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#1
Old 01-16-2004, 06:34 PM
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Crystal Deodorant - How does it work?

For the past couple of years, I've mainly used the "crystal" deodorants instead of the brands such as Arrid, Secret, etc.

But I'm wondering WHY the crystal kind works ... and what kind of salt does it contain, is it aluminum salt?

Thanks,
S.
#2
Old 01-16-2004, 07:47 PM
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It contains normal, run of the mill sodium chloride. The salt residue remains on your skin, making the environment inhospitable for the lovely little bacteria that produce body odor.
#3
Old 01-16-2004, 11:44 PM
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They work great!

Oh wait, there was more to the question. Alereon, you got a cite for the NaCl formulation? That doesn't sound right to me, since my crystal gets dunked in water every day, and still lasts for years.
#4
Old 01-17-2004, 01:15 AM
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Not NaCl, but K2SO4AL2(SO4)3 24H2O, also known as potassium alum, or hydrated sulfate of potassium and aluminum. (Although the manufacturers of crystal deodorant work very hard to make you think there is no aluminum.)
#5
Old 01-17-2004, 01:40 AM
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Crystal deodorant is a SCAM. Lets see some cites here guys, remember where you are.

Off looking for de-bunking cites.
#6
Old 01-17-2004, 01:54 AM
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Here's the stuff.

http://mineral.galleries.com/mineral...e/hanksite.htm

Or what was most commonly reported to be "natural deoderant". My guess is if your BO aint bad enough to notice, this stuff works wonders.
#7
Old 01-17-2004, 01:59 AM
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Here is the MSDS for the second most common ingredient. Suspiciously the ingredient in all the "sprayable" products.

http://ptcl.chem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/PO/po..._chloride.html
#8
Old 01-17-2004, 02:02 AM
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MSDS for Potassium Alum. A common name for a component in the crystals
#9
Old 01-17-2004, 02:04 AM
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Aaak Sorry hamsters

http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/AL/alu...2-hydrate.html
#10
Old 01-17-2004, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
EvilGhandi wrote:
Crystal deodorant is a SCAM.
What do you mean by a scam? You mean that paying $5 for a chunk of this chemical is way too expensive? Or that it doesn't actually prevent body odor?

If you mean the latter, I would encourage you to conduct your own test of it. I have, by using it every day, and it quite clearly works very well.
#11
Old 01-17-2004, 04:19 PM
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It is interesting as I use a potassium alum block as part of my shaving routine. I run one under cold water and rub it over my wet face after shaving, before applying my after-shave lotion. The cold helps to close the poors and the alum soothes the skin.

Of course, as a shaving supply I pay a fortune for a tiny block. I saw these "deodorants" for the first time a week ago for considerably less money.

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#12
Old 01-17-2004, 07:40 PM
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Anyone who says it's a scam has never tried it. It worked very very well for me, for about a year . . . and then I apparently developed an allergy to it or something: 24-hour pit itch, which stopped when I stopped using the crystal.
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#13
Old 01-17-2004, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtC
What do you mean by a scam? You mean that paying $5 for a chunk of this chemical is way too expensive? Or that it doesn't actually prevent body odor?

If you mean the latter, I would encourage you to conduct your own test of it. I have, by using it every day, and it quite clearly works very well.
I have to second this. I use a crystal deodorant, and it works extremely well. I'm one of those people who has a very strong underarm odor- even if I've showered that morning (I usually bathe/shower at night), if I've done anything that could result in any real perspiration, such as, say, a 20-30 minute walk, if I forget to use the deodorant, I can get quite funky. With the crystal deodorant, the odor is nonexistant.

I think the people who consider it a scam probably do so because the crystal doesn't function as an anti-pespirant. You'll still sweat using it, you just won't smell.
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#14
Old 01-18-2004, 12:12 AM
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Maybe by "scam" he meant either that it's not really a "natural" product, or that it's not significantly different from other deodorant products.

For the former, I don't care whether it's labelled "natural." I'd wear DDT if I could get it to repel mosquitoes.

