Mineral deodorant is sometimes used as a natural alternative to regular stick or gel deodorants. Mineral deodorant can be purchased in several different forms, including rock, crystal, and spray. Because mineral deodorant generally contains no chemicals, it is seldom used as an antiperspirant. Mineral deodorants, which can be made of either naturally formed potassium alum or synthetic aluminum-based compounds, can inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Mineral deodorant generally offers both benefits and disadvantages.
Mineral deodorant is commonly sold in rock form, and can vary in size, texture, and shape. Rocks are applied to the skin by first wetting the stone, then rubbing it on the underarm area. A thin layer of the rock's alum remains on the skin, which helps repel odor. No visible residue is left on the skin in this process. As an added benefit, mineral deodorant in rock form typically lasts much longer than a traditional deodorant.
Crystal sticks are another form in which mineral deodorant can be found, typically sold in a tube form. Like traditional deodorant, the user can twist a dial on the bottom of the tube, which allows the product to be dispensed. These sticks are used like the rock mineral deodorant in that they must first be moistened prior to application. One benefit of crystal sticks may be that they are easier to store and transport than rock mineral deodorant.
Mineral deodorant can also be found in spray form. In this application tiny mineral crystals are mixed with water and are pumped from a spray bottle onto the desired area of the body. Deodorant in a spray bottle is often valued for its ease of use but it may not be as long lasting as deodorant in the rock or crystal form.
All types of mineral deodorants can have many benefits. Many mineral deodorants are fragrance and coloring free. They usually contain no parabens, which are chemically created preservatives that have been thought to possibly cause skin irritation and even breast cancer. They generally do not leave any residue or stickiness on clothes or skin. Instead of merely masking odor, as traditional deodorants do, mineral deodorants prevent odor from ever occurring due to the bacteria-inhibiting alum barrier they leave on the skin.
Mineral deodorant products could also have a downside. Some of them may contain synthetic aluminum, especially if they are not labeled as “natural.” Since mineral deodorant does not stop perspiration, people with excessive sweating and body odor may find that these mineral products are unsuitable for their needs.