Alum Deodorant / Shaving Styptic of volcanic potassium alum, blocks, pebbles, powder

(23 customer reviews)


Once you have tried volcanic alum crystal as a natural deodorant, or a shavers styptic, there will be no looking back! This is one of our most popular products.


How Alum works

Natural Volcanic Alum Stone works as a deodorant by leaving a fine salty, slightly alkaline film on the skin, inhibiting the growth of microbes. It keeps the skin fresh and deodorized all day. No microbes equals no odour. Natural alum allows perspiration, one of the body’s cleansing and interpersonal communication mechanisms, keeps the pores free, and does not stain clothing. The molecules are large and are not absorbed into the skin, plus the molecules have a negative charge, also keeping natural alum from entering the skin.

Volcanically formed alum crystals should not be confused with factory made deodorants which often use inferior, sometimes harmful synthetic chemical ingredients. Our alum crystals are simply collected from the desert surface, placed in sacks and then shipped to the UK.

This google satellite image shows the edge of the alum formation and the site from where our alum is collected. Thank you google!
This google satellite image shows the edge of the alum formation and the site from where our alum is collected. Thank you Google!

Why Alum is used

The fully natural volcanic alum is so effective that even people with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) get along well with real alum. On the other hand, the genuine alum allows people with sensitive skin to rejoice in being able to deodorize again.

Alum stone also makes a great natural aftershave, reducing the appearance of shaving burn, and stemming bleeding from shaving nicks. That is why traditional barbers use Alum styptic. Did you know that Alum stone can also be used to relieve insect bites, reduce shaving rash, cold sores, athletes foot and to sterilize small cuts and scratches?

What is Volcanic Alum Crystal? Is Alum safe?

The genuine potassium alum forms naturally at volcanic fumeroles. Alum is abundant where it occurs, but unfortunately there are no British sources. As alum is one of the earth most common and useful minerals, used since civilization began, we may have been importing it since the Roman Period, and certainly by the Medieval Period, every foreign ship brought alum into our ports for the wool dyers to use as a mordant.

The natural crystal, potassium alum, potash alum or alum stone is totally unprocessed. Crystal deodorants labeled as ammonium alum contain synthetic ammonium, a by-product of the chemical and nylon industry. Synthetic ingredients may contain chemical residues and cause allergic reactions and ammonium alum is not such an effective deodorant.

Earth-grown Alum Stone is a safe, natural and highly effective alternative. Natural and synthetic alums look similar. The only sure way to tell them apart – is the natural crystal breaks into irregular forms with irregular surfaces and every piece is different.

How we sell our Alum 

The types and weight are listed in the drop down menus. Alum to Buy – We charge £12.00 per 100g. There is a drop down menu where you can select either the crystal blocks,  or insect bite relief chips. We do have specimen crystal block pieces weighing up to 10kg.


Please note: If you are buying alum in the block form, we now supply these crystals in pairs so that we can fulfil your order with the correct weights and price.

As each piece of alum is knapped from a larger block we can not always produce pieces of exact weights, however delays are minimized if we can provide two blocks at once – it is far easier for us to find pairs of crystals which match the weight/price band rather than a single piece. Even then, if the blocks we select for you are slightly underweight we will send you some change with your order – Although just as often as not, the pieces we send you will be slightly overweight – your gain! So typically if you order a pair of crystals of total weight 167g, costing £20.00 you might receive one crystal of 80g and the other crystal of 87g. We try to match them in size as far as we can.

How to use alum crystal as a deodorant block

  • Select a pair of alum blocks of at least 100g. It is far easier and faster to deodorize with pieces of this size than pieces which are smaller.
  • Before use, rub a new piece of alum crystal with a cloth in water to remove any angular edges before using on the skin. It will takes several weeks of gentle usage before the crystal becomes really smooth like the one in the photograph.
  • Apply alum stone deodorant in a thin layer straight after bathing to the wet skin. Alternatively dampen the stone and apply to dry skin. Alum can also be used on the feet. For especially active days, rubs the stone on the skin for longer.
  • Always rinse the Alum Stone after use and allow it to dry.
  • Allow your Alum Stone to dry on its own soap dish to prevent damage to surfaces and preserve the alum crystal intact.

