Moon Valley Magic
When the sky was choked with smoke and we all were a little irritated that summer was really hot and dry, I had the deep pleasure of driving north on the windy highway 9 until I reached the farm and processing site of Moon Valley Organics. Every so often, they open up their place to let us see where the magic happens, meet the magic makers, learn more about their truly healing products and eat some of the best food any farm table has ever served up.
Moon Valley is Kim and Aaron Otto. Yes, they have many talented and dedicated helpers, for sure. But it was their drive and passion that evolved the company to be who are they are today: a certified organic farm and processor, a B-Corp (which is a program where corporations agree to do so much more than make money), a WWOOF host farm, a proud supporter of pollinators in practice and donations–with over $6,000 donated to nonprofits generated from the sale of their lip balms, and just a really good company with integrity that makes healthy products for your skin. And have your seen their logo? Beautiful, peaceful. I want earrings.
With so many products in the Wellness department, it can be overwhelming. We know. However, if you want something certified organic, the offerings shrink considerably. That’s because in order to be certified organic you have to have at least 95% certified organic ingredients (not including water and salt) and that’s a hard percentage to pull off when you are making skin care.
While many of our soaps have organic herbs or oils in them, if you want a certified organic bar soap, then you need to come sniff and lather up with any or all of the five cleansing body bars from Moon Valley. First off, it’s going to be hard to pick just one, so shop in October when everything from Moon Valley will be 20% off (pro-tip: think holiday gifts!).
Even as I try to pick my favorite soap to fawn over, I just can’t pick one, because there is a soap for every occasion and every body: Lavender Calendula, Mint Sea Mineral, Orange Spice, Oatmeal Sage, Cocoa Butter Comfrey. Right now I am loving the Oatmeal Sage and how soothing it is for blemishes and abrasion. The Orange Spice is the perfect autumn soap for dry skin with palm oil that is from a 100 year old plantain in Brazil–so no loss of orangutan habit or deforestation. If you are more of a soap pumper- they’ve got organic foaming hand soaps in five blends too–Grapefruit Thyme being my personal favorite– as well as refill concentrates that help you to reduce your plastic use.
After you clean up your skin you might want some treatment or moisturizing–and they’ve got that. Yes, they literally have everything you need to have a completely organic skin care routine, as well as products that go deeper into your achy joint and sore muscles.
Their six therapeutic salves have been carefully crafted to have potent and powerful herbs and oils–keep in mind these folks have been making products since 1999. The Rejuvenating Rub is a welcome friend if you have tension anywhere in your body–especially neck and shoulder–and also great for sunburns. The Muscle Rub can be used before and after workouts or to ease pain from arthritis. The Peppermint Foot Rub speaks for itself, and yes, it is amazing. Perhaps the most versatile salve is the Herbal Heal, a first aid salve for any type of skin issue that will not sting and is safe for everyone in your family–including your pets. This salve can also be applied as a eye cream or as a deeply nourishing facial moisturizer.
For more stubborn skin conditions they have two options: Psoriasoothe and Eczacalm, the latter being the catalyst for why Moon Valley started in the first place. If you have eczema or know someone who does, you know how difficult it can be to treat– and that was Kim’s experience too. So, she got to formulating and eventually developed Eczacalm which is certified with the FDA as treatment for eczema. She suggests cleansing with the Oatmeal Sage bar, treating with the Eczacalm and then moisturizing with the vanilla Moon Melt Lotion Bars.
Oh yes, the lotion bars. Yes, also certified organic. These are dense love puppies that will outlast and out perform whatever lotion or cream you are using. Yes, you have to adapt to the different delivery system, as these bars are used by picking them up and rubbing it anywhere you want. They come in a lovely tin– stamped with that gorgeous logo–that keeps them clean and ready to use. Yes, these can be used as a face moisturizer as well. A little goes a long way–and the beeswax helps to seal the moisture, and any treatment you’ve applied into your skin.
Again, picking just one will be a challenge: Original Lemon Vanilla, Lavender, Coconut Lemon, Bergamot Geranium . . . so just buy one of each. By your bed, near the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, next to your favorite reading chair, in the car, in your purse, as a gift–you will find no shortage of places in need of these.
Let’s not forget the lip balms. Simple and effective and, yup–organic! Some might argue that there isn’t much difference between lip balms. My perspective is that anything you put on your mouth should be good enough to eat, because you will ingest some of it. Is there a better option than an organic lip balm made by local organic farmers who just recently devoted five acres of their farm to plant for the pollinators? And a portion of every sale goes to nonprofits like the Xerces Society to grow efforts to help the invertebrate pollinators like those bees and butterflies. Of course they have your flavor. You want minty? Yes. Vanilla? Yes. Something tropical? Sure. Zingy? Got it. Fruity? Done. Even a new flavor to be launched soon: Sweet Honey. Don’t know your flavor? Buy several.
Moon Valley is a perfect example of a company is that actively redefining how successful businesses should do business. As a consumer, we need to shout out our support of that shift. And every time you have $10 to spend in Wellness department, you can decide to do more than just buy some soap. You can use that cash to vote.
There might be a day when Moon Valley no longer stands out as one of the only organic and local companies we proudly sell. When that day happens I will be thrilled, and I will still give props to Kim and Aaron for planting the seeds, loving the bees, tending the fields and setting the table so that other folks learn how it should be done.
I think the one statement I read on their website (worth a visit) that summarizes what I admire the most about them is this, “Moon Valley’s commitment to the environment dictates every decision we make.”
I read that on every package and every ingredient list. I saw it in the pride each of their employees had shining in their eyes. I felt that as I walked through the calendula fields, looking out over the “weeds” that would be dried, harvested, mixed and made into a product that’s sole purpose is to heal our skin and is working to heal so much more.
by nancylee bouscher