After searching high and low for a natural alternative to commercial shampoo and conditioner, I finally came across Apple Valley Natural Soap. I have extremely sensitive skin and the commercial shampoo and conditioners out there would dry out my scalp and give me all sorts of rashes and breakouts due to all the chemicals that are present in all of them. I started using more natural shampoos but even those didn’t agree with my skin and sometimes made my hair feel coarse and sticky. I found Apple Valley Natural Soap online and was impressed with their line of shampoo and body bars.
It was also very neat to me that they were from my home state and were a small family run business. I ordered a test bar of soap and was instantly impressed.
Here is what I was impressed by:
1. I only need one shampoo and body bar. No separate bottle of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in my shower. The price is great and I get everything everything I need for a successfull shower in one bar of soap!
2. It lathers and smells great! A couple of swipes with the bar over my hair and and little scrubbing and I have enough lather to wash my hair, soap up my body, and shave my legs. I also have a very picky nose and don’t like scents that are too strong. These have the perfect combination of clean, natrual scents that are lovely. I have tried Simple Shea, Rhassoul and Avocado, Wheat and Almond, and Honey and Hops. All pass the sniffer test.
3. It makes my hair soft and shiny and doesn’t irritate my skin. Not only doesn’t it irritate it, it also moisturizes my skin so I don’t feel dry when I step out of the shower. My dry scalp has also disappeared.
4. Their soap is filled with only natural, good for your body ingredients. No fakey, yucky chemicals. And a bonus is that there are no bottles to toss out when you are finished, meaning it is better for the earth and not wasteful.
5. My husband has even started using it. He is ever the skeptic when it comes to natural things but he was also getting rashes from normal shampoo so he gave the Man 2.0 bar a whirl and *gasp* likes it!
I got in contact with Natalie from Apple Valley Soap and she was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me.
How did you get started in the business?
We were looking for some healthy ways of caring for our skin and discovered cold process soap, but it was expensive. I decided to learn how to make it myself and made my first two loaves in the autumn of 2008. We didn’t need all that soap, so we gave some of it away to friends and family, and they loved it. I became addicted to the soap-making process and wanted to learn more, so I continued to experiment and ended up selling my bars to anyone who wanted to buy them. It wasn’t a problem finding people to buy the soap, and as I got better at it, we began playing around with the idea of selling it on a regular basis for profit. When a family friend offered to build a website for us for free, we took him up on it – and Apple Valley Natural Soap was born.
What are some of the benefits of natural soap?
Soap is made commercially in huge vats by a process called “continuous method”, in which ingredients are continuously added to one end and removed from the other. During this process, the emollient glycerin that naturally exists in soap is removed and sold separately for its moisturizing qualities. Commercial soap is nearly always made from tallow (animal fat) and usually contains a variety of synthetic chemicals. Because of the lack of glycerin as well as the inclusion of poor-quality ingredients and additives, commercial soap can often irritate and dry the skin, or can cause an allergic reaction. Sadly, even many hand-made soap companies use synthetic fragrances, preservatives and colors in their products. (Handmade Soap by Tatyana Hill)
Apple Valley Natural Soap is carefully and lovingly hand-crafted in small batches using the cold process method of soap making. We use only high quality botanical oils and butters as well as all natural herbs, milks, juices, essential oils and spices to scent and color our soaps. These ingredients not only impart sensational fragrances and beautiful, rustic colors, but also add their own exceptional nourishing qualities. Once you try an all natural soap, you will wonder why you ever used anything else on your skin!
Are your kids involved in the business?
We have three children actively involved.
Do any of your kids have a speciality or special job?
Our 17 year old son does all of our website/internet work as well as label design, our 11 year old daughter does data entry and measures/pours the oils for the soap making process, and she and our 9 year old wrap and label all the bars when they have finished curing. They are all happy to help as they get paid for their work!
Was is difficult to perfect your soap? Any disasters along the way?
I spent 6 months testing various recipes before selling them to the public. Nothing funny or disastrous…although once in a while a batch “botches” and has to either be thrown out or reprocessed. That rarely happens anymore.
What is your and your kid’s favorite part of the business?
The kids love the opportunity to earn money, and my favorite part is the customer interaction.
How do you decide on a scent or ingredient combination?
At the beginning, I got ideas from books, other companies, soap making forums, etc. Now I am pretty comfortable with just coming up with my own combinations/essential oil mixes etc. I rarely go out looking for ideas. I’ve got too many of my own!
Apple Valley Soap also have a great blog article here about the benefits of the shampoo and body bars and how to use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse (which may sound weird and gross but I started doing it and it makes my hair super soft).
*In short, I am a big fan. They did not ask me to write a review of their product, nor do I get anything for writing a review. I just wanted to share with you a great product that has worked for me! Go check them out here; you might just become a fan yourself.