DIY Expensive Facial Bar for Pennies! – Clay & Salt Spa Bar

This is one of our staples at Thermal Mermaid. This bar is great practice for those who love the spa bars. We’ve chosen to put this recipe in the Lesson 6 collection because along with the instruction we’re going to add additional notes about creating clay and salt bar recipes. Once you get the hang of it scroll down the dash board to the recipes section and we have entire categories for just clay and/or salt bars in the recipe collection.


For full downloadable recipe and step by step video tutorial to go along with these instructions join the Soap Makers Learning Library. It’s free to join. You can find this recipe listed in Lesson 6.4

The first thing you’ll notice about this recipe is that we are not using our standard 3lbs of oils. Instead we’re using 2.5 lbs of oils. The salt and clay will take up space in this recipe and we’ve adjusted the amount of soap so that it will fit into a 3lb mold while accounting for the other ingredients.
Lard is a staple in many of our recipes because it is a stable oil and makes great soap. If you don’t like to use animal products in your soap just substitute the Lard for Palm oil and this recipe works fine.


ONE – Preparing the lye water solution is the first step in creating a loaf of sage & citrus soap. If you are new to cold process soap making you may want to review our article on lye safety in soap making. (This is a caustic chemical that can cause injury if mishandled. If you have never made soap before, we recommend you do not skip this.) With your safety gear on gently pour the lye crystals into a bowl of cold distilled water. Dissolve the crystals thoroughly and allow the solution to settle. Put this in the fridge or freezer while you are preparing the rest of the recipe.

TWO - Combine the oils. Melt the lard over low heat. Set the oil combination aside to settle to room temperature. For this recipe it is important to combine the lye and oil at room temperature to keep it from accelerating to quickly.

THREE - Prepare the colorants. Take about one -half ounce of the oils and add the neon blue colorant. This is a solid vibrant blue. Blend the mica until it is a smooth oil. Do the same thing with the pearl blue mica.

Measure out the clay and salt and set these aside.

FOUR - Gently pour the lye solution into the oil and blend this well with a stick blender until it is completely emulsified. Add the fragrance oil. Split the batter into two halves.

FIVE – In one part, add the clay and darker blue color. This will not stay blue. Bentonite clay is light gray, and this will immediately make your batter look like a mud pie. When you add the blue the batter will turn a nice sea foam green color. (If you want this half of your bar to be bright blue then add more colorant or try white kaolin clay) Once this has been fully incorporated , pour it directly into the bottom of the mold, and sprinkle a layer of glitter over the top.

SIX – Next, take the remaining batter. Add the salt and light blue colorant. This color will remain true mixed with white salt. Blend this well until it is fully incorporated. Spoon it lightly over the top so that it sits on the top layer without breaking the line. Sprinkle another layer of glitter and salt across the top. Allow this 24 hours to harden. Once it it had it can be cut into 11 pieces. This soap will be ready to use in about 4 weeks.

Notes about this recipe: Its a common impulse when making a spa bar to want to put more clay or more salt than the bar needs in the recipe. In this recipe 1 ounce of clay is enough to give the bar the texture without over doing it. If you add more than two ounces of clay the bar will become thicker and slower to harden. It may also remain a little doughy and will be more difficult to peel out of the bottom of the mold.
When adding salt to a recipe you may experience a few things. First of all, if you are working with lye and oils that have been combined warmer than room temperature, your salt may melt when you add it into the batter. Don't worry too much about this. It will recrystallize once it sets. However, I like to make this recipe at room temperature where the salt is more likely to hold its form.
Additionally, when you add more salt to your recipe it will become harder and you'll have to keep an eye on it and cut it before it becomes brittle. If you go over board on both salt and clay, the salt will become brittle faster while the clay will stay doughy and take longer to set. You will get the best looking bar if the clay and salt are used in moderation.
Another thing to remember about adding salt to your bar is that you will get a slightly different finished result depending on weather you choose Epsom salt or sea salt. Epsom salt usually has magnesium added to it for holistic medicinal purposes. In soap this can draw moisture and make your soaps sweat if you live in a high humid climate. Sea salt on the other hand tends not to add to the humectant quality of your soap, and this is better for long term storage.

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