The Great Deodorant Hunt, Part 4: Crystal Rock Spray

Posted by:  Jordan

Below is nearly a week’s worth of my thoughts of using a Crystal Rock Spray deodorant.  Because I find that clothes often have an effect on how “smelly” I get when using a natural deodorant, I’ve included what kind of top I was wearing that day, as well as the outside temperature.
-Temperature: high of 73 degrees
-Clothing: a form-fitting short-sleeved poly/lycra blend tee-shirt
-Results: did a lot of walking today, and waited in line for a long time to try what is “supposedly” the best pizza in NYC (it wasn’t).  After getting home from our excursion, I could definitely smell myself.  When I asked my husband if I passed the smell check, he replied with an uncertain “ehhh…”  Let’s try this again tomorrow when I’m not running all over Brooklyn in a fitted synthetic tee-shirt.
-Temperature: high of 70 degrees
-Clothing: an old loose-fitting cotton tee-shirt
-Results: I did laundry and cleaned most of the day.  Worked up a sweat, but didn’t smell at all bad by the end of it!
-Temperature: high of 73 degrees
-Clothing: 3/4 length cotton sweater
-Results: I caught a very slight whiff of myself at 5:30pm.  Once I got home and removed my sweater, the odor was almost negligible
-Temperature: high of 80 degrees
-Clothing: a blousy sleeveless cotton top with a cotton cardigan on top
-Results: absolutely no foul odors detected all day!!  Went to a cardio class at the gym after work and I still can’t smell myself!  Is this stuff too good to be true?  I’m starting to get suspicious…
-Temperature: high of 92 degrees!
-Clothing: cap sleeve cotton/lycra dress
-Results: by the time I got home at 9:30pm I could smell just a hint of body odor.  Pretty remarkable for such a hot day!  If it’s working this wonderfully, I’m getting very skeptical.  I guess it’s just my cynical nature, “if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.”  I fear that’s the case here.
-Temperature: high of 85 degrees (although I’m pretty sure our office was 105 degrees)
-Clothing: short sleeve sheer cotton blouse over a camisole
-Results: I threw a twist into the mix today.  I tried Karim’s (from Better Organic Choice) tip and layered my LaVanila deodorant over the crystal rock spray.  Maybe it’s because it was so hot and stuffy in our office today, but I could definitely smell myself by 4pm.  I did some research on the ingredient Potassium Alum, and am definitely suspicious now.  Read below for my conclusions…
Ingredients are simply water and Potassium Alum, which is a naturally occurring mineral salt.  Aluminum and Potassium Alum are two different substances; however, there are some concerns about Potassium Alum and how it’s absorbed into the body.   Skeptics wonder if Potassium Alum might possess the same amount of harm that aluminum has shown to have in conventional drugstore deodorants.  The Skin Deep database rates the ingredient Potassium Alum as a 1-2 (low hazard).  There isn’t a lot of conclusive evidence on the potential harm in Potassium Alum, but the most understandable article I could find on the matter included this excerpt:

“Crystal” deodorant stones are a popular natural deodorant alternative, often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid the aluminum and other chemicals common in most antiperspirants and deodorants.

While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium.

The aluminum in crystal deodorant stones is a different type of compound known as an alum, the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.

Potassium Alum or Ammonium Alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers.But while this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it is not completely aluminum-free. 

Here’s another great article about alum in crystal deodorants (the part about it being lethal if ingested by a child is especially alarming!)  The conclusion I’ve personally made from my internet research is that while Potassium Alum doesn’t seem to be as potentially harmful as the aluminum chlorohydrate or aluminum zirconium typically found in conventional deodorants, it’s one of the cases where it seems to be safer than my old product (in this case, my Dove deodorant), but still has some potential risks involved.  If you’re looking for a completely risk-free deodorant, this might not be the best choice for you.  But for me, it’s the best at odor control that I’ve found yet.  So on the hottest, muggy NY summer days, I think I’ll be replacing my Dove with this one for now, but for normal days, I’ll probably stick with something that doesn’t have a controversial ingredient in it.
On a shallower note, what is up with that crazy picture on the label?  Is it supposed to make me want to think it’s sexy to apply deodorant to my hulky man??  Because–call me a feminist–I don’t think having my husband admire his flexed biceps while I apply his deodorant for him is much of a turn-on.


Filed under Deodorants

5 responses to “The Great Deodorant Hunt, Part 4: Crystal Rock Spray

  1. hahhaha your comment on the picture is dead on! What a weird concept. Maybe ripping off the “strong enough for a man, yet soft enough for a woman” slogan? Still, creepy and weird. Plus the “Deodorant” in the picture looks more like a bar of soap to my eyes.

    I’m glad you are going through these smelly days for our benefit. Looking forward to the day you announce you found the one!


    • Jordan

      Thanks Sasha! Isn’t it annoying when the main problem with this natural deodorant is that it works a little too well?? And of course the ridiculously awful picture on the bottle…

  2. Bella

    Haha thats hilarious!

  3. Pingback: The Great Deodorant Hunt of 2010 – A Year in Review | Product Junkies Rehab

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