What is the big deal with spa bars?

how i make

Spa bar is the common name of a soap that is comprised primarily of sea salt.

What are the benefits of using it?

Sea salt is a natural detoxifier, as the salt absorbs the toxins from the skin.

Sea Salt rejuvenates the skin and helps in reducing wrinkles and discoloration of the skin.

 People have used Sea Salt Soap everyday to get relief from acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.

The minerals found in sea salt helps to retain the moisture content of the skin. Sea Salt also acts as a barrier for the entry of germs, in your skin pores.

Sea Salt is used for naturally cleansing and revitalizing dry skin. Spa bars containing up to 50% of sea salt, have similar benefits to the skin.

After months of researching spa bars, their benefits, and different recipes, I started making them.

I have tried different methods, one being to add the sea salt to the lye solution. But this method has proved to be the BEST!



Here are the ingredients I will be using:

Yields: 48 ounces (3 lbs.) of soap.

8 oz. rice bran oil

2 oz. shea butter

10 oz. coconut oil

10 oz. olive oil

8 oz. hemp oil (you can substitute this with more olive oil, or grapeseed oil.)

10 oz. (organic sustainable) Palm oil

Lye solution:

7 oz. lye

17 oz. water

2.5 oz. Sea Salt


Prepare the lye-water first and set aside to cool.


Melt the oils on the stovetop on medium heat. (in a pot, after all you don’t want to be melting them directly on the stove top…you think it’s funny until your little sister is helping you make soap.) After the oils are fully melted, add your shea butter. This step helps to prevent the shea from becoming grainy during the congealing process. If you don’t care about the grainy consistency, just throw the shea in with the melting oils. When both the lye solution and the oils are below 95F slowly add the lye solution to the oils.



Mix with a stick blender until light trace.


Add the sea salt and desired fragrance and mix until they are fully incorporated.



sallltyI used Emerald Isle Sea Salt which by the way my Dad harvests by hand from the ocean.

I also used Nature’s Garden Ocean Waves fragrance oil for this soap. It’s an awesome oceany? scent. Although, I had to pour off some soap batter and add the fragrance to that, because the fragrance itself has a tendency to really accelerate trace! Then I mixed the fragranced soap along with the salt, into the rest of the soap.


Pour into mold, insulate and let the soap set up for 10-15 hours. Once the soap has set up (make sure it’s firm in the center), remove from the mold and cut. This soap sets up rather quickly, so you can cut the soap sooner rather than later. If you wait a long period of time the soap becomes crumbly and hard to cut. Let them cure for 5 weeks and BOOM you have finished your very own salt soap.

Kaboom! The finished soap.



And look how creamy it is.





I was pleased with the results and I wanted to share the recipe with you guys.

If you want to find out more about Emerald Isle Sea Salt, check our family site: http://www.rifefamily.com/



Nurture Soap Micas



Okay, quick post!

I recently watched one of Katie White’s Videos.

She mentioned Nurture soap.

I was out of mica.  I needed mica.

So I shopped around on the Nurture Soap online store. I then decided I would purchase a “Test order.” I purchased the following:

Blue Lagoon Mica 1 oz.

Island Sunset Mica 1 oz.

Pink Lemonade Mica 1 oz.

Potent Purple (free sample) Mica 1/2 oz.

Purple Vibrance Mica 1 oz.

Sea Green Mica 1 oz.

You cannot beat their awesome price & product!

Here are some of the results in Cold Process soap:

Island sunset & sea green mica
Red oxide, Red oxide and Paprika, Yellow oxide, Sea green mica, Blue lagoon mica, Purple vibrance mica


Endless Summer with Pink Lemonade Mica
Island Sunset, Sea green, and blue lagoon mica.
Purple Vibrance
Sea Green

I am quite happy with the finished color in cold process soap.

