Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Naturally Fresh Chrystal Deodorant

I was told about Chrystal deodorants by a friend of mine (thanks MW) after reading my blog post Stinky Stuff. So off I went to my nearest Clicks store only to find that these deodorants are not kept on the shelf! When I asked for assistance, the lady went into the store room and hauled out four different packs of the same brand - Naturally Fresh - what a lovely name, Naturally Fresh, it just said it all. Obviously this is not a top seller as, being in the FMCG game for almost 20 years, I was not even aware that stores kept items "in the back" so that in order to get one you have to sound like you're initiating a drug deal.

Anyhoo, I chose the smallest pack so that I could try it out. It claimed to NOT have all the toxic ingredients that all the naturalists have been warning are so bad, including the almost lethal, Alzheimer-inducing aluminum (aluminium to us in South Africa), so I was super excited about my purchase. The directions say that you just need to wet the crystal and apply, simple as that. I did this for a week and my poor hubby would be forced to bury his nose in my armpit to confirm its daily efficacy! Gotta love a man who is that committed to my hair-brained schemes. Well he gave it the all-odour-clear thumbs up and I was thrilled to be so healthy......... until I read the reviews online.

Turns out my chrystal deodorant is made of Alum - a derivative of wait for it ......... aluminum! All the research I've found basically states that, although alum is of the same compound, it is not the same as aluminum, however safety of absorption, over a long period of time, as with aluminum, has not yet been established. Now I'm no chemist and Lord knows I have such a vague recollection of the periodic table that it would be dangerous for me to even try to go there, but are we jumping out of the anti-perspirant frying pan into the Chrystal fire? I don't know. Apparently the safest, most effective method of avoiding BO is Milk of Magnesia - seriously! Take a cotton swab and smear it under your pit and viola! White, chalky stink-free mess! But then someone posted a comment with a link showing that Milk of Magnesia had been withdrawn from the shelves due to its high sodium content and has to be reformulated to comply with FDA regs! So just when you think you're getting somewhere, you're actually not. For more info read this - Are natural alum crystal deodorants safe?

That being said, What I do know, is that the Chrystal Deo doesn't have all the other bad ingredients, so I think I'll stick with it for a little a little while longer to see how it goes. As I have mentioned in other posts, it is extremely difficult to find completely natural products, and even some "natural" materials should not be consumed or smeared on our skin for days on end, so we need to strive for excellence, not perfection when it comes to natural products.

The small stick that I purchased, retails at R29,99 at Clicks and I'm sure it is going to last a heck of a lot longer than my usual brand, so it is very cost effective. Also, it has absolutely no smell so it is for men and women and comes in a huge range from roll ons to sprays.

Again I am reminded that this natural journey has more pot holes in it than the road out of my suburb and health-conscious consumers need to be ingredient and techno-savvy to wade through all the chemicals to see the nature beyond.