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Potassium Alum is a naturally occurring crystal mineral. It is an astringent, antiseptic and potent anti-bacterial agent. Potassium Alum inhibits the growth of the bacteria responsible for body odour, but does not stop perspiration. For this reason, it is used as a natural deodorant. This mineral is often used in traditional systems of medicine including Ayurveda, where it is called phitkari or saurashtri, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it is called ming fan. It is essential to understand the difference between deodorants and antiperspirants. deodorants (de-odour - to remove the smell) are products that contain antibacterial agents that prevent bacteria from multiplying and causing unpleasant odour.
Deodorants work to prevent smell but they do not stop the natural process of perspiration. Antiperspirants (anti-perspire - against perspiration) are products that block sweat glands and stop perspiration. Conventional antiperspirant products contain pore blocking ingredients such as Aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium compounds, which are linked to Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer. The molecules of these aluminium salts are small in size and have good solubility in water, thus they easily penetrate through the pores of skin and accumulate in the body, increasing the risk of various diseases.
Natural crystal Potassium alum also contains aluminium in its chemical formula, however, the molecule of crystal is large in size, and it cannot be absorbed though skin into the body. Potassium alum is a strong antibacterial agent that reduces unpleasant odour, making it the most effective and safest alternative to synthetic antiperspirants.