Zero-Waste Deodorant and Deodorant Stones

Zero-Waste Deodorant and Deodorant Stones

The zero-waste deodorant trend is part of a larger movement towards sustainability and environmental responsibility in personal care products. This trend includes the use of products that minimize waste, particularly plastic waste, and the use of natural and non-toxic ingredients. Deodorant stones fit into this trend as they offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional deodorants.

deodorant stones

Deodorant Stones

Deodorant stones are typically made from mineral salts, such as potassium alum, which provide natural odor protection by creating an environment on the skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These stones are free of aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium, which are found in many antiperspirants and are designed to clog pores to inhibit sweating. Deodorant stones, on the other hand, allow the body to sweat naturally while preventing odor. They are often marketed as being non-sticky, non-staining, and leaving no white residue.

Market Trends

The global refillable deodorants market is experiencing growth, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3%, indicating a shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly personal care products. The market is driven by consumer demand for products that reduce packaging waste, such as refillable deodorants with reusable casings and replaceable inserts. Brands are focusing on eco-friendly materials like recycled aluminum and bamboo for casings, and biodegradable or compostable refills. The East Asian market, South Asia, Pacific regions, the Middle East, and Africa are all seeing increased demand for these sustainable options.

Consumer Preferences and Zero-waste Trend

Consumers are increasingly looking for personal care products that align with their values of sustainability and environmental responsibility. This includes a preference for products with minimal packaging, natural ingredients, and those that are vegan and cruelty-free. Zero-waste deodorants, such as those in cardboard tubes or with refillable containers, are gaining popularity as they offer a way to reduce plastic waste and are often made with natural ingredients that are non-toxic and safe for the body.


The zero-waste deodorant meta trend, including the use of deodorant stones, reflects a growing consumer awareness and preference for sustainable, eco-friendly personal care products. Companies are responding to this demand by innovating with refillable deodorants, natural formulations, and environmentally responsible packaging solutions. As this trend continues to evolve, it is likely that more consumers will adopt zero-waste deodorants as part of their daily hygiene routines.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Deodorant Stone

Benefits of Using a Deodorant Stone

Deodorant stones offer several benefits as a personal hygiene product, particularly for those interested in natural and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional deodorants and antiperspirants:

  1. Natural Odor Protection: Deodorant stones are made from mineral salts, such as potassium alum, which have natural antimicrobial properties. They work by creating an environment on the skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria, thus providing natural odor protection.
  2. Free of Harmful Chemicals: Unlike many conventional deodorants and antiperspirants, deodorant stones are free of aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium, which are designed to clog pores to inhibit sweating. They also avoid other potentially harmful chemicals such as parabens, steareths, triclosan, propylene glycol, triethanolamine (TEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and artificial colors.
  3. Non-Blocking of Pores: Deodorant stones allow the body to sweat naturally, which is a healthy physiological process, while still preventing odor. This is in contrast to antiperspirants that block sweat ducts.
  4. Non-Staining and Non-Sticky: Users of deodorant stones often find them to be non-sticky and non-staining, leaving no white residue on the skin or clothing.
  5. Long-Lasting: A single deodorant stone can last for several months to years, making it a cost-effective option. It is also less likely to develop an odor over time, especially if the underarms are kept clean and hair-free.
  6. Suitable for Sensitive Skin: Deodorant stones are generally safe for people of all ages and are suitable for sensitive skin. They can be used on various parts of the body, including underarms, feet, and inner thighs.
  7. Eco-Friendly: Deodorant stones align with the zero-waste movement as they minimize waste and often come with recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Some brands offer packaging that breaks down more quickly in landfills.
  8. Safe for Various Conditions: They are considered safe to use during pregnancy and by people of all ages.
  9. Versatility: In addition to being used as a deodorant, some alum stones can also be used as an aftershave or a facial toner due to their natural toning and astringent properties.

It’s important to note that while many of the benefits are supported by anecdotal evidence, scientific studies proving the advantages of crystal deodorant are lacking. Therefore, the effectiveness can vary from person to person, and it may come down to individual preference and body chemistry.

How Does A Deodorant Stone Work

Deodorant stones work by creating an environment on the skin that is inhospitable to the bacteria responsible for body odor. The primary ingredient in deodorant stones is a natural mineral salt known as potassium alum, which has antimicrobial properties. When applied to the skin, potassium alum creates a thin layer of salt that inhibits the growth of these bacteria. Since body odor is largely caused by bacteria breaking down sweat, the presence of this salt layer helps prevent odor from developing.

Here are the key points about how deodorant stones work:

  • Antimicrobial Action: Potassium alum, the active ingredient in deodorant stones, has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, which help to prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the skin.
  • Salt Layer Formation: When you wet the deodorant stone and apply it to your skin, it leaves a thin layer of salt. This layer is what prevents bacteria from thriving and producing odor.
  • Non-Antiperspirant: Deodorant stones do not block sweat glands or prevent sweating, which is a natural and healthy bodily function. Instead, they focus solely on preventing odor.
  • Chemical-Free: Deodorant stones are free from chemicals commonly found in conventional deodorants and antiperspirants, such as aluminum chlorohydrate, parabens, and artificial fragrances, making them a more natural option.
  • Application: For best results, it is recommended to apply deodorant stones to clean skin, ideally right after showering, to ensure that there is no pre-existing odor. The stone should be wetted before application and then rubbed on the skin until the area is dry.
  • Duration: The odor protection from deodorant stones can last up to 24 hours. If reapplication is needed, it’s suggested to clean the underarm with rubbing alcohol before applying the stone again.

