Deodorant Crystals- are they safe?

02%20Naturally%20Fresh

I’ve had several questions recently about the deodorant crystals, sprays, roll-on’s. I think Naturally Fresh is the most well-known, and I used to use it myself before making my own as I felt it was a safe alternative to Tom’s, Nature’s Gate, etc. It’s readily available at Wal-Mart & other big box stores. BUT, is it safe? Many of the labels list “mineral salts” as a main ingredients. What are these mineral salts? As I’ve stated many times, I’m not a chemist, and always appreciate feedback from those of you who are. I’ve read many conflicting articles on this topic. I always advocate for erring on the side of caution, and since there is a shred of doubt in my mind about these, I can’t recommend them without concern. Here’s some of the issues regarding them, gathered from differing sources:

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal Roll-on: “Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum), Zinc Ricinoleate, Xanthan Gum, Chamomile Extract (Anthemis Nobilis Flower), Phenoxyethanol (4 rating via EWG).

Naturally Fresh Spray Mist:  Aqua (Purified Water), Natural Mineral Salts (Potassium Alum).

Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal: Natural Mineral Salts (Ammonium Alum), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Extract).

From Dr. Mercola’s site: “Some of the most popular natural deodorants are the “crystal” deodorant stones and sprays. But most people don’t know that these crystal deodorant products contain aluminum. The crystal deodorant stones are made from alum. The most widely used form of alum used in the personal care industry is potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate. Let’s get this straight. Even though aluminum is widely distributed in the earth’s crust, it is NOT needed in ANY amounts in your body. All evidence to date points to aluminum as a poison that serves no beneficial role in your body and should be avoided. Aluminum is widely recognized as a neurotoxin, which has been found in increased concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants or some deodorants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum. Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants. A review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed. Multiply this by one or more times a day for a lifetime and you can have a massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not meant to be in your body. Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/02/16/aluminum-lurks-in-crystal-deodorants.aspx.

EWG rates it at a 1, but with limited data: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705178/POTASSIUM_ALUM/.

Concerns listed: Organ system toxicity: Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful by Environment Canada Domestic Substance List.

Ecotoxicology: Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative.

From The People’s Pharmacy, a radio program I catch weekly on NPR: “It will probably take many more years to resolve the controversy about any relationship between aluminum and breast cancer. In the meantime, people who seek to avoid aluminum in their armpits will probably want to look beyond crystal-type natural deodorants. Many people find that milk of magnesia applied to the underarm helps against odor, so that may be an attractive alternative:http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/02/06/are-natural-alum-crystal-deodorants-safe/”

From Naturally Fresh’s Website: Do your products contain aluminum? No, Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystals contain the naturally occurring compound Alum (Potassium or Ammonium), not to be confused with harmful processed aluminum (Aluminum Zirconium or Aluminum Chlorohydrate). Technically speaking, aluminum is a metal while Alum is a compound.  Many of these processed aluminum molecules can be absorbed into the skin and bloodstream. Alum molecules create a barrier against odor causing bacteria and contain a large molecule which does not penetrate the surface of the skin.

Another online article: “Potassium alum is a naturally occurring form of aluminum salt. The difference between potassium alum and aluminum chlorohydrate is that potassium alum is a much larger molecule, not thought to be absorbable through human skin.” http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/natural-beauty-fashion/stories/make-the-switch-to-a-natural-deodorant.

***I AM NOT posting this to sell my own deodorant, I want to share my concerns regarding this product. As one mama put it, she’s eliminated aluminum from her kitchen & everywhere else in her house, why would she roll it on her skin daily? I want you to know that I do make deodorant, which is safe enough to eat, yet the most effective natural deodorant I’ve ever used. It is available to purchase, and I’ll always share the recipe for those that want to make your own!

–Recipe with tons of Q & A: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=537190792963232&set=a.494009763948002.128085.397517646930548&type=3&theater

–Info on purchasing mine: https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/jesss-homemade-deodorant-and-body-scrub-are-now-for-sale/645692072113103

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