Q:

Can someone use alum to tighten skin?

A:

Alum, or potassium alum, is used in a wide variety of skin care products due to its natural astringent or skin tightening properties. It can be found as an ingredient in cleansers, moisturizers and wrinkle creams and leaves a tingling sensation on the skin.

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Potassium alum, also called potassium aluminum sulfate, is a naturally occurring mineral salt known as kalunite in its rock form. It is found in areas where potassium- and sulfide-bearing minerals weather and oxidize.

Alum is considered safe for use as a cosmetic and drug astringent, with a low level of overall risk associated with its use. There is a moderate concern of non-reproductive organ toxicity and a low concern about environmental toxicity.

In addition to its astringent properties, potassium alum is also a natural antiseptic and hypoallergenic. This allows for its widespread use in the cosmetic field:

  • It is ideal as an aftershave to clean any nicks and cuts and tighten skin; it also helps to remove razor bumps.
  • It works as a deodorant that kills odor-causing bacteria for 24 hours

Alum as a deodorant is often called a crystal deodorant, due to the fact that potassium alum in raw form appears as a colorless crystal, similar to quartz. It may also be used in its powdered form.

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