How to use an alum crystal block as a shavers styptic or aftershave

  • Alum stone helps control shaving rash and stems bleeding from shaving nicks (there may be a brief tingling or stinging sensation). Alum is astringent and mildly antiseptic.
  • Select a pair of alum crystals weighing at least 100g or select the insect bite relief set for highly portable  styptic crystals.
  • After shaving and rinsing the face, simply glide the alum crystal over the shaved area. Pay extra attention to small shaving nicks, where the alum will stem the bleeding. Warning the use of alum on broken skin will sting.
  • Wash and dry the crystal after use.

How to use alum for relieving insect bites

Some people are irresistible to insects. While the alum does not prevent bites, it is the treatment of choice if you want to avoid unsightly weals, scarring and being generally bothered by the bite.

Select the insect bite relief set of three alum chips. These are three portable pieces, each piece between 2cm-3cm long, or you can use a larger piece. The person who has been bitten should drop their own saliva onto the insect bite.

Then rub a piece of alum, beginning at the outside of the bite, certainly encompassing any reddened areas of skin, concentrically into the puncture, over the course of 30 seconds to a minute.

People who act straight away will benefit the most. So far there has been excellent feedback with mosquitoes, mozzies, animal fleas, ants, horsefly and bedbugs.

How to use alum pebbles or powder to make your own deodorant

  • Please note we have created new pages for our alum powder and alum pebbles.

The Ethics of Using Volcanic Alum Crystal

  • No chemicals
  • No perfumes
  • Naturally unfragranced
  • No preservatives
  • No colours
  • No alcohol
  • No processing (it is just collected from the surface of the Western Desert, and has never seen the inside of a factory), other than knapping or milling.
  • No added ingredients at all
  • Very economical. Take care not to drop your Alum Stone as it may shatter
  • Highly effective
  • Multifunctional (deodorant/shaving/insect bite relief) saving further on packaging, postage and bathroom clutter
  • Usually considered safe for sensitive skins
  • One piece can be shared by all of the users of the bathroom, as it is washed between each use, saving on bathroom clutter and packaging
  • For a change – a traceable deodorant!
  • Helpful for hyperhydrosis

If you need help selecting your alum please call 0800 023 5008 or 01508 486517 and I will try to find you pieces to suit your budget and requirements.

TIPS: In Morocco, deodorants are not necessarily worn each day. Some Moroccans only use alum during the summer months. Probably by force of habit, most Westerners apply deodorant everyday. However as long as the underarms are cleaned daily, and shirts and tops are changed daily, it is really only necessary to wear deodorants when we are working in close proximity to people, or when we have a highly active life.

For some people just washing the underarms in rhassoul clay on a daily basis may obviate the need for a deodorant, because the clay has mild deodorizing properties. Hemp Oil Soap is great for washing under the arms to as it instantly removes body odour. Rinse the clay or hemp soap off thoroughly before applying the alum.

People with very sensitive skin who need to wear alum deodorant during the day can wash the deodorant off before they go to bed at night.

At the other end of the scale, people with hyperhidrosis (a condition characterised by excessive sweating) often get along very well with volcanically formed potassium alum. They should always use natural alum in preference to aluminium chlorohydrate. Natural alum remains on the skin, killing microbes acting as a powerful deodorant, where as aluminium chlorohydrate, acting as an antiperspirant releases the aluminium ions into the sweat gland blocking the exit of sweat. Then elemental aluminium is inside the body. Please do make a point of trying fully natural potassium alum if you suffer from hyperhidrosis as they are a lot safer than strong antiperspirants!

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23 reviews for Alum Deodorant / Shaving Styptic of volcanic potassium alum, blocks, pebbles, powder

  1. Emily (verified owner)

    It’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve been using the crystal deodorant alternative I bought from your shop! All I can say is I am absolutely impressed and so happy!

    Not only have I not received any of the oozing rashes that I used to receive using basically any possible aluminum-free, natural or even terribly bad deodorants, but my underarms have never looked and felt so good! I’m so, so, soooo thankful!

    The bumps that often can occur from shaving are basically a no show which is really satisfying! As for the oder control, it is just what I was looking for! I put it on before I get dressed and I always check throughout the day and no oder at all! And this is coming from a gal who does tend to get a little moist under the arms during work stress.

    I really like that there is no super overwhelming sweet scent (which honestly mixes with the smell of my sweat throughout the day; which smelled worse than just my sweat alone!). It is just my natural body scent (without the stinky sweaty smell part!). If it’s a special night out, you can lightly mist your underarms (or your usual spots) with a body mist or perfume and it doesn’t get gross smelling throughout the day since you neutralized your odor instead of just trying to mask it.

