What Is Crystal Deodorant and Does It Actually Work? - Dr. Axe

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Crystal Deodorant: A Natural Option for Reducing Body Odor


Crystal deodorant - Dr. Axe

Deodorants and antiperspirants are the most commonly used cosmetic products, with men and women applying them every single day. But there are concerns about the safety and possible adverse effects of traditional deodorants. That may explain why crystal deodorant is gaining popularity.

Crystal deodorant is a natural alternative to aluminum-based products. It comes in many forms, with one being an actual stone that you rub onto sweaty areas of the body.

So is crystal rock deodorant really worth the hype? We need more research to understand its true efficacy, but reports indicate that it may be a healthier anti-odor option.

What Is Crystal Deodorant?

Crystal deodorant is made from a mineral salt called potassium alum, a zeolite mineral salt. Potassium alum has been used for centuries in Southeast Asia as a natural deodorant because of its antibacterial, anti-odor properties.

In recent years, it has gained popularity in the U.S. because of its natural ingredients and potential health benefits. But it won’t have the exact same effects as your standard deodorant product.

How does deodorant work? Unlike antiperspirants, crystal deodorant does not eliminate sweat.

It works to kill bacteria and prevent body odor. Instead of clogging your pores so the moisture doesn’t create a habitable environment for bacteria, this mineral salt deodorant prevents bacterial growth, while letting your pores excrete sweat.

But keep in mind, you will sweat when using a mineral deodorant because it’s not an antiperspirant. Some people claim that they sweat less than when not wearing deodorant at all, which may be due to the mineral salts’ ability to dry up the underarm area, but it won’t leave you completely dry.

How to Use It

You can find crystal deodorant in a few forms, including as a spray, roll-on, gel, powder and stone. To use it, you simply apply it under your underarms after bathing, when your skin is clean.

If you haven’t showered that morning or day, wash your underarms with a gentle antibacterial soap and then apply your deodorant.

If you’re using a crystal deodorant stone, you’ll have to run it under water and then apply it to your skin. Then wait until your skin dries before getting dressed.

For a roll-on deodorant or crystal deodorant stick, you can use it just like you would a traditional product.

Potential Benefits

1. Fights Bacteria

The most important crystal deodorant benefit is its ability to create an environment that won’t allow bacteria to survive.

Although research supporting this common claim regarding mineral-based deodorants is limited, reports suggest that these products reduce the number of bacteria that produce volatile odoriferous substances that cause body odor.

2. Prevents or Reduces Body Odor

Body odors occur when skin gland secretions and bacteria interact.

Our apocrine glands are in areas with the most hair follicles, like the armpits. These sweatier areas of the body are usually the smelliest, as they are also dark and warm environments that nurture bacteria.

These bacteria that thrive in sweaty, dark areas of the body produce smelly acids and sulfur compounds that cause body odor. Salt deodorant works to fight and prevent bacteria growth, reducing the chances of body odor forming.

3. Doesn’t Prevent Sweating

This may seem like it shouldn’t be under the “benefits” list, but there may be some downsides to antiperspirants. Research shows that the active ingredient in antiperspirants, which is usually aluminum-based, reduces sweat by causing obstruction of the eccrine glands.

Antiperspirants can clog your pores, disabling your body’s ability to detoxify naturally. Plus, sweating actually helps convey important information about your health, like certain odors indicating poor immunity and disease.

4. Natural Ingredients

Deodorant stone ingredients are simple and natural, making them potentially much safer than your standard deodorant stick. The deodorant sticks lining the aisles of your grocery or convenient stores contain ingredients like phthalates, parabens, aluminum, fragrances and artificial dyes.

There’s research suggesting that the estrogenic properties of parabens may increase the risk of breast cancer. There are numerous studies supporting and discrediting these claims.

There are also studies indicating that aluminum exposure from deodorant use has been linked to rising incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.  However, the results of the one study that evaluated persistent aluminum-containing deodorant use and Alzheimer’s had inconclusive results.

Using a natural deodorant, like those made from mineral salts, eliminates ingredients that can irritate the skin and potentially cause health issues. The research doesn’t make this completely clear, but avoiding harmful chemicals and ingredients any chance you get is ideal.

Risks and Side Effects

It’s always possible to experience allergic reactions from an ingredient or product that’s applied to the skin. The same is true for crystal deodorant.

While some people tolerate mineral salt deodorants better than traditional products, others may experience rash or irritation.

There are reports indicating that dermatitis is possible after using alum-containing deodorant. If irritation occurs after using a salt deodorant, then stop using it immediately and see your dermatologist if the problem persists.

That said, this natural deodorant is believed to cause fewer adverse effects than products made with conventional ingredients. You can always try making your own homemade deodorant as well, including this Homemade Probiotic Deodorant recipe.

Remember that deodorant from mineral salts does not serve as an antiperspirant, so you will still sweat. However, the sweat should not create body odor because bacteria growth is being prevented with the potassium alum.


  • Crystal deodorant is a natural antibacterial option for removing body odor, while allowing the body to detoxify by sweating.
  • Salt deodorant is made from potassium alum and may be a safer, healthier option than traditional deodorant or antiperspirant sticks.
  • While there’s not enough research to understand the true efficacy of deodorant stone, reports indicate that it’s effective and less likely to cause adverse side effects.

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