I ran a recipe for a salt bar through soapcalc and couldn't believe the cleansing number was 40. I have never made salt bars before but I was shocked that number was so high. Is that normal? Isn't that too harsh for the body?
Sometimes those numbers deceive a bit. My salt bars are 80% CO/15 OO/5 castor, with up to 80% in salt, with a 20% SF, but they are not drying at all. A regular recipe with even 25% CO would have me itching normally, but the salt bar does not.
They feel great in the summer on sweaty skin - really getting me clean and then putting back on the right amount of oils onto my skin. Folks sometimes think they help with acne or various skin ailments (much like going to the beach in the summer can help clear up the skin). They improve tremendously after a 3+month cure.
A word of caution: do not use a salt bar right after nicking oneself while shaving - ouch! Also, do not use large grained salt since the sharp edges can cut.
Like everything else, it's really subjective. I love them. DH hates them with a passion. I think he used one right after doing a bunch of home remodeling and had small cuts all over himself. The sounds coming from the bathroom were like that scene in Christmas Story when the dad is in the basement fixing the furnace. Now he views them as evil incarnate and will not even a pick up a bar.
I can't speak for anyone else but myself since certain 'advantages' can be very subjective, but whenever I use one, my skin feels refreshed- much like it feels after I've taken a swim in the ocean.
And if I use a lot of salt, such as an equal amount as per the weight of my oils, the lather is quite foamy, much like sea foam, although that amount of salt makes it somewhat difficult to kick the lather up/get it going (it needs more friction than my other soaps). Because of that, I actually like to use much less salt than that (25% as per my oils) so that the lather comes easier. I guess I'm a lazy latherer. lol
Two not-so-subjective advantages are how hard this type of soap turns out (they are very rock-like in firmness), and they last quite a long time compared to my soaps without salt.
I've only made one batch of salt bars, so I'm not any kind of expert on them, but I am vacationing at the moment where I can swim in the ocean any time I want to. I can say that using a salt bar gives a similar feeling to a dip in the ocean. Clean ... almost squeaky clean ... and refreshed without being dried out. In a hot, humid climate, the feeling is very nice.
Yes! They are wonderful in the tropics, especially when you are on a ##%^(#*$& ship with weirdly over distilled water. They are also wonderful in the winter to remind you of sunshine and beaches. Ive said it before, its like frolicking in sea foam while Brudda Iz sings to you from heaven