What is it?Potassium alum, or potassium aluminum sulfate, is a naturally occurring mineral. It is typically found as encrustations on rocks that contain sulfide and potassium minerals in areas of weathering and oxidation. Potassium, aluminum, and sulfate are widely found in food and in the human body.
What does it do?Potassium alum has a variety of uses in our world. It is used in the preparation of flour and cheese and is used in OTC oral health products as an astringent. It can also be used for water clarification, seafood preservation, and pickling.
We have found it to be a deodorant active for our Natural Confidence mineral salt roll-ons, functioning by inhibiting the growth of odor causing bacteria; unpleasant odor is caused by skin bacteria when we sweat.
Potassium alum is not an antiperspirant active and products containing potassium alum have been found not to reduce sweat production in clinical testing.
Potassium alum does contain aluminum, so in our Natural Confidence mineral salt roll-on products there is a low level of aluminum. We do not make an “aluminum-free” claim on our Natural Confidence roll-on products.
What are the alternatives?Potassium alum is not the only deodorant active available, but it has a long history of safe usage in a variety of products as described above. We use hops extract in our stick deodorant products and we’ve also used lichen extract in the past; these two botanicals also provide deodorant activity by targeting odor causing bacteria.
What are the risks?Potassium alum is considered safe. As mentioned above it is used in a variety of food processes and in oral care products.
Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.
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