When I began my adventure with a more natural beauty routine, I started re-thinking about what I put near my lymph nodes. Now before I write anything else, I must state that I´m definitely not one of those fairies who smells like flowers without trying. I need my deodorant, and I am hyper-aware of smelly on me and around me. I decided in advance that not even for the sake of health will I stink.
Sensitive & HypoallergenicIn my first attempt at using something more gentle and natural, I switched to deoslabeled "sensitive" and "hypoallergenic". These were usually alcohol-free, aluminium free and had milder ingredients. Also, they were perfume free, which I liked, because deodorants have a deodorant-y smell that clashes with my perfume. (Now I also know that perfume is usually irritating to the skin and contains a lot of crappy chemicals.)
Natural DeosThen I took the jump and tried out deodorants from natural brands. I was pleasantly surprised with the level of freshness that they gave, in no way inferior to that of conventional stuff. I still had to check the labels for alcohol, which tends to dry out the skin. However, I had a problem: pimples on my pits. This was probably intensified by the fact that I use anepilator on those parts. After a bit of research, I figured that the culprit was Talc, the main ingredient in all alcohol-free natural deos.
Crystal DeosI searched in vain for something both talc and alcohol free, till I chanced upon crystal deodorants. It was after a lot of hesitation that I tried one out. I thought that they are actually made of real crystal, and thus they can only work in the mind of delusional hippies. Since then I learned that they are actually made of a mineral salt called alum, which is antibacterial. They are free from anything chemical, toxic, irritating or allergenic. The alum is in crystal form and not metal form (aluminium), so it´s perfectly safe. The molecules of alum are too big to block the sweat ducts, so it doesn´t interfere with the body´s natural process.
And it works. I felt like an idiot when I tried to use it for the first time: you just wet the crystal and rub on your skin. You don´t see or smell anything on your skin. I spent the day sniffing myself, and to my surprise there was nothing to smell. For the whole day. And even the next morning.
As you might have gleaned, I´m a convert. I have been using this for almost a year, including the summer, and it has worked really well. In my case it works for around 24 hours. I have a sneaky suspicion that it might not survive very hard workouts. I haven´t tested it though, because I dislike sweating and avoid it, and only do exercises which make me "glow". Oh, and also this might not be for you if have an exceptionally strong BO, (but then you should be looking into your food habits and think of a detox).
And if you´re wondering about the pimples, they went away and never came back.
Why I like it:
- Gentle on the skin
- I can apply it immediately after epilating / shaving.
- Can also be used on other body parts like the feet.
- No stains on clothes
- Doesn´t interfere with the skin´s detox
- No pimples on the armpits
- Neutral smell
- The solid version lasts ages. Like, years.
- It works.
I think the reason that most people don´t know about crystal deo stones is that they are just too simple, and so there is not much money in producing them. I mean, the customers will buy one every 2-3 years ! And the producers can´t bring out "new and improved" formulas with new scents every couple of months.
Natural vs synthetic Crystal deosThere are two types of crystal deodorant stones: natural and synthetic, but both claim to be natural. Natural crystal deos are made from the naturally occurring mineral potassium alum; the synthetic crystal deos are made from synthetic alum (synthesizing aluminum trihydroxide (ATH) with acid and adding ammonium sulfate). Apparently the natural ones are almost transparent, while the synthetic ones are white and opaque (because of the aluminum trihydroxide in it). Photos !!!
Mine looks like the photo above, but I´d love to have something that looks like this: