When I was 17, my grandmother told me to stop using deodorants since they blocked the perspiration glands. Deodorants are dangerous to our bodies… nature has always offered us ways to beautify and clean ourselves. Why not use alum (i.e Shabbeh – شبة) instead?
Alum is not short for aluminum. It’s a natural stone, that once crushed into tiny crystals can be your personal hygiene’s best friend.
Aluminum, on the other hand, is a harmful component that is used in many of the manufactured deodorants out there!
Grandma, may she rest in peace, told me that over time the blocked sweat caused by commercial deodorants will accumulate under the skin and rot, and I will start to really smell, which means I will need more deodorant to cover it up. Ultimately this blocked perspiration is a form of toxin that is locked within the body… it will harm it.
As a nature-lover, my grandma hated manufactured cosmetics, and always opted for natural remedies to fix everything. She had great insight and respect for the ways of her grandparents. She didn’t need a scientific report to tell if unnatural cosmetics were harmful or not, she knew it innately. And I believed her.
Alum talc-like deodorant
My grandmother’s basic alum recipe – You can use this recipe like you use talc:
- Crush some alums until they become a bit rougher than talc (if they’re not already crushed) – about 7 tablespoons of it (or more if you like).
- In my part of the world you can buy already crushed Musk powder, which is then added to the alum (let’s say about 1/2 a tablespoon), and it gives it a celestial smell. You can check out your area for any oriental shops & ask them if they have it.
- Mix the two well. Place the powder in a clean cosmetics container with a lid, and use a cotton pad, or one or those fluffy pads used for applying powder facial foundation.
- After taking a shower, fluff your underarms and any perspiration-active areas with this mixture.
- P.S. If you have been using artificial deodorants for a long time, be patient while the body cleans itself. At first you might think the Alum-Musk mixture is not working out because you are basically smelling, but that’s because all the blocked perspiration is now to free to leave your body. These toxins have a bad smell, but after a while when the new perspiration is now dancing with the alum you will smell fresh and quite different than before.
My grandma’s great grandmothers, back to God-knows-when, used alum and they always smelled superb. In fact if you have a sensitive nose you can always tell the difference between a modern home, around the Levant where I live, and a traditional home that uses natural soaps, alum, rosewater, and all the natural scents & cleaning materials that really make everything smell better.
Another simple alum recipe is making your own alum spray:
- Crush the alum crystals
- Mix them with water in a bottle sprayer
- Spray your underarms, feet, and any sweat-active areas, right after you shower.
Alum with essential oils
You can always experiment with creating your own scented alum powder. If you have a good quality rose/musk/jasmine essential oil, you can:
- Crush the alum…
- add a few drops of essential oil to the alum crystals and mix well
- use like you use talc.