I’ve never been a particularly smelly person, but I’ve struggled to find antiperspirants I like because most irritate my skin. Dove’s Advanced Care and Protection line and Clear Tone products have come the closest to working for me.
About a year ago, I started using a natural Crystal Body Deodorant to see whether my finicky underarms would tolerate potassium alum any better than the aluminum chlorohydrate found in antiperspirants.
I’ve never been a huge sweater, so for my teenage years and early twenties, antiperspirants had basically stopped me from sweating altogether (antiperspirants block the production of sweat; deodorants mask or eliminate odor from sweat). When I first made the switch to deodorant, the sweating took some getting used to. Ultimately I just got over it because it doesn’t smell. Most importantly, the crystal deodorant wasn’t irritating my skin as much as antiperspirants had.
Crystal Body Deodorant comes in a twist up stick. The product looks just like a crystal. It’s free of parabens, phtalates, aluminum zirconium, and aluminum chlorohydrate. To use it, I hold it under a running sink for a second and then rub it under my arms just like a regular roll-on deodorant. The coolest thing about it is how long a stick lasts. I’ve used one each day for about almost a year and I’ve barely made a dent in it!
aluminum chlorohydrate and health risks
You might want to avoid aluminum chlorohydrate because you’ve heard about its potential health risks–some studies have suggested associations with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, you should do what you’re comfortable with, but personally, I’m not convinced that the ingredient is risky enough to avoid at the concentrations found in commercial products. The FDA has approved its use in concentrations up to 25%.
If your goal is to avoid aluminum altogether, then you’ll want to avoid both mass-market antiperspirants and natural crystal deodorants containing alum since both contain aluminum. However, the potassium alum found in crystal deodorants has a larger molecule that is supposedly too big to be absorbed by skin.
Although I’m not convinced that I’ve avoided Alzheimer’s and breast cancer by swapping antiperspirant for natural deodorant, I’m going to stick with it. I like that the crystal is cheap, unscented, and non-irritating to my skin. It doesn’t leave white marks on clothing and one stick lasts forever.