27 February 2013

The 411 on natural mineral salt deodorants

I am a girly girl, but I can sweat with the manliest of men. That’s why I, like many others, was skeptical about trying a natural mineral salt deodorant. The intrigue is part of what led me to the “rock” deodorant, and I was pleasantly surprised with the result.

One of the most popular brands of this deodorant is Crystal, but Tom’s of Maine and Secret also make a natural mineral option. Some lesser known brands are Thai Deodorants and Green Virgin Products.

The Crystal line was founded by Jerry Rosenblatt, who happened to find out that the mineral salt water purification product he found in France in 1984 also worked as a deodorant. Crystal began as a stick, but now the line contains a roll-on, foot spray, body spray and towelettes (also a men’s version coming soon!) and can be safely applied to other sweaty areas of the body besides the underarms.

Natural mineral salt deodorants work by neutralizing the bacteria that cause body odor. The first thing to realize about natural mineral salt deodorants is that they do not share the same anti-perspirant qualities of other deodorants. That’s right, be ready to feel some wetness. I never felt uncomfortable, though, even during my most challenging workouts. I self-consciously did a sniff test here and there and noticed that I wasn’t creating any more of a stink than the other exercisers, thank goodness, so I considered my bacteria neutralized.

Mineral salt deodorants do not contain aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium or parabens, all of which have been buzz words in a possible connection with breast cancer and Alzheimer’s (although these claims are not 100% confirmed.) Many natural products do contain low levels of aluminum, however, in the forms of aluminum alum and potassium alum. For that reason, the lines such as Tom’s of Main Natural Confidence does not make “aluminum free” claims.

One other ingredient that liquid products contain is cellulose to thicken the liquid so it doesn’t leak out of the container. You will also quickly notice that many are fragrance-free, which adds to their natural appeal. Crystal has an essence line that features pomegranate, chamomile and green tea, and lavender and white tea versions if you can’t part with the familiarity of a fresh or girly scent. The scents come naturally from plants. Secret also comes in eucalyptus blossom and lemongrass mint scents, and Tom’s of Maine has a citrus zest scent.

As with many other body care products, people with sensitive skin may want to test the product on a small patch of skin before applying it liberally. It is also most effective if applied fresh out of the shower before any bacteria has a chance to grow. Give the product several days before deciding whether you want to continue using it or not. People may choose a natural mineral salt deodorant for many reasons. What I like most about it is that, unlike many other gels and solids that claim to be, it actually goes on clear and doesn’t leave big white streaks on your little black dress.

Erin Fergus | Facebook
Pensacola, FL Erin works as an adjunct instructor in Human Performance at Pensacola State College and group fitness instructor and personal trainer at the YMCA. She holds a master’s in exercise science and is entering her final year of a master’s in journalism. She became a vegetarian in 2001 after viewing PETA demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and she has transitioned closer to veganism since 2008. Some of her previous work has been featured on livestrong.com. Her favorite activities include vegan cooking, going to the beach, playing piano and spending time with her Cocker Spaniel.

Photo credit: Crystal