Monday, July 2, 2012

Using A Natural Salt Crystal Deodorant

Most people think they have to choose between a conventional chemical deodorant, and smelling like a hippie (no offense, hippies). There is, however, a third option: a natural deodorant that really works:

salt crystal natural deodorant

For over a decade I've been using a salt crystal after every shower. When you first start using it, it feels like a kind of superstition, like knocking on wood or crossing yourself to ward off evil. How could rubbing salt under your arms help to ward off the stink of sweat?

The magic is in the science of salt. Salt kills bacteria. It's the same reason we use salt water in our neti pots, or a saline solution to flush a wound. In the case of underarm odor, sweat itself has no smell. The stink is caused by bacteria that have proliferated and left their earthly bodies, leaving only their essence behind. Salting right after you shower halts the growth of this bacteria before it can begin. 

natural deodorants

Which brings me to the limitations of this deodorant: It will do nothing to mask already stinky pits. If you try using it once you already stink, you will come to the conclusion that it doesn't work. It cannot cover up any smell, it is a preventative! Nik and I have other natural deodorant sticks that have a nice smell, which we use on our off days... when maybe we really should have gotten a shower in but it just didn't happen, or once in a while I'll forget to use the salt crystal after my shower, and then use the scented one as a last resort. These ones don't work as well to prevent body odor, but they do hide it with their own scents. But really, I rarely use this type because the salt crystal works that well.

salt crystal deodorant

Another near magical property of the salt crystal deodorant is that it never gets used up. I'm pretty sure one tube, or whatever form you buy it in, would literally last a lifetime-- as long as you never dropped it. They shatter like glass when they get dropped. I have only ever bought two, which have served me well over the past 15 years. The more recent purchase remains in one piece, like new. The top photo in this article is the one we've been using for 8 years straight. Two shards are all that remain of the original crystal I had... a reminder to be more careful. They do get slippery when wet! The shards are great, however, for travel-sized deodorant. I keep one in my bag for showering at the yoga studio, and we have one in our overnight kit.

I am not advertising this thing, and in fact if anything ever happened to my current salt crystal, I would look into how to make my own. Is that possible? I haven't checked... They only cost a few dollars, and they last for decades, so it's probably a worthy investment to buy a packaged one. I just like to DIY everything I can. ;) 

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July 2, 2012 at 9:21 AM

I have never heard of salt crystal deodorant. We've tried our fair share of "natural" deodorants, etc. and nothing seemed to work in the GA heat and humidity. I finally found a recipe and started making and selling it. It actually works! The salt crystal deodorant sounds MUCH cheaper though!! Will need to look into!

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July 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM

You had me at "never gets used up." I use vinegar followed by corn starch (you can scent both, or one, or neither), but this sounds like it would speed up my toilette. Because, I need to get to doing not much of anything as quickly as I can.

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July 2, 2012 at 10:02 AM

We love salt deodorants too! It also comes in a liquid roll-on form, which doesn't last nearly as long, but is available with scents like tea tree and lavender but it's nice if you are prone to dropping things b/c the crystals can get razor sharp if they shatter!

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July 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I put some 92% alcohol in a little spray bottle (fits in a small side compartment in my purse). When I get out of the shower, I spritz under both arms. I keep a bottle with me in my purse. I don't normally sweat through it - even in the GA heat. But on the rare occasion I do, I can just reapply it and it kills the slight odor immediately. (On occasion, I can smell me, but my kids say they can't - even the one with the great nose and no filter on the mouth. lol)

And I've notice that if I've been eating poorly or into a lot of sugary foods, I sweat through it. When I eat well and stay out of the sugar, I don't have a problem even when I'm gardening.

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July 2, 2012 at 6:30 PM

The alcohol acts like an antiperspirant? Weird! Sounds like it works great though. I'm quitting sugar, pretty sure it's the cause of all my woes ;)

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July 2, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Nice. I feel the same way. I hate getting bogged down by routines that get overly complex. This is definitely simple and quick!

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July 2, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Ironically, I just dropped and shattered my travel deodorant at yoga today. It's in too small of pieces to salvage. I never drop the one in the plastic tube though; I think the tube provides a non-slip surface to hang onto!

