soapmaking forum, one of the most talked about soaps was (and still is) salt bars. I went "Whaaat?" and began to read numerous threads on the topic, and then I Googled and read some more.
So here's the basics of a salt (or spa) bar. It's soap with salt grains in it. It's reputedly good for your skin and can make bathing in hard water feel like soft water. The soap bars, when made well, are rock hard and long lasting. I was intrigued.
I ordered one from Shari's Handcrafted Soaps, and the dear sent me two. The one I had ordered was "only" four months old. Salt soaps really come into their prime with age (which is really true about any handmade soap), so Shari added an older salt bar, Black Raspberry Vanilla.
Ingredients (from package label): Coconut Oil, Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Coconut Milk, Sea Salt, Avocado Oil, Fragrance, Mica, and Tussah Silk.
First Glance: Molded in a lovely flower mold and a fitting shade of purple for the Black Raspberry Vanilla (BRV) fragrance. A very heavy and solid bar of soap. The soap fits nicely in the hand.
First Use: I'm going to admit to being a bit disappointed. Totally not the soap's fault. It had a huge setup based on my interwebz reading. I was expecting an angel choir, heavenly light, and to suddenly have the body of my 23 year old self. Needless to say... I had to adjust my expectations. Reality is that this is a nice bar of soap. A lovely creamy lather that is very gentle on skin. I used the bar directly on my legs and definitely got some light exfoliation from the salt. It was scrubby but not scratchy. Left a slight skin scent after showering.
Overall Thoughts: I am not a BRV girl. It's much too sweet for me. I use this about once a week simply because of the fragrance. It's such a nice bar of soap, I can't let it go. Showering with a salt bar is definitely an experience not to be missed - one that I look forward to more often once this bar is gone.