Get your own nurture soap micas here https://nurturesoap.com/

Limiting myself to just 10 scents


Over the past eight months, it has become apparent to me that I have collected a gargantuan amount of various fragrance oils from Natures Garden. And furthermore, I can explain how that happened. Allow me to share with you what happens every time I have to order more fragrances for my soaps. I get onto the Natures Garden store, and everything just sounds soooo good! I scroll through page after page, clicking the add to cart button. I go to check out, and I simply cannot get rid of any of the fragrances that I put in. Those fragrance oils are then soaped, tried, smelled and stuffed into my itty, bitty, cabinet.  I really hadn’t thought of that being a problem, however it is. Sooooo, What did I do about it?
I made a list as long as an archery range, of the fragrances I have. I have decided I would share it with you, just so you could get an idea of the problem at hand.
And here we go:
NG Anjou pear blossom
NG Amber Romance
NG Aqua di Gio
NG Awapuhi Sea berry
NG Bamboo & White Grapefruit
NG Black Raspberry Vanilla
NG Bergamot
Carrot Cake (NG cinnamon essential oil blend)
NG Clean Fresh Cotton
NG Cranberry Relish (really sweet smelling fragrance, not what I was expecting, but it was nice.)
NG Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (I really love this scent, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a new scent to add to their winter line.)
NG Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey
NG French Vanilla & Oak
Patchouli Mint
NG Sweet Pea
NG Cucumber Splash
NG Cinnanut Latte
NG Gourmet chocolate
NG Chocolate cream cheese cupcake (The ultimate chocolate scent!)
NG Cappuccino (My personal favorite coffee scent. It’s better than WORLDS BEST from Nature’s Garden)
NG Cherry Almond
Ginger Lime (NG ginger citrus mixed with Lime essential oil)
NG Pumpkin Walnut Biscotti
NG Pumpkin Pie
NG Evergreen
Endless Summer (NG Orange soda pop)
NG Coconut Lime Verbena Type
NG Green Tea
Lavender & Mint
NG Cheesecake (This smells just like a cheesecake! And it soaps beautifully.)
NG Lavender Vanilla
Lavender Flowers from NG (Not quite a true lavender but it was quite a nice floral!)
NG Pearamel
Peppermint Bark (Peppermint essential oil, and NG vanilla silk fragrance)
NG Pink Sugar Type
NG Orchard Apple
NG Ocean waves
NG Iced pineapple (I enjoyed this pineapple as a background scent in soap. It’s a bit strong, so I blend it with other scents. No Erin, You would not like this scent.)
NG Pomegranate
NG Dude
NG The Perfect Man
NG Sage
NG Spiced Cranberry (Ahhhhmazing fall scent!)
NG Salt Water Taffy
Salt Marsh (a custom scent, numerous NG scents combined. )
NG sun and sand Type
NG Beach bum (You wonder why I have this…)
NG Blue Sugar
NG Blue Hawaiian
NG Bite me
NG Bumble berry
NG Brown Sugar Fig
NG Indian Sandalwood
NG Citrus and berries
NG Fresh Strawberry
NG Vanilla silk
NG Vanilla bean
NG Cool waters Type
NG Toffee apple crunch (This is a wonderful fall dessert scent. The perfect combination of buttery goodness and fresh crisp apple.)
NG Tayberry & Teakwood
Tea tree
NG Warm vanilla sugar
NG Jamaica me crazy

I know, Rapunzel Rapunzel let down your fragrance list.
And that’s not including the dozens of sample bottles that I have accumulated since last year. Or the next order I have to buy. What can I say? I am a glutton for fragrance oils, if that’s even possible. So here is what I plan to do. I made a list of the fragrances I am keeping all year.
The list:                    
Aqua di gio
Awapuhi Seaberry
Ocean Waves
Cool waters type
Pink sugar type
Iced pineapple
Endless summer
Oatmeal milk & honey
Salt Water Taffy
And Essential oil soaps:
Tea tree

Somehow, I am going to snip little fragrances off this long list.
Honestly, I don’t know how I am going to do this, but I certainly know I am going to try.
I know I’ll have a ton of encouraging help from Katie and Jason. (Yeah, Right…)

A visual representation of Jason helping in past soap events.




Experimenting with natural colorants


Added at light trace

1 tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added to oils

¼ cup added for every 1 pound of soap.



Added at lite trace

¼ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added at lite trace

¼  tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added at lite trace

½ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added at lite trace

¼ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.


Indigo, Spirulina & Kaolin Clay

Added at heavy trace

1/8 tsp of each of the above for every 8 ounces of soap batter.

indigo & spirulina

Kaolin clay pink:

Added to oils

½ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.


Kaolin clay white:

Added to oils

½ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added at lite trace

½  tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added to oils

6 ounces for every one pound soap.