For the latter, I had not found any other comparable product. Anti-perspirants cause me to itch severely, and regular deodorants are just a perfumey smell in a suspension - they do nothing to prevent odor. If there are products comparable to the crystal, I don't know about them.
#15
Old 01-18-2004, 03:56 PM
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Why do deodorants stop working? I find that I have to switch brands every few years, because the brand I've been using seems to stop working. I've used the "crystal" type before, and after 8-9 months it suddenly became ineffective.
Do the skin bacteria all of a sudden become immune to the stuff?
#16
Old 01-18-2004, 04:27 PM
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I had two friends who used crystals and usually stunk to high heaven.

So, is there aluminum in crystal deodorant or not?
#17
Old 01-19-2004, 06:16 AM
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Why is aluminum such a thing to be avoided in deoderant?
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#18
Old 12-05-2013, 11:34 PM
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I was going to start a thread asking this, but apparently it was asked 9 years ago without an answer.

I can't use anti-perspirants and deodorants do almost nothing but cover up the smell for a couple hours. Even if I wash again and reapply deodorant midday the odor comes back in a few hours. But a crystal deodorant (granted I just started using them today) has kept me odor free for 16 hours. So it must be doing something.

Everything I read mentions how it 'builds a barrier against bacteria'. So I don't know if the crystals actually form a film that the bacteria can't penetrate, or if they just create an environment very inhospitable to bacteria or what.
#19
Old 12-06-2013, 12:05 AM
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Yes, potassium aluminum sulfate, the active ingredient in crystal deodorants, has aluminum in it. Does your product have a label that says what's in it, Stainz?
#20
Old 12-06-2013, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post

I can't use anti-perspirants and deodorants do almost nothing but cover up the smell for a couple hours.

Everything I read mentions how it 'builds a barrier against bacteria'. So I don't know if the crystals actually form a film that the bacteria can't penetrate, or if they just create an environment very inhospitable to bacteria or what.


No barrier. Changes the environment.

The environment the bacteria grows in is mostly in the HAIR, and that is why its so smelly - the sulfur in the hair is released by the bacteria.. (the bacteria release enzymes which breaks down the hair.)


So really you want anti-bacterial stuff on the hair !.

Deoderant sometimes means just a purfume. The aluminium salts are anti-perspirant and also anti-bacterial . .
#21
Old 12-06-2013, 12:25 AM
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some chemicals will absorb any moisture that contacts it. makes a desert in your pits. bacteria doesn't grow well then.
#22
Old 12-06-2013, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isilder View Post
No barrier. Changes the environment.

The environment the bacteria grows in is mostly in the HAIR, and that is why its so smelly - the sulfur in the hair is released by the bacteria.. (the bacteria release enzymes which breaks down the hair.)


So really you want anti-bacterial stuff on the hair !.

Deoderant sometimes means just a purfume. The aluminium salts are anti-perspirant and also anti-bacterial . .

So is shaving your pits a recognized method of reducing BO?
#23
Old 12-06-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
But a crystal deodorant (granted I just started using them today) has kept me odor free for 16 hours. So it must be doing something.
Hey! We (OK, you) can do a real test now!

You need a friend. A good enough friend that they won't mind smelling your BO (it's for SCIENCE!). Then, every day for a couple weeks, randomly put on the crystal, regular antiperspirant, or nothing, and write down which one. Halfway through the day -- without telling your friend what treatment your pits got that day -- have your friend take a whiff, and write down a rating (say 1-10).

We can then objectively see which one really works.

Come on, man, it's for SCIENCE!
#24
Old 12-06-2013, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
So is shaving your pits a recognized method of reducing BO?
less surface and more easily kept dry.
#25
Old 12-06-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
Hey! We (OK, you) can do a real test now!

You need a friend. A good enough friend that they won't mind smelling your BO (it's for SCIENCE!). Then, every day for a couple weeks, randomly put on the crystal, regular antiperspirant, or nothing, and write down which one. Halfway through the day -- without telling your friend what treatment your pits got that day -- have your friend take a whiff, and write down a rating (say 1-10).

