Natural crystal deodorants have become very popular in the last few years. The natural deodorant is made from potassium alum, which is a naturally occurring mineral salt found in quarries throughout the world. Potassium alum’s appearance can be described as a translucent crystalline stone that contains veins like those found in marble.
Potassium alum has many commercial applications, as well as varying natural benefits, but for the purpose of crystal deodorant, it prevents odor by stopping odor causing bacteria produced in sweat from growing. Therefore, it is quite different from traditional deodorants which use heavy fragrances to mask odor, or antiperspirants which use chemicals to clog pores and block sweat.
When potassium alum is used for deodorants it is commonly referred to as alum stone, crystal deodorant or deodorant stone, however they remain one and the same. And, it acts as a very effective odor preventing deodorant.
However, many people don’t know that synthetic deodorant stones do exist. Synthetic (non-natural) deodorant stones are chemically manufactured by synthesizing aluminum hydroxide with acid. And the final product looks very similar to the natural potassium alum stone. But, you can observe the difference between the synthetic stone and the natural stone – the synthetic stone is almost completely opaque, due to the presence of aluminum hydroxide, and the natural stone is translucent.
Remember, just cause the label says it is natural, does not mean that it really is. The term natural is unregulated and over used. So, be careful what you believe. The best judge of crystal deodorants is your own eye.
Here’s a quick way to test if the deodorant stone is natural. Examine to see if the stone is translucent or opaque. Before purchasing, hold the stone in your hand, and if you can see your fingers and colors on the other side, then it is mostly likely natural. If you cannot make out objects or colors when holding the stone, it is most likely synthetically made.
Now, lets put what we now know to use. Take for example the crystal deodorant made by L’Occitane; it has a high price tag, listed at $21, and claims to be made from natural mineral salts, but when I closely looked at the product I was left unsure. The crystal deodorant stone appears very opaque (shown below), compared to the Tade crystal deodorant previously reviewed. So, in my eyes there is clearly a big difference.
L’Occitane Crystal Deodorant:
In a previous post, the Tade deodorant stone passed the natural test, and you can compare the visual difference of the two stones.
In conclusion, just cause the label claims to be natural, or made from potassium alum, it in fact does not mean it actually is 100% natural. I will continue to review crystal deodorants, and try my best to inform the reader of my investigation. In future posts, I will compare products side-by-side, examine benefits, and test their natural claims.