Added at thick trace

½ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added at lite trace

¼ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.



Added at lite trace

Sprinkle- ¼ tsp. for every 8 ounces of soap batter.


Now, I published a site not to long ago, and I could always use some guest post writers! 🙂 https://letstalkaboutsoap.wordpress.com/ If any of you soap makers would like to guest post on there, feel free to contact me at: letstalkaboutsoapemail@gmail.com

Soap Swap: Halcyon Baths

Okay, I know what you guys are thinking “Why is this blog still running? she hasn’t posted anything in years!”

I must apologize for lazing around, when it comes to frequently posting on blogs I confess, that I am not committed.

I am sure you can find it in your little hearts to forgive me.

Miss Akeylah from Halcyon Baths sent me a wonderful thing….That’s right folks, a package of soap! Not just any soaps luscious, gorgeous, creamy soaps.

Ellie came through the front door with a package in her arms. “Hey, Emily! This one is yours! It has your name on it.”

“I think I know what that is!” I almost screamed, grabbing the package from her arms. The first thing I did was smell the package. I know that may sound strange, but you really can smell the soap through the package. Really. You can.

I gently opened the parcel in my lap, and removed the contents from it.

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Each bar of soap was wrapped individually in wax paper, and labeled with an economical paper card.

The first one I unwrapped was the ACV test shampoo bar.

This soap was not scented, but surprisingly it had a pleasant smell.

The next one I unwrapped was the Desert Mint.

Honestly, this has to be the best mint soap I have ever smelled!

The last one I unwrapped is was the grainy mandarin bar.

This had a pleasant light scent that smelled slightly like anise & orange essential oils.

Then there was the simply wonderful lotion bar.

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I have super sensitive skin, Hypersensitive even! (Okay not that sensitive.) I have eczema on my arm, and this lotion bar was just what the doctor ordered (If I listened to doctors.) It really soothes the skin, and smells good too! The lotion bars I have made in the past are unscented, this bar being infused with herbs, smelled quite pleasant.march2015 341

I love this oil-resistant packaging!

The ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) shampoo bar

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Being a soap maker, I have been trying to formulate a good shampoo bar recipe.  A shampoo bar that really worked wonders, I have tried numerous recipes and have yet to find what I am after. However the shampoo bar that Akeylah gifted me was just that! Wonderful, Natural, Bubbly Shampoo that lightly conditions the hair, all packed in a little bar! Akeylah, I would have to say that the test was successful. The Shampoo really is amazing; I am going to have to buy a bar from you!

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I think this soap is hot process? I am not quite sure… but it is amazing!

The Desert Mint

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How could one describe such a crisp, cool, minty fragrance? This soap had an amazing, creamy, bubbly, lather. Akeylah really did a great job with this soap; she has brought out the best in peppermint essential oil. Trying to achieve a strong, yet not eye-burning scent from peppermint essential oil is difficult. The menthol in peppermint essential oils causes a pleasant cooling sensation, but too much of that is not always “pleasant.’’ This soap weighed a whopping 8 oz. and it has lasted a while!

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Gorgeous Bar! I simply LOVE it!

The Grainy Mandarin

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Okay, are you seeing this perfectly beveled round soap? I love the look, feel, smell, and lather of this soap! It contains  horsetail leaves, colloidal oatmeal, almond meal, and forbidden rice, which makes it really lather up.

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The scent really pulls through when you lather it up with warm water. I love mandarin essential oil, but I’ve never used it in soap. (I am scared the scent will fade when I add it.) So this was a pleasant experience. It has given me confidence to try using the essential oil next time I make soap.

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Thank you soooo much A! I love all of this so much, honestly I was nearly in tears when I saw the shampoo bar!

You have to check out her blog!!!  https://halcyonbaths.wordpress.com/

A piping good post! :)

Hey everyone!

Today I am going to share with you guys a step by step tutorial on how to pipe soap tops.

Step 1: Snip off the corner of a large zip lock bag; slide a coupler into the opening (couplers allow you to change tips without emptying the bag of soap) I did not use a coupler this time because I only needed one tip for this particular design. Choose a frosting tip and twist it on.


