Thursday, 24 April 2008

So what is so special about salt bars?

Firstly, let me say that I love salt bars, and that I am eternally grateful to the wonderful person who first came up with this fabulous idea on an American forum.

Although the whole idea of having lots of salt in a bar of soap might sound rather strange, it does kinda make sense. Salt baths have often been recommended by doctors for people with skin problems, and even the Victorians loved their holidays by the seaside, because they found bathing in the saltwater so beneficial. I have been using salt soap on my face for a few months now, and I love what it has done for my skin. I very very rarely get spots or breakouts anymore these days ( only when I am very stressed and haven't used the salt bar) and they disappear again within a couple of days of using the salt soap. Just one word of caution though, don't use it on broken skin, it will sting!

So what goes into a bar of salt soap? Salt, obviously, lol, but what about the actual soap part? The most important ingredient is a very high amount of coconut oil, because that is the one oil which will make a soap lather even in salt water. Some people have made salt bars with 100% coconut oil and superfatted the bars at 20%. Personally, I find that a little too extreme. Although most people say that they dont find the bar drying despite the high coconut oil contents, I prefer to add some castor oil, to help with the lather and something nice and skin loving, like shea butter or perhaps jojoba or ricebran oil. I superfat these bars at 10% normally and find that the end product lathers quite well if used properly. That means using hot water and working the bar somewhat more than ordinary soap ( keep turning in your hand and adding a bit more hot water once or twice ). That way you will get nice biggish bubbles to start with, but they will quickly turn into a dense and creamy lather. I massage this all over my face and leave it on for a minute or so while I get on with other things ( brushing teeth for example ). Then rinse off with warm water. I think you will be quite surprised how nice your skin feels afterwards. I apply a good facial serum/elixir and my skin feels so soft!

If you dont have any problems with breakouts or spots, then you might think that you have no need for salt bars. But if you get the chance, try one, just to satisfy your curiosity. You may just get to like it anyway. If you feel that a salt bar is not for you, however, then there is always a lovely mild and gentle goatsmilk soap perhaps, or a nettle and jojoba soap, or or or.......