iasi, romania, homemade, soaps, cosmetics

Friday, August 1, 2014

potassium alum in home made deodorant

I recently received more questions about this ingredient and its safety, due to the fact that it contains aluminium. According to Wikipedia, Potassium Alum, also known as potash alum, tawas, potassium aluminium sulfate or alum-(K) is a chemical compound - a naturally occurring sulfate mineral which is usually formed as encrustations on rocks in areas of weathering and oxidation of sulfide minerals and potassium bearing minerals. Its chemical formula is KAl(SO4)2. This compound is commonly used in water purification, leather tanning, and baking powder. It also has cosmetic uses as deodorant, as an aftershave treatment and as a styptic for minor bleeding from shaving.

More recently, we've been made aware of the danger of cosmetics containing aluminium. And any combination containing this substance will definitely ring an alarming bell. 
However, the two compounds could not be more different in terms of origin, chemical stability, particle size and effects.

The potassium alum molecules have negatively charged ions, and cannot be absorbed by the skin. Potassium alum is 100% inoffensive, the oxides and hydroxides released at skin contact are chemically stable. They don't react with the skin, are not able to release the aluminium, are not soluble and molecule size is big enough so not to penetrate the skin.

Not to be mistaken with ammonium alum, synthetically manufactured from aluminium salt.

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