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July 4, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Hi there, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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July 5, 2012 at 3:08 PM

The salt crystals are excellent - they are everything you say! I have 2 that people gave me and they will probably last for the rest of my life. I did drop one and i have the pieces. I like your idea of using them for traveling. You can also pick up all the little bits you can and dissolve them in water and use that as a spray. I had been using the tom's of maine like in your picture, but really didn't want to have to buy it for those back up days because of the plastic packaging. I have found that if i am stinky a finger dab of tea tree oil removes the odor pronto. I keep a tiny bottle of it with me most of the time because it is my go to thing for first aid.

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July 5, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Tea tree oil is a great idea for underarm odor! I bet a couple drops in your salt spray would be a nice addition.

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July 6, 2012 at 7:24 AM

It works more like a deodorant. You want to sweat, you just don't want the odor. Sweating is your body's way of releasing toxins as well as cooling itself down. We've really done ourselves a disservice by using antiperspirants which stops underarm sweating. So many people will perspire more on their feet which causes foot odor. So now...people are also using antiperspirant on their feet too. I can't help believing that this is REALLY not good for the body. But to each his/her own.

I looked at getting the crystal myself. It's been a long while ago and money was so short that I just couldn't do it. Glad to know it works well. Thanks for the post.

And I don't know why I didn't think of trying Tea Tree oil. Brilliant!

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July 7, 2012 at 4:31 AM

I tried the tom's of maine lavender and kept getting stinky and wet pit marks on shirts. This is the second blog this week I have seen raving about the crystal type. I think I am going to have to give it a try. I hate using the chemical ones but keep going back to them because I can't seem to find a natural solution that works.

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July 7, 2012 at 4:55 AM

We make our own deodorant, but because it has coconut oil in it, it doesn't travel well. So we always keep a salt crystal one that we use for travel, and it gets the job done. I've also tried the Tom's of Maine and really didn't like them at all!

Thanks for linking up at Tiny Tip Tuesday! Have a great weekend!

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July 7, 2012 at 6:53 AM

It won't stop you from sweating, but we do need to sweat- sweating is healthy! We just don't want to stink. One thing I've found that helps prevent wet spots in my shirt is wearing an undershirt. If I have a long shift at work I wear a t-shirt under my work shirt, then at least my work shirt stays dry.

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KimH
July 7, 2012 at 8:08 AM

I have a couple crystals that have lasted for years. I agree, they work great. I keep on at work too for those "Fail" days since I have hot flashes occasionally.

I have found something that actually works better than these salt rocks. Its milk of magnesia without any ingredients other than magnesium hydroxide. You might need to look around for it (philips & others has aluminum &/or chlorine in it)but most generic no name brands are plain magnesium and water. I put mine in a small empty Dawn bottle, shake every morning before use, then pour a quarter size amount on my fingertips, share it with the other hands fingertips and apply to my underarms and any other place I want to be bacteria/odor free. It works on feet & athletes feet/jock itch, & ring worm too.

I've read that it will get rid of dandruff too and I had my daughter try it, but it made it worse immediately and she wouldnt give it a chance to see what it would do after a week or so. Sigh..

Either way.. its great stuff & you get a small dose of magnesium daily. Check it out!

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July 8, 2012 at 11:49 AM

To any one interested: they do last FOREVER, so if you're uncertain if you want to do this, just buy the travel size, my local co-op is just $2-3. And you can smooth any large "shards" with water to make them travelable, just store in a plastic baggie or little plastic container.

Followed your link here from New Nostalgia...love my crystal deodorant, and I used to have the darndest time getting antiperspirants to actually work for me, to the point I would need to reapply at some point during the day if I was active or working out after a day of work, and would always end up with yellow pits on my shirts, sadly. I don't either of those problems any more! My mom has some prejudiced against it because she thinks it's a hippy thing from the 70's that doesn't work. Still need to get her off her antiperspirant and try it.

My problem is that it eventually shrinks width-wise and then falls out the plastic holder, making it prone to breaking...do you not wet it everyday or ?? I was storing it upside down and that helped it last longer, but it's prone to my clumsiness so I have to be careful.

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July 8, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I used to wet the whole crystal before applying, which made it more prone to slipping out of my grasp, and probably caused to it shrink faster.
However, I've found that applying it to wet underarms right after showering works better. The only part of the cyrstal that gets wet is the part touching my underarms, so it continues to fit snugly in it's holder after years of use. Hope this helps!
It's amazing how many people don't think it will work for them, or that it's just some hippie product. Glad you're loving it too!

