My salt bars really were not exfoliating at all except the intitial use because of the salt on the outside. I think the heat just dissolves that salt right into the liquids! Not huge latherers and didn't sell well for me.
Basic recipe is a coconut shea blend. with the same weight of salt added as oils. Heats up like crazy and you have to cut in under two hours and often it is still hot.
There are people who just use thier basic recipe and add salt. Some the same amount as oils, others less.
Mine aren't exfoliating either. The value in salt bars is threaputic. Ever been to the beach and your skin clears up after being in the ocean? Reportedly the salt in the bars is good for blemished skin (works for my son when he consistantly uses it), and excema. I use it because I love the silky feel of my skin after it and I can use my high CO recipe and it isn't drying.
Yes, you can use any recipe to make salt bars. I use the high coonut to boost the bubblage, because as it has been pointed out, the bubbles are light. However it does have a wonderful lotiony lather and the SF of CO that I use leaves a nice after *feel*.
As for selling well, I guess it's about your market and educating people. Give out samples and get them hooked!
I've never tried Epsom either. I use the Hain's sea salt that you can get at WW. Yep *label appeal*. I have had people say "ohhhh sea salt, that's supposed to be really good for your skin." And have NO clue why. LOL. Can't imagine folks saying "ohhhh magnesium sulphate.......
I saw some sea salt at a health food store this week. I would think that they would all carry it. Grocery stores may carry it now because I think more people are using sea salt as their regular table salt. I have one sitting on my stove now that I think I got at sams or costco with one of those grinder tops, It came paired with Indian peppercorns.