How was my weekend?
Well, to begin, I gave myself an allergic reaction, causing my tongue to swell up three times its normal size...
So yeah, pretty good.
It was Sunday, Jake and I were heading back from the beach, happy and sandy. Long story short, I grabbed Jake's snack instead of my own without looking, and you guessed it-the second ingredient was soy. The minute I put it in my mouth and started chewing I knew something was wrong, and I gasped in horror. I spit the food out (extremely dramatically may I add) and started shouting "OMG SOY!"
We were three blocks from home still, and since we were at the beach...I didn't have my allergy medication.
My second mistake.
I didn't swallow any of the jerky, but my tongue still started to swell up. We ran as fast as we could in the house and I downed my medication. I was fine. I didn't get hives because I spit everything out. But lord, I was scared for a hot second.
Other than taking a nap from the allergy medication, crisis averted and since I have moronic moments, we have decided to start putting emergency medication in Jake's car. Probably a good idea.
The jerky didn't even taste good.
Despite self sabotaging my body, it was a pretty good weekend!
One of the reasons it was so good? Friday was soap day! Soap day you ask?
Yes, my soap delivery came to the house. Why is that so exciting?
Today's Monday stuff is going to be a bit different, I wanted to take this time to review my absolute God send of body care products. I am not sure if you read my allergy update post from a few months ago, which is here, but basically my food allergy decided to sneak up in a topical form. It like it is Pokemon that keeps evolving. Soyachu.
Sorry, all of millennials still have a soft spot for Pokemon. At least I think so...
A few months ago I did a ton of research after developing some allergic reactions to my shampoo/body wash and I stumbled upon an incredible family company:
Before I go any further, I just want to state that I am in no way being compensated for this or was asked to review this. All opinions of this are on my own. This company doesn't even know I exist quite honestly!
BUT, I wanted to review it because it has changed my life. Before I found this company, I was getting small welts on my scalp, I was itching all over my body after showers, my hair was dry, brittle and cracking.
Your girl was a mess.
Then, I found Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve. I was instantly intrigued with the story of the company, and how it started out as a weekend hobby for the creator. She was deeply concerned with all of the artificial ingredients, dyes, and harsh chemicals she was seeing (even in handmade batches). They have been around for about 15 years or so, and you can learn more about the history by visiting their about the company page.
I fell head over heels. I loved the attitude of the family owned company that utilizes premium ingredients from other local purveyors and the dedication to their craft. I decided to take the leap and order a few sample shampoo bars, body bars, the apple cider vinegar wash, and the lip balm.
It was like a whole new world.
My skin was so happy, no more irritation after a shower, my skin was so bright. Within a couple weeks, all of the welts on my scalp were gone, and my hair was light, shiny, healthy, and was no longer breaking easily at the ends.
Best part? I haven't used conditioner in two months.
I know, and anyone out there can disagree with me, but if you learn about the company, and the ingredients they use, you will understand the magic. This is just my experience, other people may need to use their conditioning bars, but as long as I use the apple cider vinegar rinse every week, my hair is soft, and you can't even tell I do not use conditioner.
And yes, it is a shampoo bar, not your typical liquid shampoo. It isn't as weird as it may seem.
The products from the company I adore are:
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse in Summer Rain (Lasts for a long time, I am not even halfway done with the bottle. It doesn't smell much like vinegar, and once you rinse it out, the scent is barely there.)
Honey Beer & Egg Shampoo (Absolute favorite, my hair loves it, I just bought two more bars. I have never had a shampoo that works better for my body chemistry. P.s. It doesn't smell like beer at all.)
Neem & Tea Tree Shampoo/Body bar (Incredibly refreshing, especially after a long workout.)
Shea Rose Clay Soap (Smells like roses, incredibly gentle on your skin.)
Honey Butter Lip Balm (A little goes a long way, I only need to use once a day.)
Citrus Woods Green Tea Soap (Jake's favorite, and the smell is INSANELY GOOD.)
Patchouli Hemp Soap (Totally regretting that I didn't order again, I forgot and this was my favorite scent out of all of them. Really not strong smelling, very earthy, and gentle.)
Cedar wood & Lavender Dog Shampoo (Oh yes, you know I had to buy something for Frankie. It makes him smell so good, and he doesn't itch anymore after baths. He has sensitive doggy skin, so this was a great find for us.)
I just received my second order, hence the happy Soap day on Friday, and I have another 6 products to try (I can't help myself, it is an addiction). But disclaimer: I wasn't a fan of all of the bars I tried. There has only been one bar that didn't work well for me. The Ayurvedic Herb shampoo bar made my hair a little more sticky than I had hoped, BUT it gave my hair a ton of body (which is what it is meant for). It works for a lot of people, but my hair wasn't having it, so I didn't reorder.
It is important to remember that every bar will not work with every single person, so there is some trial and error with finding your holy grail bar. I found the switch a lot easier than I initially thought it would be. I figured I would have a big adjustment period (using the apple cider vinegar rinse more), but my body took to the changes immediately, and I have never had better skin and hair results.
I would recommend investing in the apple cider vinegar rinse if you switch to the shampoo bars, as the chemically heavy liquid shampoos do tend to leave a large amount of residue in your hair, so to make the switch it is recommended by the website. I found it helpful in the beginning, but now I only use it once a week (if that).
The difference with the body soap bars I have found is unbelievably dramatic. Usually, when you use regular bar soap, you feel a slight film on your skin, which in turns makes you feel dry. I barely use lotion now (my skin is so full of life, and very moisturized), all I use is pure shea butter with essential oils which is part of my basic skin care routine. Jake noticed as well how different his skin is since making the switch as well, and he has extremely sensitive skin.
It is like a miracle. A beautiful, soapy, incredibly delicious smelling miracle.
Before I wrap up, one statement on the scents: they are not powerful. They smell amazing, but they are very delicate, which is beneficial for people that have sensitive skin. For someone like me, I adore the scent of a strong soap or shampoo (is there anything better than smelling fresh and clean), but it doesn't over power. So if you have issues with scented soaps and shampoos, this is perfect for you!
I am not trying to persuade anyone, but I honestly cannot say enough good things about this company. The prices are very reasonable for hand crafted items (the bars last about a month depending on how long you use them, possibly longer), and the care/detail that goes into each order is mind-blowing.
You even receive a card in each package that lets you know who puts together each order. Adorable.
I am already planning my next order! They have entire lines of products if you aren't into the idea of shampoo bars and soap. Body scrubs, lip balms, deodorant, lotion bars, beard oil, bug repellents, you name it. They also are mainly soy-free, which is the best part for me, and they have other special requirements/conditions they serve. They list every single ingredient on each product page, so they are not hiding anything. Such a refreshing change of pace for skincare companies!