so that people have options when searching for skin and hair care products. The second goal is to create an encouraging and uplifting space for followers and customers to build community, ask questions, and start conversations. Eliana has already started adding weekly inspirational quotes to our Insta and I am so here for it!

What skills have you learned or what classes did you take/or are taking that have prepared you for running the AVNS social media?

“I am currently a Senior at Evangel University and pursuing a double major in Marketing and Business Management. Through my various courses in marketing and management I learned many different technical skills needed to run social media platforms, create meaningful content, manage accounts, and much more. I also learned the importance of listening to what the consumer wants and finding ways to engage them in meaningful ways.”

When you aren’t posting and designing for AVNS, what do you do for fun?

Like all of us, Eliana has plenty of activities and hobbies outside of Apple Valley Natural Soap! 

“When I am not posting and designing for AVNS you can usually find me laughing with my friends and spending time with my family. I love going on adventures and am always down for spontaneous trips including road trips, camping, and anything in between! One of my all-time favorite things to do is go for daily walks, especially with my dog. Last but not least, I absolutely love music and if I’m not on a walk you can find me at my piano or singing along on a car ride.”

If there was a soap called the Eliana Bar, what would the description and ingredient list look like?

“If there was a soap called the Eliana Bar it would smell life wildflowers in the mountains with a hint of warm vanilla. The bar would remind you of summertime and the adventure that comes with it!”

Who else wants to try that bar?!

Much Love,

Nora


Does our All Natural Herbal Salve Really Work?

What is a Salve?

A salve is a product often with an oils and/or beeswax base that is applied topically to skin to provide a healing effect for skin irritations.

Description of Apple Valley Natural Soap’s Organic Herbal Salve

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, sunburn, wounds, dry, cracked skin, bruises, diaper rash and more!

Keep a jar of this on your countertop! It is safe for your children to grab and put on their frequent summer scratches, bites, and rashes.

This is a natural product, and it will soften and even liquefy in heat. Keep in a cool place.

Ingredients in Organic Herbal Salve

Extra virgin olive oil*, unrefined beeswax, St. John’s wort*, echinacea purpurea root*, echinacea purpurea leaf*, comfrey leaf & root*, calendula blossom*, yarrow flower*, plantain leaf*, rosemary leaf*, grapefruit seed extract and vitamin E oil (from Non-GMO sunflower oil).  *certified organic

Ingredient Breakdown

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has intense skin moisturizing and nourishing properties and also has a high “skin-building” vitamin content. Despite being an oil, olive oil is also very gentle on sensitive skin.

Beeswax protects and softens skin.

St. John’s wort has historically been known to help speed up the healing process and prevent scarring. St.John’s Wort was used for helping heal minor wounds and skin irritations.

Echinacea has a long history of success with venomous stings and bites and is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Today it is known for its success with fighting acne and protecting the skin from the elements.

Comfrey & Yarrow have astringent properties and have been used to promote cell regeneration and healing. Comfrey has been used for bruises and pulled muscles. Yarrow aids in healing broken capillaries. 

Plantain is acclaimed for its ability to relieve bee stings, insect and spider bites and rashes and is also known for healing acne and sunburns.

Calendula is impressive because of its ability to speed healing, improve the appearance of the skin, lower inflammation, and protect the skin against infections. This ingredient is super gentle on sensitive skin, which is why we combined olive oil and calendula for one super gentle soap bar The Calendula Castile Bar.

Rosemary has natural antiseptic properties, which makes it a superior disinfectant for our skin. It can also help protect skin cells from damage often caused by the sun and free radicals. 

Grapefruit seed extract is an excellent antifungal agent.

Vitamin E oil is anti-aging and helps prevent sun damage.

But Does Natural Salve Really Work?

Yes! I spent the entire summer with a jar of this amazing Organic Herbal Salve on my countertop and I used it for the following with great results: bee stings, itchy bug bites, small scratches from plants and animals, bruises, rug burn, sunburn, and random itches. Applying this herbal salve feels great, it has a fantastic texture and smells sweet and earthy. It does have a natural green tint, so make sure you rub it completely into your skin! This is perfect for the fall season when you’re spending a lot of time outside!

Reviews of Organic Herbal Salve

Of all the salves that I’ve tried for psoriasis, this has been a God send! The fragrance is pleasant and not overpowering. The smoothness of the balm across my skin and the lasting healing effects are a dream! I cannot rave enough about this salve.

This salve works so well I almost couldn’t believe it. My daughter had a cut on her knee that was struggling to heal and with 2 applications it looked so much better. I will never go another summer without this on hand!

