Body Crystal Botanica Roll On Deodorant
— Roll On Deodorant.
The Body Crystal is a product range specifically manufacturing crystal deodorants. The cornerstone of the brand is building fragrance free rocks, sticks, mists and roll-ons, and therefore use only natural extracts for fragrance, moisturising properties and personal hygiene solution.
The Botanica Crystal Roll on is a liquid formulation and applied as such. The use of crystals in a natural deodorant is quite common – substituting chemicals found in conventional deodorant with an ingredient called Potassium Alum, known for its antimicrobial properties. The Botanica roll-on has a freshness to its scent (thank you Aloe Vera), and is light wearing throughout the day.
This product claims to be 'Sensitive skin friendly', ‘Alcohol free’ and ‘Not tested on animals’.
What does this mean?
The Body Crystal’s product line is positioned to be one of Australia’s largest supplier of crystal deodorants to the population – stocked in a variety of retail spaces like supermarkets, pharmaceutical and health food chains. The brand is a division of Queen Fine Foods Pty Ltd – known as “Queen” – who have a manufacturing and distribution history in the cosmetics, perfumes, soap and lotion categories.
The brand prides themselves on being Aluminium Chlorohydrate and Aluminium Chlorohydroxide free, as well as no alcohols or parabens within their formulations. The brand’s mission is to push a product that doesn’t “cover-up” body odour, but with its double mineral formulation, prevents bacteria forming during perspiration which as we know, is the cause of body odour. They offer fragrance-free to promote this fact and promises its effectiveness in order to avoid using other fragrances.
The Crystal Roll-On is also environmentally friendly due to its ozone safety certification, and is not tested on animals.
The scent is quite subtle, as Aloe Vera is the hero fragrance in this product. It’s lightly fresh scent is exactly what you’d expect in a natural deodorant. The fragrance has been enhanced by perfume perhaps as preservative to the naturally-derived ingredients, however is not overpowering at all.
The texture of a roll-on is generally more liquid, and needs to be applied once in the day or after physical activity for lasting results. It will go on slightly wet due to the liquid formulation, however dry quick to touch, and leaves no sticky residue.
The efficacy of natural deodorant is always quite tentative depending on each person’s lifestyle. Natural body odour is usually a product of our lifestyles, whether it be exercise heavy or toxin release due to poor diet, many factors contribute to the amount of perspiration and strength of odour. The Body Crystal roll-on will leave some people feeling fresh all day, however others, particularly those who have never worn natural deodorant before, may struggle to apply this only once.
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, a soothing, anti-inflammatory plant extract.
Natural Benzoic Acid, a naturally-derived carboxylic acid used in cosmetics as a fragrance enhancer, pH adjuster and preservative.
Potassium Alum, a natural mineral salt alternative to other aluminium salts found in most antiperspirants and deodorants.
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, a big red flag in any ingredients list.
This product uses 3 types of plastic in its packaging and a plastic label.
Bottle: HDPE - See more about HDPE and its impact
Cap: LDPE - See more about LDPE and its impact
Roller: PP - See more about HDPE and its impact
Label: OTHER - See more about Plastic Film and its impact
There is little to no information about the type of packaging Body Crystal use for their bottles – and this is really hard to grapple with after seeing so many brands become incredibly transparent over their corporate sustainability. Generally speaking, deodorant roll-on bottles are High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), with Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) sockets. The ball and cap of a roll-on deodorant bottle is usually Polypropylene (PP). These types of plastic are considered the “safer choices” among all, however what does this mean for environmental impact?
HDPE could be used due to its lightweight yet super strength in efficiency, and perhaps more necessary, its ability to resist mould – favourable for products that have a shorter shelf-life than others. It’s a common type of plastic that is picked up by curb side recycling. LDPE is only starting to be accepted and picked up in recycling pathways recently. PP is also beginning to be accepted. The trouble is with these bottles is the many components, and when discarding the whole vessel into a recycling bin – how can we be sure this will be dismantled and recycled appropriately?
Formulation full analysis
Aloe Vera Extract (Aloe Barbadensis) is found in high concentrations in this product. For many different skin types, this ingredient is soothing, and serves as an anti-inflammatory. It’s incredibly hydrating and includes many minerals, amino acids, vitamins and active enzymes that nourishes the skin surface.
Natural Benzoic Acid is a naturally-derived carboxylic acid used in cosmetics as a fragrance enhancer, pH adjuster and preservative. Although the name sounds slightly scary, it is derived from many plants and resins such as berries and certain tree barks. It’s actually an intelligent addition to a deodorant due to its ability to help prevent infections caused by bacteria.
Potassium Alum is a natural mineral salt alternative to other aluminium salts found in most antiperspirants and deodorants. Aluminium is known as a “neurotoxin” and mimics the make-up of estrogen, which both have been linked to encourage cancer growth and neurological diseases. Not to say that Potassium Alum doesn’t include Aluminium, because it actually does (a common marketing strategy among “natural crystal deodorant” market).
The benefit to using Potassium Alum, however, is that it has a higher molecular weight to other forms of aluminium, which makes it almost impossible to penetrate the skin. Rather, it forms a layer on the outside of the skin that inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria. The issue with Potassium Alum is that it still does include Aluminium in its make-up, and accumulated use of a product you use daily, if not more, exposes you to the associated risks.
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is a big red flag in any ingredients list. According to the Cosmetics Ingredients Review, PEG-40 “can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives and blistering of the skin”, as well as “contain harmful impurities” referring to carcinogens Ethylene Oxide and 1,4-Dioxane. Need we say more?
Would you ever, or have you ever, used crystal deodorant?
Can you suggest any tried-and-tested alternatives to mainstream deodorant?
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