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.