    People were made fun of me at first (and I was pretty skeptical myself but desperate) but now even my fiancé/several family members are thinking about switching from their deodorants to this!

    It’s easy to use, efficient, financially friendly, and so much healthier for your skin and body!

    Couldn’t be happier with this product, thank you so much!!

  2. heidi_quicksilver

    Great product. Works really well, leaves no marks, no skin irritation. Works well enough to use in sports too. Also great at relieving itching from bites!

  3. julie-8176

    I’ve been using natural deodorants for many years and this is the most effective and cost effective I’ve used. Knowing it’s completely natural is amazing as any product that goes near your lymph glands should be natural. The traditional deodorants and antiperspirants can be detrimental to health. Thanks for this wonderful find Sally 🙂 X

  4. jade

    Wow! I have tried natural deodorants in shops and they have never worked for me. I always require really strong deodorant for some reason, or it stops working. Needless to say I didn’t have much faith but thought I’d try it out; it works! I cannot believe it. Even the next day I don’t smell like I would with regular deodorant, and this is natural. 100% would recommend.

  5. Elena Sartoratti (verified owner)

    BEST NATURAL DEODORANT THAT REALLY WORK! This is now my only deodorant choice for the rest of my life!! Superb quality!

  6. Jay

    I bought a couple of pieces of alum to use for deodorant. Absolutely amazing. It seems to work better than a deodorant spray which I don’t like using as I have sensitive skin. One block I gave to my teenage Son who has terrible stinky feet. He has to wash his feet every day usually and within a couple of hours they are reeking again. I told him to rub the alum all over his feet and between his toes when he got out of the shower. He can go days without washing his feet now and there is no smell at all.

  7. Ellie

    I love the Alum Crystals! I make sure i have one with me wherever i go, It comes in handy wherever i go! I use it mostly for insect bites and stings and have always found it very effective and it gives me instant relief! Infact the other day i was stung by a wasp- i didnt think the Alum to be that effective on a wasp sting..BUT IT WAS! i got stung on the back and got my friend to rub alum on it straight a way for a few minutes- the pain went straight away and i haven’t felt the sting since! Love this stuff!

  8. kjg (verified owner)

    Not really into all natural products BUT I have been using these deodorant blocks for 4 years now and as your ad says “there will be no looking back!” They are fabulous, work better than most manufactured deodorants and are much cheaper as they last ages. Persevere with a new block, once the surface is smooth it becomes more effective. I run it under the tap, shake off the excess water and use it like a roll on product. Brilliant.

  9. Emma Heap (verified owner)

    I have to admit I was skeptical about how effect this would be, even though I have trust in the products Sally sells; I have used Natural Spa Supplies Rhassoul Clay and Argan Oil for around 7-8 years, and love the effect they have had on my skin (both face and body). I wouldn’t say I was excessively sweaty or smelly (!), but in the hot weather I do find my feet can be an issue; due to having to look smart at work, open sandals aren’t an option. I ordered some crystals, and have to admit using them first at the weekend, just in case! The allum was very easy to apply, and as stated, did not leave marks on my clothes when I got dressed (which makes a nice change; I think most of us have suffered the dreaded white marks on a dark t-shirt!). I used on both my feet and underarms. It was a warm day, spent at home, and I admit to asking my husband on several occasions if I smelt at all!!! The answer was a resounding no! I have been using for around 5 days now, and even sat in a hot office, this stuff still works; we had a day walking on Sunday, so walking boots and socks all day, and when the socks were removed at the end of the day they smelled nearly as fresh as when I put them on! I am definitely a convert, and love the fact I am not using possibly harmful products on my skin. As an additional benefit, the skin I have applied this to seems to be softer than usual as well.

  10. Gaelle

    When used properly (needs to be rubbed on damp skin for 20-40 seconds) it really works! Impressive 🙂

  11. Bob

    Great bit of man or girl kit. Purchased a piece years ago and never used anything else since. Mine also travel all over the world and never let me down, you might get sweaty but no odour. Also Great for insect bites, shaving cuts, small grazes etc helps to stop any infection when out and away from it all. I mentioned to Sally some time ago that I always keep a small old smooth piece in my backpack for rubbing between the toes when hiking, it stops that itchy athletes foot and works well to eliminate it.

  12. Helga

    Fantastic bought mine at least 4 years ago and it’s still going strong, about to buy more for the family too!

  13. mlw

    These deodorant stones are brilliant, I recommend them to friends as well. A great product. You just damp one under the tap and rub under the armpit. I’d buy a good size one for ease of use, they last for ages. Great value for money.

