Crystal Alum or Potassium Alum
Natural crystal deodorants are made of potassium alum which is a naturally occuring salt that has solidified to form solid rocks. It appears as a white translucent crystaline stone with small veins. It is extracted from the earth in large blocks and shaped into smaller manageable stones to be used on the body.
HOW IT WORKS
Potassium alum is soluble in water. When the stone is wet or applied to wet skin, it leaves a thin layer of crystal deposits on the skin. The molecular structure of potassium alum is such that it cannot be absorbed through the skin. The water evaporates but the mineral stays on the skin until it is next washed off with water. The crystal does not prevent the body to sweat and does not impair or constrict the sweat glands. The body releases sweat in the form of water and salt. The smell associated with this function does not come from the sweat itself but from the bacteria that live on the skin and eat the sweat.
The activity of the bacteria that rapidly grow when sweat is present, is the cause of the unpleasant odour that one normally attributes to sweat. Potassium alum is an anti-mocrobial and anti-septic that will inhibits the growth of the bacteria and therefore the unpleasant odour that comes with it. The body will carry on with its natural functions of eliminating toxins through sweat and regulating its own temperature without the disadvantage of a bad smell. The crystal effectively prevents odour to develop and does not just mask it. The crystal is odourless, non-sticky, non-staining and hypoallergenic. It also has vaso-constritive / astringent properties and can be used after shaving. It will effectiviely reduce bleeding in minor cuts and abrasions and soothe irritated skin after the removal of body hair. A crystal stick lasts for over 1 year.
CONFUSION - SYNTETIC AND NATURAL CRYSTALS
There are two types of deodorant crystals that are currently found on the market: A natural potassium alum crystal which is a naturally occuring crystal and a syntetic form which is entirely manufactured. They can be easily distinguised by their appearance. The natural crystal is translucent with veins and contains no alimimium hydroxide, aluminium chloride, aluminium chlorohydrate that are commonly used to made deodorants and anti-perspirants. The synthetic crystal is made by mixing aluminium hydroxide with potassium and ammonium sulfate in acid. The resulting powder is then pressed to make stones that are white and opaque and do not contain the veins that occur in a natural rock formation.