Freshwater Studio Soap // Salt Bars

Happy Friday!

Cactus Flower Salt Bars

I thought I’d do something new here, and take the time (once a month, or so?) to highlight a specific soap I’ve made. So today I thought I’d talk about salt bars. They are quickly becoming a new favorite.

Wild Rose Salt Bars

Salt bars are a bit different from a regular cold process soap bar, because they contain a high amount of natural sea salt. The salt added to the bar – whether its grey salt, Himalayan pink salt or another kind of fine sea salt (except dead sea salt – don’t use that!) – is added at a ratio of between 50-100% of the total oils used in the soap. So, for example,  if I made a salt bar using 100g of coconut oil as my only oil, I would then add between 50-100g of salt to the bar as well. Typically, a salt bar will have a high amount of coconut oil added to the recipe to combat the fact that a high salt content in a bar can really zap the amount of lather you’ll get. Coconut oil helps to combat that. But, you can also play around with the recipe and add other oils to the mix. My salt bars contain lots of coconut oil in addition to olive oil pomace, rice bran oil, shea butter and kaolin clay. You can read more about my cactus flower salt bars here. More about the Wild Rose bars here. These bars are 75% salt to oil.

At some point, I’ll post more about the specific ingredients I choose to use in my soaps, and why they’re good for your skin.

Cactus Flower Salt Bars

The thing about salt bars is that the high salt content makes them a bit crumbly coming right out of the mold. But, I kind of love the rough look of them! Otherwise, once they’ve hardened completely, I don’t find them to be very crumbly at all. In fact, salt bars are incredibly long lasting because they are so solid once they set.

The other thing about salt bars is that they’re pretty luxurious. They’re sometimes called spa bars for this reason. Not only are the bars long lasting, but the lather they produce is gentle and creamy, and not drying at all (even though the term “salt bar” might lead you to suspect otherwise)! The minerals contained in natural sea salt means that you’re also giving all that natural vitamin and mineral goodness to your skin. The bars help to lightly exfoliate, detox and purify your skin, and the salt can also aid in allowing the other moisturizing oils in the soap to absorb more readily into your skin. Win-win.

Wild Rose Salt Bars

So, now you know why salt bars are a new favorite of mine! I’ll certainly be making more of these in the future. And the Cactus Flower and Wild Rose bars I’ve made have just landed in the Freshwater Studio Shop as part of the spring soap release.

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!


DIY, Soap

Making Cold Process Soap for the First Time

About a month ago, I finally tried something I’ve been wanting to try for ages: making cold process soap! I think I’ve been drawn to soap making not only because of how beautiful artisan soaps can be, but also because they contain simple, real ingredients (and I’ve been known to have several mysterious skin allergies crop up from time-to-time).

Cold process soap making kit

So, I bought myself a beginner soap making kit from Bramble Berry. The kit came with everything you need to make your first batch of soap, including a recipe. The kit did not come with any colorants, however, so I purchased some of those separately to try (go big or go home, right?). The box the kit comes in even doubles as a soap mold, though if and when I do this again, I’ll purchase a proper silicone mold.

Other than the oils, lye, fragrance and other basic ingredients that come in the kit, you’ll have to supply a few things on your own like bowls, a stick blender or other mixing tool, gloves, eye protection, etc. Bowls and gloves I bought at the dollar store on the cheap, and they worked just fine!

Since I’ve been dying to try this and because this was my first time, I made sure to do a bit of research before diving in. I found some soap makers I like on social media and learned what I could from them. Bramble Berry’s blog is a great source for this kind of thing. Their youtube channel, Soap Queen TV, has a lot of great info and tutorials. I am also in love with just about every soap made by Tania of Soapish, and she’s got a great youtube channel and an even better instagram account.

Cold process soap

So, feeling mostly well informed, I got started (and soon learned that soap making is more about trial and error and less about feeling well informed from the get-go)… I mixed all my ingredients and then portioned things out into several bowls and mixed in my fragrance oil and mica colorants (Caribbean Blue and Aqua Pearl) – one bowl had fragrance oil but no colorant.

Cold process soap

I had to work pretty quickly because I got a little overzealous and I think over mixed my soap a bit. So, not much time for process photos here! But I did what I think is called a drop swirl, adding my base soap and then the colored soaps as well. I let the batch cure for about 24 hours and then cut up my bars with a sharp knife before letting them continue to cure for several weeks.

Cold process soap

Obviously there’s some room for improvement here, but I feel really good about the results of my first attempt. And the Cranberry Fig fragrance smells so delicious (though next time I think I’ll find some colors that “match” the fragrance a little better)! The soap lathers really nicely and has a smooth, creamy feel. I definitely see more soap making in my future.


This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links here – I just wanted to share my thoughts and experience :)