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I've Been Using a Crystal Deodorant for a Year. Here's What I Learned.

I'll be honest, the whole clean beauty, natural ingredients movement is just not for me. I find the the natural scents a bit overpowering, and I don't mind any chemical preservatives. I choose to trust labs and chemists who have studied for years, and know how to formulate hygiene products. But still, I prefer to use a natural deodorant. No, nothing made of waxes or baking soda. Have you ever heard of crystal deodorants?

Crystal deodorant

Crystal deodorant- potassium alum
Raw Potassium alum
Crystal deodorant has nothing to do with spiritual healing crystals. Here the word crystal refers to the solidification of a chemical element, specifically Potassium alum. This compound is usually used in water purification and even in baking. It can also be found in aftershaves and in other industrial uses. It is clear, completely odorless and has a pungent salty taste. And just like salt- it is antibacterial, which allows it to act as a deodorant. 
Confused? Let's simplify. Body odor is caused by bacteria that live on your body. It thrives and multiplies as it feeds on your sweat, which in itself is odorless. As it does so, the bacteria release some nasty odors referred to as body odor. Potassium alum, being an anti-bacterial, keeps the bacteria at bay, thus eliminating the root cause of body odor, allowing you to perspire freely. 

Why choose crystal deodorant?

Crystal deodorant- stick
Crystal deodorant in stick form
You may choose to avoid antiperspirants because they can cause skin irritation, dryness and itchiness. Other reasons could be because you'd like to avoid chemicals or because you believe that sweating freely is the healthiest way to go.
But in my experience, other natural deodorants the market offers today have the same disadvantages. Those based on baking soda are itchy as can be, those based on wax leave stains, and others just increase body odor to unprecedented levels. 
Potassium alum is a metal sulfate. Unlike aluminum, though, it won't clog up your pores and won't absorb into your skin. It only kills bacteria that live on top of your skin. Crystal deodorants are composed only of that one ingredient, are not scented, and cause no irritation. They don't leave white marks on your body or clothes, they don't feel sticky and they last over a year with daily use. 

So what's the catch then?

Crystal deodorant in a basket
Crystal deodorant may also come as a crystal with no container
Mainly, that it's not an antiperspirant. You will sweat with this, but it won't smell. The effect lasts from morning to evening, but we would suggest re-applying before an evening workout. 
Keep in mind this is only effective as a preventative step. If there's already body odor the crystal won't help. You can reach for your facial toner for that instead.
To use it, simply wet it to help it melt onto your skin, and rub it all over until you feel you've covered the whole area. You may also use it on other body parts where you wish to eliminate body odor, including your feet. 
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