It’s important to note that while deodorant stones are effective for many people, their effectiveness can vary based on individual body chemistry, and some people may find that they do not work as well for them.

Can A Deodorant Stone Be Used On All Skin Types

Deodorant stones are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. They are hypoallergenic and gentle, making them a good choice for individuals who may react to the chemicals found in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants. Here are some key points regarding the suitability of deodorant stones for different skin types:

  • For Sensitive Skin: Deodorant stones are free from harsh chemicals, aluminum, parabens, and synthetic fragrances, which makes them suitable for people with sensitive skin.
  • Hypoallergenic: They are hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
  • Non-Irritating: The natural mineral salts in deodorant stones, such as potassium alum, are non-irritating and can soothe and nourish the skin.
  • No Residue: Deodorant stones do not leave residue or white marks, which is beneficial for all skin types and also avoids staining clothes.
  • Healing Properties: Some users find that alum stones have healing properties, being cooling, toning, and naturally antibacterial, which can be beneficial for skin health.

Therefore, deodorant stones can be considered a safe and effective option for individuals looking for a natural deodorant solution, regardless of their skin type.

Does Deodorant Stone Have Side Effects

Deodorant stones, while popular for their natural and eco-friendly appeal, can have potential side effects that users should be aware of. The primary ingredient in deodorant stones is potassium alum, which is a form of aluminum. Despite being marketed as a safer alternative to conventional antiperspirants that contain aluminum compounds like aluminum chlorohydrate, potassium alum still contains aluminum. This has raised concerns about the safety of applying aluminum-based products to the skin, particularly in the underarm area where the skin can absorb substances more readily.

Potential Side Effects of Deodorant Stones

  1. Irritant Dermatitis: There have been reports of irritant dermatitis developing in the axillae (underarm area) shortly after using deodorant stones containing alum. This reaction, although previously unreported, highlights the potential for skin irritation with the use of alum-containing products.
  2. Aluminum Absorption: The presence of aluminum in deodorant stones has led to concerns about the potential absorption of aluminum through the skin. Research has indicated that aluminum can be absorbed from antiperspirant use, and while the health implications of this are still being studied, there is concern over the possible link between aluminum exposure and breast cancer, as well as aluminum’s role as a hormone disruptor.
  3. Environmental and Health Toxicity: Potassium alum, the active ingredient in many crystal deodorants, is considered an environmental toxin. There are also concerns about its safety for human health, given that it contains aluminum. This contradicts the perception of deodorant stones as a completely safe and natural option.
  4. Skin Dryness and Tightness: Using alum on the skin can sometimes lead to side effects such as tingling, tightness, dryness, and itchiness. These symptoms can be uncomfortable and may deter some users from continuing with the product.


While deodorant stones are favored by many for their natural composition and long-lasting use, it’s important for consumers to be informed about the potential side effects associated with their use, particularly concerning the presence of aluminum. Individuals with sensitive skin or those concerned about aluminum exposure may want to explore alternative natural deodorants that do not contain alum or other aluminum compounds. As with any personal care product, what works well for one person may not be suitable for another, and it may take some experimentation to find the best option for individual needs and health considerations.

You might consider choosing an alternative zinc oxide-based deodorants, such as the Lavilin brand.

What Are Some Popular Brands Of Zero-waste Deodorant Stones

Zero-Waste Deodorant and Deodorant Stones

Some popular brands of zero-waste deodorant stones include:

  1. Crystal Deodorant Stick – This brand offers a zero-waste deodorant in cork packaging. The product is a mineral compound made up of alum and potassium crystals, creating a salt barrier under the arms to prevent the growth of bacteria causing body odor. It is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, naturally antibacterial, and suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The packaging is made entirely of cork, a renewable and sustainable resource.
  2. Bai-li – Bai-li provides a sustainable and baking-soda-free deodorant made with organic ingredients, ideal for all skin types, including sensitive ones. The packaging is 100% compostable paper tube.
  3. Fat And The Moon – This brand offers a natural and zero-waste deodorant cream with arrowroot powder and antimicrobial oils, contained in a glass jar with a metal lid. It is handmade, ethically crafted, and made in small batches.
  4. BioRock Crystal Natural Deodorant Stone – Available on Amazon, this unscented, plastic and aluminum-free salt deodorant stick is eco-friendly, sustainable, and zero waste.
  5. Alum Stone Crystal Deodorant & Aftershave – This product is made of mineral salt and stops odor-producing bacteria from forming. It is safe, simple, and effective as a natural deodorant and can also be used as an aftershave or facial toner. The packaging includes a compostable/recyclable paper tube and an organic cotton drawstring travel pouch.
  6. BIORK™ Crystal Deodorant Stick – BIORK offers a sustainable roll-on plastic-free deodorant. It is a natural antibacterial product, perfect for all types of skin, including the most sensitive. It provides 24 hours of effective protection against sweat odor and leaves no trace on clothing or skin.
biork Zero-Waste Deodorant and Deodorant Stones

These brands are part of the growing trend towards zero-waste and eco-friendly personal care products, offering consumers sustainable alternatives to traditional deodorants.

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