Now I am sure you’re wondering how this is going to become a practical piping bag…




You can use a pastry bag, made for frosting cakes; however you may find this way more cost effective and convenient for piping with large quantities of soap. Today I am using 2 ½ cups of soap to pipe with.  If you want a shorter top, you can change the amount of soap you use for piping. My piped tops range between 1-2 inches.

Next you’re going to place the bag, tip down, in a tall glass. Once the bag is in the cup, it’s helpful to open the bag as wide as you can. I find folding the cuff around the rim really helps.


Once the soap is at a pudding consistency, It is ready to pipe.


Put the soap inside the bag with a spatula using your other hand, scraping the soap against the side of the bag to release it.


Do be careful with how much soap you place in the bag. Raw Soap batter squishing out the top is not fun to clean up. I leave 3-4 inches of the bag empty, so I will have plenty of room to twist the bag shut. Now unfold the cuff.


Remove the bag of soap from the cup, and gently twist the top shut.


Now you are ready to pipe! 😀



This particular design is a layered one, so I went ahead and did my layers before I filled the piping bag.




If you practice on parchment paper, you may scrape off the soap and use it again.


I absolutely love Nature`s Garden Coconut Lime Verbena Fragrance oil! I use coconut milk in this soap to give it a really creamy lather.


If you are using coconut milk in soap, keep in mind that it does speed up trace. It can be worked with, if you are used to moving fast with soap. If you are planning to do an intricate swirl pattern on the inside, it’s best to not use coconut milk.




I am doing a simple dot piping for this soap, nothing too extravagant… But in the past I have used different tips.


For this carrot cake soap I used a 6 point star tip.


For these soap cupcakes I used a 7 point star tip.


For this hot process apple pie soap, I used a flat ridged tip


For this black Raspberry Vanilla soap, I used a 6 point star tip.


The second time I used a 5 point tip. I really love this tip.


The only limit is your creativity, and how many tips you have…


We got a package…

Yesterday my coffee time was interrupted by Sarah and Judah flying through the front door. “We got a package!” Judah announced. “Yeah, it says Emily.” Sarah said pointing to the name. I set my coffee down and read the shipping label, just to be sure. I grabbed it up off the counter. “It’s from Kirsten!” I announced to the air. Sarah (Who went back into the school room) raced back into the kitchen. “Wait, is that the girl who sent you the other cotton soap, and the face scrubbies.” She asked, taking the package from my hands and smelling it.

“Yes, now quit smelling it and we can open it.” I grabbed my camera and the two of us went to the front porch.

Now, you can probably guess from the photos on my blog, that I always take the soap pictures on my front porch. Why? Well, when I did my first soap swap, I wanted to take photos of the soap I had received.  However every place that I tried, the pictures did not do the soap justice. Too much shade, too much light or bad background.  As a last resort, I tried the front porch.  I was really happy with how the soap pictures came out. They looked just like the soap did in real life.  So that’s my photo shoot area for now.

So on to the soaps.

Miss Kirsten sent me the following:

Mint Chocolate Chip Soap Bar

Watermelon Taffy Soap Bar

And a cute little knit sheep


Mint Chocolate Chip



The packaging (for both bars): Natural brown cardstock wrap around, Bold lettering very easy to read the name of the company and soap. Each side of the wrap has either ingredients or directions. And the back has information on how to find out more about her products online.



The Scent: A strong blend of sugary vanilla, cool peppermint, and chocolate, all topped with thick whipped cream. It smells amazing! Especially if you love mint chocolate chip ice cream. Honestly, I want to eat it or at least taste it.


The Lather: Nice creamy, silky, and bubbly lather.

Look at the little soap shavings inside of that mint green soap! I really love this design. Nice work Kirsten!

Water Melon Taffy


The scent: A sweet juicy blend of sweet ripe watermelons, lemon, and sugary taffy. A very good watermelon scent. Smells sweetly divine! Sarah is especially fond of this soap.


Design: A beautiful rose pink with poppy seeds on top of an ultramarine green, layered in the fashion of a water melon slice.



Lather: Excellent, Creamy and bubbly lather!



The sheep is super cute! Abbie (5 years old) loves it to pieces. I am not sure if this is such a good thing, because every time I try to put it in my room, she finds it and takes it away. I have not yet had a chance to photograph the sheep, when I do I’ll post photos.


DSC08458Look at the TOPS!!!!


Isn’t Kirsten just, the best?

