For Filipinos (and Asians, in general) crystal deodorant isn’t really a thing of novelty. I remember being told by my mother before I hit puberty to use calamansi as a deodorant so my underarms would stay light and hairs don’t grow. That’s what my grandma did, she said. But as a stubborn kid, I eventually stopped doing it. And so we moved on to tawas a.k.a. crystal deodorant. So what’s it really about?
What is crystal deodorant?
It’s been gaining a bit of buzz in the U.S. lately, in part because model Ashley Graham raved about it. There’s also been a huge demand for “clean beauty” and so the interest in natural products is at an all-time high. But what is this crystal-like beauty product really? Typically made of potassium and ammonium alum (yes, minerals!), it’s a deodorant that looks like a rock. When you wet the crystal and apply it on the skin, the mineral salts it possesses prevent odor-causing bacteria from forming and growing.
How do you use it?
The most common way to use it is by wetting the crystal a bit and applying it directly on your pits. But since alum is now also offered in different forms, application will vary. The one I used when I was younger, for instance, was in powder form. It was applied similarly to the rock-like one. But I’ve seen one that’s also in liquid form which you spray like any aerosol or spray deodorant. Just remember to only use it after you shower or are sure that your underarms are clean.
Is it effective?
To keep it short, the answer is yes. But as always, your mileage may vary. So it’s always best to try it first. It’s been proven safe to be used on the underarms, but some people also use it in other areas such as the thighs and feet. Some say it’s so safe, you can even use it on a wound to help it heal faster; potassium alum has also been used for food like pickles.
Will you try crystal deodorant?
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