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Anonymous
July 10, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I got a crystal deodorant several years ago and love it. Unfortunately someone knocked it to the tile floor and smashed the top of it so it is rather dangerous looking now. It is too jagged for wetting and smoothing, so after reading this post and the comments I might try starting with coarse sandpaper and working to finer then smoothing it with water, since I have to take about a quarter inch off, or as a last resort, prying it out of the container and using the other end. I was thinking I would have to replace it, now, thank you very much, I realize I just have to make a little, easily doable repair. Awesome. Even with the quarter inch loss, I probably never have to buy deodorant again. I'm at home most of the time and can wash after gardening, so only use it when I have to go somewhere.

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July 13, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Hi, I got here from Freaky Friday. I bought a crystal about a year ago, but I didn't find that it worked well enough (I was still stinky!). I still have it in the bathroom, I think I'll try it again, I can't believe it would work for so many others and not for me! The comments about diet may also have something to do with it.... I currently use a deo like the ones pictured, it contains nice essential oils and baking soda, it works ok, but I wasn't really comfortable with the packaging, so if I can get the crystal to work, then it would be the best option. Thanks for giving me some motivation to try it again!

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July 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

When going for my mammogram I use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol since you're not supposed to wear any deodorant. I do use a salt deodorant but didn't know if it would mess with the mammo or not so always just used rubbing alcohol. It does work but stings something awful LOL. I don't use it all the time though just that one time a year.

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Glo
July 24, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I've been using one for years and love it. :)

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Kit
July 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

We've been using them for years too. Ours don't seem to last as long as yours though, perhaps because we wet them too much - I'll have to try the wet armpits thing straight after showering and see if that helps.

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July 27, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Yes, I really think that not wetting the whole crystal makes it last a lot longer. It works just as well applied to wet armpits!

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July 30, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Your post on a using a natural crystal deodorant was one of the most clicked on posts this week! Way to go! Can't wait to see what you have in store for us this week. :)

The Frugal "I Did It!" blog hop is now live. Click here to link up and view!. :)

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July 31, 2012 at 7:57 AM

That's awesome, thank you!

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August 2, 2012 at 12:22 PM

This post was chosen to be featured in this week's Homesteading Link Up! Thanks for joining in! http://farmersdaughterct.com/2012/08/02/homesteading-link-up-and-using-a-natural-salt-crystal-deodorant/

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August 2, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Thank you, that's awesome!

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August 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I've been using salt deodorant for almost 2 years and would never go back. My fave is Crystal Essense in Lavender and White Tea.

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September 4, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Great information. Thank you so much for sharing with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party last week. This weeks Link Party is opened at
http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/09/simple-anti-aging-moisturizer-and.html
from Wednesday until Sunday.
Hope to see you there.
Debi Bolocofsky
Adorned From Above
www.adornedfromabove.com

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September 10, 2012 at 1:59 AM

hello

Nice post but I think Salt deodorant was an old formula and it was superb for people. But mostly people don't know about the using of salt deodorant. that is why they are searching new formula like deodorant stick or spray. I was also using salt deodorant but some times I cannot use that because I don't know how to use that. After that time I searched deodorant stick and I think this is good for me.

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Anonymous
October 14, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Sal crystals work!!! Trust me...if I doubt try it for a week...you won't miss your chemical laden deodorants at all. Remember, take a bath, wash your armpits, get out the shower, either damp your armpits with water or the crystal, apply the salt to your armpits.....you will not experience odor at all.

I actually stumbled across this while trying to find something for my 3 year old who would be quite musty by mid day. I was not interested in using chemicals on my baby...so we first tried coconut oil. It kinda worked but was too messy...and horrible when we traveled. Then I found salt crystals....he hasn't been musty since. Now I use it and absolutely love it! Still straying to convince the hubby though.....

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October 14, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Glad it works for your family as well. If it helps, tell your husband that my husband uses it regularly and it works great for him!

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Anonymous
December 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Do we know if this is non-toxic? It apparently has ammonium alum (ALUMINUM AMMONIUM SALT) in it. This is listed as an antiperspirant. I have been avoiding deodorants with aluminum, as well as antiperspirants. Seems like a cool idea otherwise. Anyone have an opinion on this that they would be willing to share? Or better yet, sources? Thanks in advance!

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December 11, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Well, I can tell you that it's really not an antiperspirant! It stops the growth of bacteria, not the sweat.

