≡ Menu

Do mineral crystal deodorants really work?

We thought you might be interested in this email exchange with one of our favorite fans, Wendy Wild, who does the weekend show on KTU radio from New York.

Wendy wonders: Hey, I haven’t contacted you in a while, so just wanted to see how you were. I really enjoy reading your site each day! Thanks for the great entries.

Here’s a product I recently bought that I’m absolutely baffled by. Naturally Fresh Crystal Deodorant Stick. It’s one of those no-aluminum deodorants, however… It’s just a damn rock, lol. The weirdest thing is that it works (WELL). I still don’t understand how because it smells like nothing and looks (and feels) like a piece of plastic. However, it’ll magically keep you smelling like NOTHING for at least 24 hours. Any insight here?

Sarah Bellum replies:

Hi again Wendy, nice to hear from you. We’ve been busy here at the Beauty Brains, getting ready to publish our first book. Exciting, huh?

To answer your question, the Beauty Brains have seen these mineral deodorants before. They do look like a hunk of plastic, or glass. That’s because they’re made from a mineral known as potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate. Yeah, that’s right these mineral deodorants do contain aluminum! I always thought they were aluminum free. But unlike the aluminum salts used in antiperspirants, alum doesn’t stop you from sweating, it only helps control the growth of bacteria that makes your sweat stinky.

If you like the way these mineral crystals work for you, that’s great. But don’t fall for all the advertising claims made by some of the companies that sell this kind of product. For example, Crystal Body Deodorant claims that regular deodorants are made with highly toxic chemicals. (If that was true we’d all be dropping over dead!) Others claim that mineral deodorants are being better for you because they don’t block the release of toxins like other deodorants do.

While it’s true that antiperspirants do plug the opening of the sweat gland to reduce sweat, there is no data that proves deodorants (or more accurately, antiperspirants, are harmful because they block the release of toxins. Since your body doesn’t use sweat glands to rid itself of toxins, this really isn’t an issue. (This discussion reminds me of our post on Kinoki Detox foot pads. Hoo boy, what a controvery ol’ Lefty stirred up with THAT one!)

If you can want learn more, read our previous post on the difference between antiperspirants and deodorants.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jordanna November 6, 2014, 7:44 am

    I love a brand called Lavilin..all-natural, safe, long-lasting, smells great.


    It’s been a staple in our household for years!

  • Kiri June 18, 2015, 5:36 pm

    Ahh but crystal deodorants are soo good! In particular, there is one by Native Unearthed which has been an absolute lifesaver over the last couple of months. I feel that the above does not fully explain the harmful effects of conventional deodorant. Many do infact contain toxic and harmful chemicals such as phenoxyethanol, which is a known irritant. Furthermore, many of the ingredients in these deodorants are industrial. Our bodies were made for natural products.

    • Randy Schueller June 18, 2015, 5:57 pm

      Hey Kiri. I’m not sure what you mean when you say that our bodies are made for natural products. Does that mean that cobra venom is better for us than aspirin because one is natural and the other is not? Obviously this is a ridiculous example but my point is that each chemical should be judged on its on merits rather than saying that “everything natural is good and everything synthetic is bad.” Does that make sense?

      • Jen November 21, 2017, 9:54 pm

        … actually, aspirin has additives now, but it is derived from natural ingredients, so maybe you should use ibuprofen as the example.

  • andrea parker October 21, 2017, 1:47 pm

    Is potassium alum absorbed into the body in deodorant? Is it a carcinogenic?