Over four years ago, I started using a crystal deodorant. You know, the ones you find at the health food store that look like a piece of quartz crystal. Some of them come in liquid roll-on in a little plastic bottle, some are mineral in a pouch, some are just a piece of mineral in a pouch, and some are a spray-on version. I’ve tried them all. If you’re wondering whether this stuff works, the short answer is: yes.
Crystal deodorant advantages
There were several reasons why I wanted to try crystal deodorant.
- Cheaper. One rock or stick of crystal deodorant costs around $5 at most, and lasts me over two years. No matter how I shopped on sale, I would have to spend more than that on store brand deodorants that actually worked.
- Fewer ingredients. I’m not one of those people who is afraid of any chemical I can’t pronounce. For example, you’ve probably heard that regular deodorants contain aluminum, which supposedly causes Alzheimer’s Disease – but it turned out not to be not true. Still, I have sensitive skin and have found the fewer ingredients I can expose it to, the fewer reactions I have. Crystal deodorant usually has no more than three ingredients.
- No visible residue. I had read that this type of deodorant never leaves any visible traces on skin or clothes, unlike most store brands.
- Regular antiperspirants weren’t working so well, anyway. I had reached a point where I couldn’t find a brand of antiperspirant that really worked well for me anymore. It’s not well understood, but apparently you can become “immune” to antiperspirant, and my guess is that’s what was happening to me.
How it works
Of course, all this is for nothing if it doesn’t work – but it does. All three of the claims above proved true for me. I found I was able to wear clothes longer before washing them than I could with traditional deodorants. I’ve been able to wear crystal deodorant when it’s over ninety degrees (in fact, even over one hundred) with no odor, consistently for the past four years, in several very different climates – humid, dry, etc. I also experience very little wetness, though that might be because I naturally don’t sweat as much as some people (these products do not stop you from sweating). In any case, I actually have less trouble with odor when using crystal deodorants than I ever did with store brand ones.
The trick is in applying it correctly. As soon as you step out of the shower, you want to wet the surface of your deodorant stone and then rub plenty of it over the area you want to deodorize (yes, it’s safe to use this pretty much anywhere on the body). Or, using a roll-on or spray-on form, you just apply it right after the shower. This forms an environment that’s unfriendly to stinky bacteria before any of them have had a chance to gather on you. If you need to reapply between showers, just run an alcohol-dipped cotton ball over the area to get rid of any bacteria, and then apply your deodorant again (this rarely happens for me, even if I skip showering for a day). The trick is to make sure there are no bacteria whenever you apply it. Always make sure the area is completely clean, and then this stuff can keep you odor-free for a good twenty-four hours.
The antiperspirant fallacy
I did some research a while ago and learned: it’s not actually sweat that stinks, it’s bacteria that forms in your armpits. Stopping sweat won’t stop bacteria forming. You only need to stop the bacteria from forming, and the mineral deodorants do just that as long as you apply them immediately after your shower/bath. Some people with major odor or sweat problems claim that switching to a crystal deodorant changed all that for them. I can say for sure that I have less body odor since I stopped using antiperspirants and started using crystal deodorant.
The bottom line
No product works for everybody. But I can tell you that based on my own experience, I love mineral salt deodorants. I’ve recommended them to a few friends, and most of them also had good results. I think a lot of it depends on body chemistry. The only negative I have found that these deodorants is that one brand of spray-on that I bought (Thai) didn’t spray well, and little crystals started forming in the bottom of the bottle. But the product itself worked just fine. I have worn this stuff in hot, humid climates and hot, dry climates, and the performance was great across the board.
Originally published March 2, 2015