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January 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Hi, I was about to try this deodorant until I found this article. Best to avoid as it does have aluminum. Karen
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/16/aluminum-lurks-in-crystal-deodorants.aspx

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Anonymous
January 14, 2013 at 4:39 AM

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March 2, 2013 at 5:37 PM

My wife just told me about this and I was like WOW....

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April 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I haven't been able to use the traditional deodorants for over 20 years now, as they would cause cysts that had to get cortisone shots (not fun). I have used the salt crystals since and yes they do work. Warning though as they do break when you drop them, they can get sharp edges that can scratch your underarm, and since they are salt it stings.

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May 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Thanks for explaining how this works. Thanks also for sharing at Wildcrafting Wednesday.
Jennifer

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June 4, 2013 at 3:40 AM

Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update on Organic deodorant products
Keep up the good work.

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June 14, 2013 at 5:28 AM

I have been using bi-carb soda for years now and it works amazingly well. I just dust a small amount under my arms and voila. Not that it happens very often but on the occasions when we have gone camping or not showered, the bi-carb works for 3 days straight! The only problem is that occasionally it bleaches some of the underarms of my garments, most recently a very expensive dress so im up for a salt crystal trial.

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June 14, 2013 at 7:46 AM

I would hate to have my favorite clothes bleached out. I've also heard of using coconut oil as a deodorant, but I figure you'd get oil stains in clothing from that. So, the salt works for me because it stops the smell from forming and it doesn't wreck any clothing!

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Anonymous
June 28, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Have you every tried Lavilin?? I used to overlook the dangers of anti-perspirants for years, but made the switch to Lavilin when I got pregnant. That was 6 years ago and I'm now all about Lavilin (http://microbalanced.com/)

It works so well and, more importantly, it's safe for me and my family. Believe it or not, it was my husband who convinced me to start using it. Have you tried it?

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July 1, 2013 at 6:49 AM

I think that's the stuff that my step-mom has used for decades. It is really great, and smells good! But, the crystal works for me, and I love that it lasts forever!

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Anonymous
July 7, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Your step-mom's a smart woman :)

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Anonymous
July 24, 2013 at 12:54 AM

Agreed re Lavilin!!

My family all uses it and we're happy. No unpleasant foot odors when we're watching TV in the living room and our shoes smell fresh!

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Anonymous
August 4, 2013 at 7:15 PM

discovered salt crystals over 10 years ago. been using them ever since. the only time i buy a new one is when i drop it. on my 4th one in 10 years. have to try to be more careful but, they are cheap.

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September 12, 2013 at 9:16 AM

I have been extremely happy with the crystal deodorants. My daughter and I both use them and they work very well.

http://matthewgustke.com/2013/08/30/simplifying-deodorant-natural-alternatives-update/

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September 16, 2013 at 5:17 PM

I use the Tom's of Maine unscented, but this looks like a great alternative. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

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November 26, 2013 at 8:39 PM

hi i've been looking for a natural solution for my 7 year old for some months now because i refuse to buy her a chemical deo....do you think it's ok to use a crystal deoorant under her armpits?

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November 29, 2013 at 5:33 AM

Well I certainly think it's safe for a kid, but I've never met a 7 year old who needed deodorant! But yes, when my kids need it, this is what I'll give them.

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July 28, 2014 at 7:20 AM

Does the sweat wash the deodorant away?

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Anonymous
August 14, 2014 at 5:00 PM

I used a salt crystal for years, until one day… it just stopped working. I kept using it for a couple months, confused and in denial. Eventually I gave up and switched to the old goopy stuff, which I can't stand. Do you know.. is it possible for these things to expire? That doesn't make any sense, but I can't figure out what happened. I can't think of any life changes such as diet, exercise, or stress that would have made a difference.

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August 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

I suppose with excessive sweating you would want to have a quick wash and reapply the crystal deodorant. I'm a pretty moderate sweater, and only apply it after showering, which is about every other day for me. That one application lasts me two days just fine :)

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August 17, 2014 at 10:13 AM

I would say, no, they definitely don't expire. Perhaps your armpit bacteria have outwitted the salt crystal! If you haven't used it for a while, several months at least, you might give it a try again and see if it will work for you now. Bacteria do evolve to survive their environment, so that's the only explanation that makes sense to me, given what I know of your situation. Though, I've been using the salt crystal deodorant for many many years with no problem.