Wouldn’t you like to try some of her soap? The Mint Chocolate Chip soap?

Kirsten is in the process of opening an online store! YAY! (*slow clap *faster clap *applause *cheers!)

While we wait for that, check out her Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/LaurelCreekNaturalSoaps





Meadowlark Soaps Swap

Hey everyone!

Guess what I got in the mail last week…That’s right soaps!!!!!!!

I love receiving swap packages, they hold such wonderful surprises!

This particular package was from Audrie Rucker from Meadowlark Soaps.


She sent me the following:

Gardener’s Soap Bar

Ocean Mist Soap Bar

Mint Lip Balm

The soaps

The first soap I unwrapped, was the Gardener’s soap.




This bar is a super exfoliating, sudsy, dream! It’s scented with a calming blend of fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, clover, basil and a bottom note of lavender.


Look at that gorgeous layering job! Audrie that looks amazing! I have tried many times to achieve perfect layers, and failed.

The next one was the Ocean Mist soap.


The design of this soap is so amazing! I have not seen a diagonal pattern in cold process before. This must have been hard to achieve.


Not only does the soap smell awesome but it looks like an ocean at sunrise! Or sunset. Such a gorgeous bar!



Last but certainly not least, was the Mint Lip Balm.


I am a sappy pine tree when it comes to lip balms, I love all of them! The ratio of different butters and oils gives each one a unique consistency. This particular lip balm has MANGO BUTTER in it! Mango butter has similar qualities to cocoa butter and shea butter in the way of the consistency and benefits, except it contains a higher level of fatty acid making it a more intensive moisturizer. The lip balm also has an mild taste of cooling mint, and leaves your lips feeling moisturized.



The performance of the soap and lip balm was top-notch!

I really enjoyed swapping with Audrie, and learning a little about her and her family.

A huge thanks to Audrie Rucker, for her amazing soaps!

CHECK OUT AUDRIE’S FACEBOOK PAGE! —-> https://www.facebook.com/meadowlarksoaps?fref=ts




Laurel Creek Naturals Soap Swap

Just the other day, I received a package from Kirsten Henderson of Laurel Creek Naturals.

She and I agreed to swap soap, and this is what I received!



When I thought about swapping, I did not expect to get all of these goodies! I thought “A bar of soap would be nice.”  She sent me the following:

Daydream Believer Soap Bar

Cashmere & Cotton Soap Bar

Banana Coconut Lip butter (Let me tell you that stuff is ah-mazing!)

Two hand-knit face scrubbies        



My little sister Ellie and I opened up the carefully packed box together, and she immediately fell in love with the rainbow face scrubby and the Cashmere & Cotton.  I love everything! If I had to pick a favorite soap though, it would be the Daydream Believer. However I am a huge fan of clean, fresh, linen smells.  Speaking of smells, let’s talk about the scent of these lovely soaps.

Daydream Believer is an herbal soap, scented with a perfect blend of Lemongrass and Lavender essential oils.


Cashmere & Cotton is a warm, soft, powdery blend of cashmere, bergamot, sandalwood, vanilla, cotton, all embraced by patchouli and white musk. Boy oh boy does it smell good! And look at the pretty periwinkle blue on this bar! I have a soft spot in my heart for periwinkle.


Not only do these soaps smell great, and look beautiful, they leave your skin feeling so soft! Kirsten incorporates silk into her soap recipe, which makes the finished bar have a unique, luxurious “silky” feel to it.


Look at those soap tops!


The Lip Balm is Amazing! It’s flavored with banana and coconut, and it feels as though you are rubbing coconut cream pie onto your lips! But this pie last a whole lot longer. ; ) It really does a marvelous job at  keeping your lips moisturized.



Look at these awesome face scrubbies! My little sister Sarah has adopted knitting and crocheting into her rainy-day activities, so she really appreciated the hand-knit scrubbies. I let her keep one, because she kept asking me: “Em, could I keep this. Can I have this to keep?” She and I both agree that they work wonderfully.  


Love the packaging!





That business card looks awesome! Don’t you think? 


I know, it is 2014 and we do have colored photographs, but I can’t stop myself.



Thank you so much Kirsten! It was fun to swap with you, and I look forward to seeing your future soapy creations.

If you would like to see more of Kirsten’s creations, check out her Facebook page!