What’s Crystal Deodorant and Does It Detox the Armpits? A Hollywood Dermatologist on the Sudden Popularity of This 1980s Formula

Updated: Jul. 05, 2022

Have sensitive skin or prefer products without chemicals? This natural alternative to deodorant creates cleaner underarms and may even help your body detoxify. A dermatologist explains.

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Crystal deodorant. While the name might make you think you’ll apply rose quartz onto your armpits, you might be relieved to learn that crystal deodorant isn’t a spiritual fad. It’s actually a natural deodorant, which is why it’s gaining favor in some circles. In fact, there’s a growing number of reasons to consider trying a natural deodorant.

A board-certified dermatologist explains why this product—which has been around since the late 1980s—has been getting so much attention lately, in light of the current movement demanding beauty products that don’t contain toxins that can be harmful to health. “Crystal deodorant is trending and so popular right now because it is more natural, contains more natural ingredients, is more environmentally friendly, and is more economically reasonable compared to regular deodorant,” says Anna Guanche, MD, who is also anti-aging and celebrity beauty expert with offices in Calabasas and Beverly Hills, CA. “It’s popular with people who have sensitive skin because it does not cause irritation, lacks harmful chemicals, and possibly reduces sweat odor and perspiration.”

What is Crystal Deodorant?

“Crystal deodorant is an alternative type of deodorant made of a mineral salt made through potassium alum that has natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties,” Dr. Guanche explains. [Editor’s note: potassium alum is an inorganic salt.]  “It’s intended to reduce body odor and allow the body to detoxify through sweating, while providing a reduction in irritation for sensitive skin.”

Crystal deodorant works a bit differently than traditional deodorant options, which contain fragrances to combat or nullify odor. Antiperspirants also aren’t ideal for everyone—they contain aluminum chloralhydrate, aluminum zirconium, or aluminum chloride, which all work to help block or inhibit sweat glands, thus preventing perspiration.

Crystal deodorant does not prevent sweating, but it may reduce the occurrence of body odor from built-up bacteria. Plus, it’s a universal deodorant for men and women. Pro tip: Add an armpit detox to your routine before making the switch to a new deodorant.

Crystal deodorant pros

  • Controls odors for up to 24 hours
  • No residue, staining, or white marks
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances, and aluminium chloride
  • Vegan, cruelty-free

Crystal deodorant cons

  • It’s not an antiperspirant, so it won’t stop you from sweating
  • Crystal deodorant can shatter if you drop it

How to Use Crystal Deodorant

Think you already know all the rules for applying deodorant properly? Well, Crystal deodorant takes an interesting twist. When using a stick-based product like Crystal, which is cruelty-free and works for up to 24 hours, pairing it with water is key.

Dr. Guanche says it’s best to apply crystal deodorant right after you shower—after you have cleaned the area and the skin under the arms is still damp. The product can be used like a wand in a circular or gliding motion. If it’s not gliding well, that’s your sign to add a little more water. Just be sure not to get the holder wet in the process. (Aiming a spray bottle at your armpits might be your best bet.)

Many devotees have been delighted to discover that there’s no residue, no staining, and no white marks left behind to ruin their clothes.

Does Crystal Deodorant Work?

That’s the question of the hour. The answer about whether Crystal deodorant works will vary based on the individual using it. “There is significant debate as to its effectiveness,” Dr. Guanche reveals. “Of note, deodorant addresses the smells associated with sweating, which has to do with the body flora, or bacterial colonization, rather than the liquid of sweat itself.”

She goes on to explain that the benefit of crystal deodorant is that it helps kill bacteria and prevents future bacteria from developing. A possible damper of crystal deodorant? “It only prevents the odor smell, but does not inhibit sweating,” Dr. Guanche says. “This can be a drawback for individuals who may need an anti-perspirant in addition to their deodorant to stop the sweating as well as the odor.”

As with any new product, crystal deodorant can potentially cause rashes or irritation, resulting in inflammation. Dr. Guanche tells us she always recommends taking caution when trying new products and be aware of a potential reaction.

The Best Amazon User Reviews

Fans of Crystal deodorant are happy to share just how happy their armpits are now that they’ve made the switch.

M. Zobian says, “This works! I’m a male with average armpit sweating and body odor. I just got this and it worked on day one. In fact, it worked better than my previous deodorant.”

Users with sensitive skin are also rejoicing at this invention. “I’m not sure how they did it, but they did,” says Shoegirl. “After trying natural deodorants for years, this is the first one that has worked without an allergic reaction.”

F. L. Okelley has been using Crystal for three years and is hooked on the benefits. “The travel size deodorant lasts a very long time. I know this is better for my body and cheaper on my wallet. I will never go back to traditional deodorants. Ever.”

Where to buy Crystal Deodorant

Crystal Deodorant Mineral Deodorant Stick Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

If you’re ready to make the switch to a crystal deodorant, Crystal brand is a solid choice. You can purchase a four-ounce stick on Amazon for $6.99 (or the travel-size version for $3.29). Crystal deodorant is also available at Walgreens, Walmart, and Target in multiple sizes and packs.

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