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Anonymous
February 2, 2015 at 6:13 AM

I loved reading through these comments. It's so true what they say about crystal deodorants, they really are effective and they last for ages! There is a new crystal deodorant called Native Unearthed which has a twist up function and wide roll on head. It's perfect if you're not really keen on using the traditional phallic shaped crystal deodorant. The Native Unearthed one is like the more innovative version. Also, in comparison to the others, this deodorant is eco-ethical and approved by Allergy UK which is a plus and also really reassuring. You can purchase the deo on amazon or from their website - www.nativeunearthed.co.uk

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Anonymous
April 19, 2015 at 2:56 AM

First and foremost, hygiene is critical. Make sure to wash your feet thoroughly AT LEAST once a day. Change socks and eat well too. A great addition to these tips is an all-natural deodorant brand called Lavilin. It's truly an amazing product that lasts for days per use.

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April 19, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Hi! I was wondering you can buy the salt crystal shards? All I can find is deodorant sticks. Please and thank you (:

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April 20, 2015 at 3:23 AM

Natural Deodorant doesn't cause any side effects, So I love to use it

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April 26, 2015 at 12:30 PM

The shards I have are from broken crystal deodorant sticks! They last forever except when you drop them and they shatter :)

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May 4, 2015 at 4:04 PM

I use Baking Soda (NOT Baking Powder) and it really kills the bacteria, but if I want something with a bit of a nice smell, in addition I use a homemade concoction of Witch Hazel, water and essential oils.

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June 8, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Sadly I just came across this from Mercola so I would rather not risk it :( http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/16/aluminum-lurks-in-crystal-deodorants.aspx

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July 25, 2015 at 8:02 AM

Great Recommendations. My mom started using crystal deodorant over 30 years ago. I tried it but was not sold due to long hot summer days in Texas - and I was young and thought my mom was crazy. After having my own children and wanting a healthy lifestyle for all of us, I found crystal spray - works amazing and can be reapplied, if needed for long days. (before you start you end of day work out, next morning if no time for a shower, etc.) Also, as mentioned above, sweating is very good for your body's health, but super sweat machines like my husband can be concerned about heading into summer. He found that he actually sweats less now that he is not clogging his armpit pores with chemicals. We suspect the sweat glands were working extra hard to force out the chemical toxins, just so they could start cooling the body. And, since it no longer stinks, he finds the sweating part not as big a deal. BTW, he is a Custom Home Builder and he carries a small bottle in his car to reapply mid afternoon on days when his work is mostly outside. Here is link on how to use your crystal stick with distilled water to make your own crystal spray https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49k_rR_skIU

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Anonymous
December 3, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Hi. We need it and couldn't find it where I bought it before. Please help me.
Where do you buy the one in the plastic tube?

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December 18, 2015 at 7:26 PM

Places I have bought it include health food co-ops and even our Grocery Outlet. I'm sure it's available online. Try Amazon or searching for the brand's website...

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June 14, 2016 at 11:07 AM

Just little added information from a chemist. Take however you want. Salt is a general term meaning a compound that is ionic in character. A salt deodorant stick is not table salt with consists of sodium and chloride atoms. Typically salt sticks are made of Aluminum Potassium Sulfate. The Aluminum causes swelling in the pores of skin which can help stop sweat. They also have mild antiseptic effect that can kill stinky pit bacteria. The salt stick pictured above is made from this same compound, which most companies list as Potassium alum on the ingredients. Companies do this all to the time so consumers do not get scared of whats in their products. Aluminum is questionable for human health because humans do not rely on it for any of their essential functions. However, I have no idea what Aluminium's real effects are considering I'm not a Biomedical researcher. Just one more thing. Chemicals are elements, or a combination of elements, with a specific composition and structure. One of the most influential chemicals of all time is water.

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June 14, 2016 at 1:55 PM

Thank you for that explanation of the specific type of salt and clearing up the aluminum question. I'll update the article so it's more clear, thanks to you. Makes me wonder if I should keep using it myself, since it is still a questionable element :/
I think these days most everyone knows that everything is made of chemicals, and when we use the word in articles like this, we generally mean synthetic or harmful chemicals.
Thanks for the info!

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June 29, 2016 at 4:03 PM

After thinking about your comment a bit, my Unknown chemist, I'm not sure that you are correct in at least one thing. The salt crystal deodorant is NOT an antiperspirant. It does not cause swelling around the pores to stop sweat, that's not its function. What it does is stop bacteria from proliferating and creating a smell. That's why it's a deodorant, not an antiperspirant.
As for the presence of aluminum in the crystal, that's still likely though we do not know if the form it's in is at all bad for us.

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