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What is Crystal Deodorant?

Several crystal deodorant sticks and a spray
CRYSTAL Deodorant/nakd./CRYSTAL Deodorant

If you’ve ever been confused by someone rubbing a large crystal on their armpits before, you’re not alone. Crystal deodorant is quickly rising in popularity with praise for its all-natural odor-eliminating benefits. But does this one-ingredient product really live up to the hype?

Here’s what you need to know about this holistic product, how it works, and if it’s really better than the antiperspirant in your bathroom.

What is Crystal Deodorant?

Several crystal deodorant stones
CRYSTAL Deodorant

When you see crystal deodorant at a store, it typically looks like a giant, well, crystal. This is because this type of deodorant is made from mineral salts that have been formed into a block. The most popular type of crystal deodorant is made from a natural mineral salt called potassium alum, but similar ingredients like ammonium alum may also be used.

CRYSTAL Deodorant Stick

One of the first crystal deodorants on the market that has remained popular over the years.

Potassium alum has been used as a deodorant for hundreds of years in many parts of Southeast Asia. This mineral salt has been shown to slow down bacteria growth, which is how it gets its odor-fighting abilities. This product is typically sold as a stone that is meant to be smoothed over clean skin.

How Do You Use It?

A woman applies crystal deodorant to her underarm
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

To use a crystal deodorant stone, rub it on your underarms while they are still slightly damp after showering. If your skin is already dry, simply wet the stone before using it. This will prevent friction and help you apply it more smoothly.

Crystal deodorant can also be found in other forms, including rollerballs and sprays. These products have the same effect as a deodorant stone, but may be more convenient for some people to use. You may want to test out several kinds until you find what works best for you.

CRYSTAL™ Mineral Deodorant Spray- Body Deodorant

A spray that contains similar ingredients as regular crystal deodorant.

It is important to note that crystal deodorant is not an antiperspirant, which means that it won’t stop you from sweating. If you are concerned or self-conscious about your sweating habits, you may want to consider applying an antiperspirant product after applying crystal deodorant for the most odor- and sweat-eliminating benefits.

Other Benefits of Crystal Deodorant

Three bottles of crystal deodorant spray
CRYSTAL Deodorant

Because crystal deodorant is made with a single ingredient (or occasionally two or three ingredients), it can be a good option for people who experience irritation when using other kinds of deodorant. It is ideal for people with sensitive skin or those who do not like to use products that contain fragrances or chemicals.

If you have experienced irritation from traditional deodorant or antiperspirant products, you can also try other natural deodorants to see if they work better for your underarms. These products often use ingredients like baking soda and essential oils for odor control, although some people may experience irritation from them as well.

Native Deodorant

A natural option that's gentle on your underarms if you're sensitive to parabens and dyes.

Finally, crystal deodorant will not leave any unsightly deodorant stains on your clothing. If you aren’t worried about sweating through your shirts, this benefit alone may convince you to give this stuff a try.

Is Crystal Deodorant Safer Than Antiperspirants?

A stick of deodorant and a sweaty woman

It is commonly thought that antiperspirants can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. This fear revolves around the use of aluminum, which is a common ingredient in antiperspirant products that blocks pores and prevents moisture from reaching your skin. However, there is little scientific evidence to suggest that there is any link between aluminum and cancer.

Degree Antiperspirant for Women

A solid antiperspirant option that offer 72 hours of odor protection.

That being said, there may still be some reasons you prefer to use crystal deodorant over other kinds. Crystal deodorant does not contain ingredients like parabens, phthalates, dyes, and fragrances, which are commonly found in other deodorant products. These chemicals can cause irritation for some people when applied to their skin.

If you experience a rash, itchiness, or other irritation after using deodorant or antiperspirant products, then yes, crystal deodorant is safer for you than other products. If you do not experience any issues with other kinds of deodorant, you don’t need to make the switch unless you want to. There have been many claims in recent years about natural deodorant, but again, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that any type of deodorant or antiperspirant is better or worse for you than another.

Is Crystal Deodorant for Everyone?

Crystal deodorant and someone applies it to their armpit
nakd. Thai Crystal Deodorant

Crystal deodorant has been successful for many people. However, the evidence to suggest its effectiveness is mostly anecdotal. As previously mentioned, this product does not work as an antiperspirant, so it won’t prevent sweaty armpits. If you’re a heavy sweater who needs both odor control and moisture prevention, this deodorant probably isn’t the best bet for you.

New crystal deodorant users should also be aware that switching to this product may result in a detox period of increased underarm odor as your body adjusts to it, according to one reviewer on Byrdie. If you have been using a sweat-blocking antiperspirant deodorant for a long time, it may take your body a while to adjust to sweating again.

nakd. Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone

This pack comes with a full-sized deodorant and a travel-sized one you can take on the go.

There is also always the risk of developing an allergic reaction to a new product, so it is important to test the deodorant on a small patch of skin when you first get it. Ultimately, using crystal deodorant is a personal preference based on your lifestyle and body.

Crystal deodorant is quickly rising in popularity among health-conscious individuals and fans of natural skincare products. While this type of deodorant has plenty of benefits, it may not be the best option for everyone.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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