So, what is alum and where does it come from? Alum is not just one substance. It refers to a chain of compounds. But sometimes, just the term 'alum' is used to refer to a substance potash alum. Potash alum is used for various purposes. It is obtained by a process of leaching of alumina from bauxite which is further on reacted with potassium sulfate. However, alum crystals also occur in naturally. When they are naturally occurring they are called kalunite. Alum has many uses, it can be used as an aftershave, as a deodorant, as a hemorrhoid, as a flame retardant, as a fire extinguisher, etc. Given below are three uses for alum. This includes alum as a natural and healthy alternative to commercial deodorants, alum as an aftershave and alum for making the underarm skin lighter.
Alum Powder as a Natural Deodorant
Today there are many natural deodorants available over-the-counter. One of them is potassium alum. It is a very natural and healthy alternative to all the chemical based deodorants. It is also known as a deodorant crystal. Alum has been used as a deo since ages in countries like Thailand, Mexico and the Far East. So, alum powder or crystals can be used as natural deodorants. They have natural properties which help fight bacteria and thus help prevent the undesirable odors. Natural alum as a deo is better than synthetic deo's which rely on aluminum to block the sweat ducts. So, you can apply it to your underarms after taking shower or whenever you feel like.
Alum Powder as an Aftershave
Alum powder or special blocks are used as an aftershave. They are antiseptic for the razor burn. It can also, to a certain extent, stop bleeding from cuts and nicks. It helps to soothe the skin by cooling it after shaving. It also acts as a balm. After you are done with shaving, wet the alum block or use moist alum powder and then dry it with a towel.
Alum as an Underarms Whitener
Another popular use of alum is for skin whitening. Many people especially women complain of dark underarms. Using alum over the dark underarms will help you get rid of them. You can wash your underarms three times a day and then apply alum to it. Keep it for 20 minutes and then wash of. Regularly, applying alum will help make the skin tone lighter. If you want, you can also make a skin cream with it. Simply mix a bit lemon, brandy and alum powder. Then apply it to the underarms and keep it for 15 minutes and then wash it off with cool water. Do this two to three times a day.
To prevent darkening of underarms you can avoid shaving frequently. Also, keep your underarms clean by washing them regularly. If you tend to remove the underarms hair frequently, then instead of shaving go for waxing. And after you are done washing or removing hair from underarms, wash the area with water and then apply alum powder to it. Also, wear loose fitting sleeves clothes to prevent any further darkening of the skin.
You can buy alum powder or a block of alum over-the-counter, at a drugstore or at the supermarket. Make sure you buy quality product, as many are not 100% natural alum. Buying 100% natural alum will help you mask the underarm odor better, than those products which are not genuine. Alum is a great alternative to commercially available deodorants, aftershave, and skin whitening creams. Also, if you are traveling, then it makes one of the best traveling underarm care products.