We can then objectively see which one really works.

Come on, man, it's for SCIENCE!
I think you are being half serious - which is why I mention the following:

In theory - you could still easily do the test yourself - and still be blinded to the results.

Do it the same way that Quercus mentioned, but with just plain vs salt. Then get two envelopes and two tissues. Wipe your left pit with a tissue and put it in one envelope and label it which one it is. Don't smell yet. Do the same with the other pit and envelope.

Now you have two envelopes that are labeled with which they contain. Put them in a crockery bag and shake it up. With your eyes closed reach in and grab one and open and smell. Set it to the left. Do the same with the other and set it to the right. Make up your mind if there is a difference before you open your eyes. Then open your eyes and you are presto!

You get to learn the objective truth AND still keep your friends.
#26
Old 12-06-2013, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpost View Post
less surface and more easily kept dry.
Yep - I'm pretty sure this works - plus I think it saves on deodorant some as well - and looks better that you don't have this white cake of hair under your pits.

Personally I think the crystal thing does work some - I just wasn't THAT impressed with it - and I want an anti-sweat one as well.

A slight tangent - to me - I've almost always noticed that the white solid ones work better than the clear ones. So I also might be biased against the look or whatever.
#27
Old 12-06-2013, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quercus View Post
You need a friend. A good enough friend that they won't mind smelling your BO (it's for SCIENCE!). Then, every day for a couple weeks, randomly put on the crystal, regular antiperspirant, or nothing, and write down which one. Halfway through the day -- without telling your friend what treatment your pits got that day -- have your friend take a whiff, and write down a rating (say 1-10).

We can then objectively see which one really works.

Come on, man, it's for SCIENCE!
As Ive noted in other threads, I used to work for a company which made anti-perspirant and deodorant products. What you describe is, at its heart, how such companies do product testing.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 12-06-2013 at 03:47 PM.
#28
Old 12-06-2013, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
So is shaving your pits a recognized method of reducing BO?
I've observed it personally. Can't point you to any studies or articles.
#29
Old 12-06-2013, 07:25 PM
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Crystal deodorants are one giant crystal of aluminum salt, you just splash some water on it and you've basically made an expensive version of commercial roll-on antiperspirants. Anyone who uses crystal deodorants thinking they're avoiding the devil aluminum is deluding themselves.
#30
Old 12-06-2013, 11:58 PM
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I don't want my armpits smelling like Pepsi!
#31
Old 12-07-2013, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
Crystal deodorants are one giant crystal of aluminum salt, you just splash some water on it and you've basically made an expensive version of commercial roll-on antiperspirants. Anyone who uses crystal deodorants thinking they're avoiding the devil aluminum is deluding themselves.
My understanding is crystal deodorant works through antibiotic properties unlike anti-perspirant which is to stop sweating. The forms of aluminum are not the same either, I don't believe the aluminum in crystal deodorant can stop sweating the way aluminum in anti-perspirant does.
#32
Old 12-07-2013, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
My understanding is crystal deodorant works through antibiotic properties unlike anti-perspirant which is to stop sweating. The forms of aluminum are not the same either, I don't believe the aluminum in crystal deodorant can stop sweating the way aluminum in anti-perspirant does.
They are slightly different chemical formulations of aluminum, but they are both aluminum salts, and they both work the same way. They do have some antibiotic properties, but mainly they work by plugging up your sweat glands.

In my own experience, when I lived Japan I actually couldn't find a decent aluminum-based roll-on or stick antiperspirant in stores, but the crystals were easier to find. The crystal was just as effective an antiperspirant, and it really lasted a long time. But if I didn't rinse it every week or so, it would start smelling of armpit, because it doesn't neutralize odors.

