Deodorant Crystals for Frugal, Effective Hygiene

By , February 5, 2014

In my opinion, the development of deodorant crystals is one of the best innovations in personal hygiene in many years. I’ve yet to find a better solution for those seeking effective and inexpensive body odor control. While the term “crystal” may repel those who scorn the New Age movement, this product deserves further consideration.

A Naturally Fresh brand deodorant crstal (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

A Naturally Fresh brand deodorant crstal (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Deodorant crystals are simply lumps (usually shaped) of mineral salts. Wetting a crystal and rubbing it over the skin (principally under the arms and/or feet) creates an antibacterial barrier that prevents the microbes that cause body odor to adhere to the skin. This eliminates body odor for the day in all but the most active or stressful situations. They’re not perfect protection, but they’re far more effective—and far safer—than any other antiperspirant or deodorant I’ve ever used or researched. They are hypoallergenic, non-staining, and fragrance free. They have no additives, such as aluminum or fragrance; they don’t clog pores or irritate the skin.

Frugality sometimes means settling for less than the best in order to economize. This is not the case with deodorant crystals. The manufacturers assure us that they last up to one year, but in my experience they’re wrong. They can last up to seven years! At least, that’s the longest I know I’ve used a single crystal. I’ve lost count of the time on most of the others. I’m tracking my current one, pictured above when it was new. As of yesterday, I’ve been using it two years. I figure it might have another 6 months to go, if I don’t drop and break it. This particular one is smaller than the one that lasted seven years. That many years use from a deodorant “stick” that costs little more than a regular paste deodorant stick! That’s what I call economy.

One must adapt a bit to using a crystal. They must not be dropped—they will shatter, or form cracks that will break it apart soon after. The “lives” of most of my crystals have been shortened by clumsy handling. Keep them dry when not in use. Leaving them in a puddle each day will dissolve them.

Some manufacturers incorporate the crystals into more familiar packaging, such as push-up deodorant cylinders. Avoid these if you have other choices; the crystal comes loose of the cylinder very soon; the extra plastic packaging adds to the cost without benefiting the consumer. Most manufacturers add a plastic wrap, and a cardboard box at most. I prefer Naturally Fresh. Their product is the shape and size of a large egg, which is very convenient for underarm use. They also provide a dish to hold it in.

I know of no better or economical way to make myself presentable in public. If you can’t tear yourself away from your favorite deodorant stick, eliminate body odor with a crystal, then dab your stick on elsewhere as a cologne.

2 Responses to “Deodorant Crystals for Frugal, Effective Hygiene”

  1. Nance says:

    I have wanted a better (cleaner/greener/safer) deodorant for quite a few years. The last time I looked I didn’t find much that I thought would be good. I’m excited about this. (Where have I been, I haven’t even heard of

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Nance, they kind of fly below the radar. I think that’s why some manufacturers put them in plastic push-up applicator, like a deodorant stick, mostly to make them look and feel more like a deodorant. If that’s your only choice, by the way, just pull the crystal out of the applicator if there’s any problem–I used my last one of those years ago, so they might have improved things since then, but it popped out on its own after a couple uses.

    If you have stores with natural products sections (Fred Meyer, here in the west, etc.) you should find them there. They’re so much safer for us than the aluminum-based “antiperspirants” that are the lion’s share of the anti-BO industry.

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