Food & Fitness

Product Review and Comparison: Crystal Essence Body Deodorant

I was recently sent Crystal Essence deodorants to review. They are roll-on mineral deodorants that are hypoallergenic and paraben-free, and they do not contain aluminum chlorohydrate.

So what the heck does that all mean, anyways? Here is some of what I learned from doing a bit of research:

Aluminum chlorohydrate: One source states that this ingredient is linked to neurotoxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity in humans. Animal studies have shown that the ingredient irritates the skin, and it is suspected that this ingredient is also toxic to the environment.

Parabens: May be linked to breast cancer. The jury is still out on this one, but more cosmetic products seem to be adopting the paraben-free approach to be on the safe side.

Okay, so now we know what is not in Crystal Essence deodorant. But what is in there?

The ingredient list: purified water (aqua), natural mineral salts (potassium alum), cellulose.

Simple. I like it.

The deodorants that the company sent me came in Lavender & White Tea, Pomegranate, and Fragrance-free. I am not a fan of roll-on deodorant. It doesn’t feel nice to slick it on. But I must admit that this deodorant worked really well. They smell good and they keep you smelling good, too, even after you go to the gym. Seriously. I was impressed.

I typically use Dove anti-perspirant. When I peered at the back label to squint at the ingredients list (written in miniscule letters), I saw that it is loaded with all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients. Now, that’s not always a bad sign (as it may just be a complicated scientific name), but it can be a bad sign. Sure enough, my beloved Dove Ultimate Beauty Care Original* contains, among a couple of other ingredients reported to be safe, aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine (toxic), cyclopentasiloxane (toxic and possibly cancerous), stearyl alcohol (an irritant, possibly cancerous, possibly toxic to the environment), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (possibly toxic to the environment), PPG-14 Butyl Ether (possibly toxic but likely safe in low doses), hydrogenated castor oil (possibly toxic to the environment), PEG-8 (not safe to use on damaged or irritated skin; otherwise fairly safe in low doses), dimethicone (suspected to be toxic to both humans and the environment), and BHT (toxic, suspected to be cancerous).

I don’t like fear mongering. I don’t believe that moral panic does anyone any good. I am not listing the ingredients here with their corresponding potential dangers to frighten anyone. Rather, I think it important for us to realize what we are putting on our bodies, so that we can make an educated decision of whether or not we want to continue using these products that we take for granted.

Learning about this makes me think twice about going to the drug store for ordinary deodorant. It seems like a much simpler process to get accustomed to the way that Crystal Essence roll-on deodorant feels than to continue buying a product which may or may not have a potentially very wide range of concerns for my body and for the environment.

I’m going to try using Crystal Essence more regularly to see if I can get used to the feeling of the roll-on (the website also shows that this line has other kinds of deodorants, such as stick deodorant, which I think I would much prefer). I would like to be rid of commercial deodorants and instead use something more natural which I can feel entirely comfortable about putting on my body.

Ultimately, I think that nearly anything can be “linked” to cancer, or to being harmful to the body or to the environment. Research is often funded by companies so that a specific result is proven, thus skewing the science. Even so, is it worth taking the chance? Yes, the tiny amount of ingredient that is used in these products probably isn’t that harmful, but I’d rather do the best thing I can for my body. And over the course of a lifetime, using the same product every day, that miniscule amount of toxic ingredient can really add up.

What about you? What product do you normally use? Would you consider making the switch if it means that the ingredients are better for you and the environment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!

Further Reading:

How safe is your deodorant? from Trying To Be Greener

The Cancer – Antiperspirant “Myth” from CBS Evening News

Deodorants, Antiperspirants and Your Health from Control Your Impact (check out parts 2, 3, and 4 of their series as well)

*Who comes up with the names for these products, anyways?

Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge for the purposes of blog review and did not receive any other compensation. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.


  1. vered

    “Ultimately, I think that nearly anything can be “linked” to cancer, or to being harmful to the body or to the environment.” I agree. I do my best to use green, non-toxic stuff and to eat organic, but I don’t go nuts about it.

  2. Mary Anne in Kentucky

    I used Allercreme (hypoallergenic brand) cream deodorant for years. Then, they quit making it. I tried using their roll-on ONCE. Then I quit using deodorant. That was more than twenty years ago and I don’t miss it.

  3. clare

    Good topic Sagan. My ND has been pressing me to switch for ages, but I can’t abide the natural antiperspirant/deodorants…I just haven’t found one that WORKS for me. I am a fitness instructor and, well, I just can’t go around smelly and wet all the time! Ok, well I’m sure I could, but I don’t WANT to. Sigh, I know that aluminum stuff is terrible.

    I typically use Mitchum brand and it works AWESOME. Maybe I should look this Crystal brand up and give it a try though. Thanks for the info Sagan.

  4. Monica

    Interesting topic, I have a few friends who swear by their crystal deodorant. I’m like sophia – I don’t wear deodorant. I sweat a bit, but it doesn’t seem to stink (or at least it doesn’t offend me!). Though I have moments, usually while on vacation and eating lots of different food, where my sweat does smell pretty rank. Funny how diet can change that. What’s going on there? And more importantly, what am I eating that turns my sweat fowl?! =)

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Wow! I wonder if it IS because of the food? Do you tend to go to warm destinations on vacations or does it vary? That’s a neat concept. It would make for some good research, to see if sweating and smelliness correlates to the food we eat 🙂

  5. Jody - Fit at 52

    I am a sweater so even the regular stuff is not working for me. I use the Clinical strength Secret & that works decent for me but I still could use more.. 🙂 As much as I would love th change, these types in your post don’t work at keeping me dry & non smelly.. 🙁

  6. Geosomin

    It’s odd – I really really really really dislike the feel of roll on deoderant and it’s kept me from trying a lot of the healthy deoderants. The one I use works very well and doesn’t leave marks on my clothes, but now you’ve got me thinking to go home and read the ingredients and try again to find something more healhy…my brother uses a crystal deoderant and he swears by it. He’s been bugging me to switch to something without aluminum in it and I’ve tactfully ignored it…even though I nkow it’s a good thing to do. Thanks for the kick in th pants. Perhaps I’ll try his. (well not *his*…I’ll get my own 🙂 )

  7. Pubsgal

    I’m still using conventional anti-perspirant, and even that doesn’t always do the trick. I can’t stand being sticky. Once, when I forgot to put it on one morning, I bought some of the natural stuff from Whole Foods (nearest store to my work), and it didn’t really help much.

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  9. Elaine S

    I have tried many natural deodorants. I never was a roll on type person, but found one that I love and have been using it for a couple years. Nature Rich Roll on deodorant. It also helps a little with wetness. It is totally non toxic. It is not sticky and it does dry after applying. Being female, I avoid so many ingredients as the armpits are quite near your lymph glands and breasts.

  10. Alicat

    I must say that its great I bought it because a keyword on its label that says regenerates skin, exactly what I need I thought! because my armpits where stained pretty bad 🙁 and on the 2nd day of use when showered and exfoliated all the dead cells where coming off:-) and now on my 10th day its still keeps me bad odor free and fresh with clearer skin

  11. noname

    My daughter and I have been using this for a couple of years. Although we don’t like the feel of it when it goes on, I love the smell of it. Unfortunately, I don’t think it works as well as the “toxic” brands such as Dove etc, but I’d rather use something like Crystal essence that does not have toxic ingredients. I’m interested in finding legit info on safe vs. non safe ingredients in all skin care products, shampoos, and make up etc – anyone have any resource suggestions? Thanks.

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