But the crystal was great as an antiperspirant, which is unsurprising because it is a big hunk of aluminum salt that's basically the same as mainstream rollons.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 12-07-2013 at 09:51 AM.
#33
Old 12-07-2013, 03:15 PM
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When I have used anti-perspirants in the past they cause me to sweat heavily from everywhere except my armpits. Due to my build I guess I overheat easily and I would get a decent amount of sweat on my back and chest when I would wear them. I am not getting that with the crystal stuff, so I do not know if I believe it is due to plugging up the sweat glands.

On another note, in the interest of science, I have decided not to shower this weekend. It has been about 36 hours since I last applied crystal deodorant, and still no armpit odors (well, there is a faint smell now but not overpowering). This is good considering that I could smell my own armpit odors within a few hours of bathing sometimes with regular deodorant.

I also read on google that some people use isopropyl alcohol as a deodorant, probably for the same reasons (antibiotic). I wiped one armpit down with an alcohol pad that diabetics use for their fingers, we will see what happens. I'm leaving the other blank.

I'll probably stick to the crystal stuff but want to see if alcohol does the job too.
#34
Old 12-07-2013, 03:51 PM
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I have some of this. It seems to work, but I don't use it much, just when I'm out of something else. Googling it is interesting, you'll find:
  1. Hippies saying how it's better than regular deodorant because it's "natural."
  2. Different types of hippies saying how it's evil because it has aluminum and thus causes Alzheimer's (there is no scientific evidence that this is true).
  3. Unsure if potassium alum would make a good preservative to stave off zombie rot.

ETA: some people actually use a crystal to rub themselves. In this context, Crystal is brand of roller ball liquid deodorant.

Last edited by thelurkinghorror; 12-07-2013 at 03:52 PM.
#35
Old 12-07-2013, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
Crystal deodorants are one giant crystal of aluminum salt, you just splash some water on it and you've basically made an expensive version of commercial roll-on antiperspirants.
"Expensive"? Hah!

I bought a good-sized chunk almost ten years ago, about 2 cubic inches. I use it at least once every two-to-three days, after I shower. And now, it's only about 1 cubic inch. It's pretty rounded, though, so it's getting fairly hard to handle.

That little crystal is one of the most cost-effective objects I've ever bought.
#36
Old 12-08-2013, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
"Expensive"? Hah!

I bought a good-sized chunk almost ten years ago, about 2 cubic inches. I use it at least once every two-to-three days, after I shower. And now, it's only about 1 cubic inch. It's pretty rounded, though, so it's getting fairly hard to handle.

That little crystal is one of the most cost-effective objects I've ever bought.
Well, good point, now that I think of it. Mine came packaged with a plastic base similar to a regular roll-on and I think it lasted for 9 months. Though as I said it seemed to accumulate odor and needed to be rinsed every few weeks, which probably dissolved it down a bit.
#37
Old 12-08-2013, 10:34 AM
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I use it, and it definitely works for me. It works better than other products, for me at least. It's certainly not woo.

And it isn't just a replacement for standard deodorant. It works significantly better. I simply have no significant underarm smell when using it, but more conventional deodorants leave some.

This concludes my posting about the scents of my bodily processes. My pits are available for huffing during normal business hours. Please spay and neuter your pets.
#38
Old 12-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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I broke protocol and took a shower today, but I went 50 hours and still not any meaningful armpit odors because I applied crystal deodorant 2 days ago. As I said before, even with a bath and deodorant normal deodorant only works for a few hours on me.

So I'm sold. And the stuff is fairly cheap now, like $4 a tube or less.
#39
Old 12-09-2013, 07:22 AM
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I used to use a hippy rock, and it would keep me fresh and dry for upwards of 15 minutes. A couple of incidents put me off them:

1) It set off the alarms at an airport scanner one time. I offered to dig it out of my bag for inspection, but the security lady politely declined - she said she knew what it was, but would prefer to carry on sampling the exterior of my bag with the Nasties Swab.
2) I left it out overnight on the bathroom counter in a posh hotel. By the morning it had sucked some moisture out of the air, and the corrosive puddle thus formed ate deeply into an expensive polished marble slab.
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