  14. Edith (verified owner)

    For the first year ever, I have not needed antibiotics and other nasties to deal with a horsefly bite. I seem to get at least one each year (bugs just love to bite me). This year I treated the new bite with alum, and kept doing it every few hours. Within a week it was well on its way to healing, Usually they last a good month. Thank you Natural Spa Supplies. I’ll be keeping my little rocks everywhere so I don’t have to hunt for one!

  15. Adrian (verified owner)

    A fantastic product that my wife and I have been using for 3 or 4 years.

  16. Helen Washington (verified owner)

    I cannot recommend this product enough – fantastic if you have sensitive skin (I have very dry skin and eczema). I have been using this product for about fours years now and never developed any allergy or had any reaction whatsoever – which is a miracle when one considers I have reacted to every single deodorant I have purchased from shops beforehand. My nephew (11 years) who plays a LOT of sport including football also uses this product as he always got itchy arms with more commercial deodorants. He too, has never reacted and does not get any body odour despite his high activity levels. I additionally have two other friends who now use this product (after they asked what it was – it sits on top of my bathroom loo and so people ask what it is every now and then). HIGHLY RECOMMEND and if you need any advice of any kind, I find the lady and gentleman who sell these products at fairs (I first met them at the VEGFEST in Hove) to be so friendly and helpful. So thank you Natural Spa Supplies 🙂

  17. sarah

    I cannot fault the use of Alum as an alternative to antiperspirant deodorants. I suffer with the most embarrassing problem of excessive sweating (and with added odour at certain times) this has made me terribly self-concious and paranoid…..not any more!

    I first bought a tiny piece of alum about 4 years ago and wished ever since id gone for a larger block – you will not be disappointed by the alum, or how long it lasts. You also have total piece of mind that you aren’t poisoning your body with chemicals. I’m so glad I managed to track Sally back down – you cannot fault her service, products and honesty. I have even converted my boyfriend to using one and now I know you can use it for cold-sores – even better! You will not regret changing to Alum….

  18. Simon

    I love natural products like wool etc, my sister bought me a block of this alum and I was sceptical but I can confirm it is spot on, cracking product, keep up with the good work.

  19. Martin (verified owner)

    I first picked up some Alum from the Natural Spa Supplies stand at a show years ago and haven’t used anything else ever since. I used to get an odd stiffness and sometimes painful swelling in one or the other of my armpits from normal propellant-based deodorants for a good number of years prior to discovering Alum.

    It’s safer, completely natural and infinitely more effective, not to mention, as the other reviewers have already commented, FANTASTIC value for money!! A single large piece lasts me sometimes up to a YEAR!!! You simply can’t beat it and I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about the products they bring into contact with their bodies. Brilliant product, can’t say enough good things about it!

  20. Ros (verified owner)

    I can only agree with the other reviews. Pure and simple, THIS WORKS! !t is also unbelievable value for money. I bought my Alum block for £7 in January of this year, used it daily since then and it’s still going! I will never use anything else.

  21. Jenny

    I have been this product since last summer and could not be happier. Despite training for a half marathon, I appear to sweat less than when I used a traditional anti-perspirant. I have also noticed that my sense of smell has improved enormously. Seven months on I am still using the original crystal!

  22. Vicky (verified owner)

    I was a bit sceptical about how well the alum would actually work and thought it surely couldn’t be as good as all the reviews in the recent newsletter. However, as a long time customer of Natural Spa supplies, I trust the products and thought I’d give it a try. It is AMAZING. It is completely effective as and, without wishing to get too personal, at the end of first day I had absolutely no odour either on me or my clothes (I had a good sniff, I was sceptical). At first I was a bit uncertain about swiping this rock across my pits after a shower but now I’ve got used to it there is no turning back. And of course there is absolutely no nasties in it and no packaging. I bought a £7 lump and reckon it will last me for months if not years so a good investment.

  23. Zoe

    I’m a Medieval Re-enactor who has suffered from cold sores for a number of years. I am constantly on the lookout for historical remedies that work. I heard about Volcanic Alum Crystals & although knew they made great deodorant I was skeptical about their ability to clear up my cold sores which usually last about 2 weeks. I am thrilled to report that after 24hrs of use, about every 4hrs application, my cold sore dried up & cleared up in 3 days. I hope many more people will use the Alum as am so impressed with it’s versatility & effectiveness.

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