I have used this salve for a couple of years mainly to treat sunburns, and when I use it, the sunburn usually heals quickly and there is very little pealing. I was thankful I had some on hand when recently undergoing radiation therapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Radiation is very damaging to the skin, and because of my fair skin they were preparing me for an intense reaction. I added the Organic Herbal Salve to the regimen I followed as I attempted to prevent as much damage to my skin as possible. I was thoroughly impressed with the results, along with the staff at the radiation clinic. While I did experience some tenderness and redness for about two weeks, it did not get nearly as bad as the doctor predicted and healed very quickly once my radiation therapy ended. I highly recommend this product!

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 Pehrson

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 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.”

She also recently took over the weekly newsletter! Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter so you don’t miss all of the updates, content, and products each week.


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 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 husband, 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


3 Sustainable and Eco-friendly Makeup Brands You Have to Try

Apple Valley Natural Soap is your place to find sustainable, eco-friendly skincare and haircare products, but do you have somewhere to go when it comes to make-up? Hopefully someday Apple Valley Natural Soap will be able to fulfill those needs, but for now check out these three sustainable, eco-friendly make-up companies! These ethical make-up brands will make the perfect finish after you’ve used your favorite ethical products from your favorite ethical soap company!

Elate Beauty

Elate Beauty supplies an extensive variety of sustainable makeup including “eye makeup (pressed and loose powder, mascara, eyeliner and brow balm), face makeup (foundation, powder, concealer, blush, highlighter, bronzer), lipstick, lip gloss, palettes (which you can custom create for your complexion) and kits.”

According to Sustainable Jungle, all of their products “are cruelty-free International certified, PETA certified vegan, and gluten free.”

About Elate Beauty

90% of this Canadian company’s ingredients are organic and they work hard to use fair trade whenever possible. They are continually working to replace non-natural ingredients with natural ones in hopes of becoming 100% natural.

One of Elate Beauty’s current goals is to feature only zero-waste beauty products and reusable, refillable bamboo packaging. It’s the coolest thing ever, new refill product is delivered in seed paper and then after you’ve put the new product in the original bamboo containers you can wet the seed pouch and plant it in your garden!

What does Apple Valley Natural Soap love about this company? We love that this company is vegan, cruelty free, non-toxic, and has ethical sourcing and thoughtful packaging just like we strive to!

100% Pure

About 100% Pure’s Ethical Makeup Line

100% Pure makes fruit-pigmented cruelty-free and Fair Trade makeup including but not limited to foundation, mascara, and lip-tints! All coloring for products comes from produce and their only mineral ingredient is Mica.

While many of their products are vegan (including some awesome makeup brushes made from recycled plastic bottles) some do contain beeswax.

Their packaging is recyclable and can be recycled at home or brought into a store location for the in-store recycling program, how neat is that!?

About 100% Pure

According to sustainable jungle “100% Pure was co-founded and run by three individuals that prioritize corporate responsibility, change, and transparency.”

“We only use fair trade farmers and distributors who ensure us that they are only fair trade. We also work with numerous charities around the world that help to create sustainable jobs for countries in need.”

According to Sustainable Jungle‘s article (read full article for extended list of clean makeup companies!), “for every order placed, 100% Pure donates either one bowl of vegan dog food (of which a single bowl can save to 2 livestock animals, 90 lbs of grain, 2000 gallons of water, and 60 sq. ft. of rainforest) to animal shelters…if you’d prefer, you can instead opt for your purchase to plant one tree through Trees for the Future. Either way, they’re making a difference. “

Apple Valley Natural Soap loves that this company donates to a good cause and cares about where their ingredients come from!

Mad Hippie

With a mission to encourage and create beauty from within, Mad Hippie’s products are crafted to help kick-start that journey from the outside while making a difference in the world as well.

This company strives to create naturally-based skincare and makeup products and has a supercool sun-protection line in addition to makeup products. They avoid using silicones in their products and use eco-friendly packaging whenever possible.

Here’s a statement from the company about their efforts to give back to the community, “We take our responsibility to the planet seriously & that’s why we are always working to further reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.  From utilizing bioresin sugarcane tubes, to printing with soy inks on FSC certified paper, giving $1 of every web sale to conservation, and controlling our downstream waste through a partnership with Terracycle, Mad Hippie is dedicated to the preservation of the planet.”

Did You Find What You Were Looking For?

I hope that if you’re looking for clean makeup options you may have an idea or inspiration of where to start! If you’ve tried any of these brands, let us know what products you’d recommend!

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