04-27-2012, 07:26 AM
#1
  • mikeperry
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  • St Louis via the UK
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Apart from the *standard* reply it stings less, can someone please explain to me why Potassium Alum is recommended, preferred over Ammonium Alum as a post-shave treatment?

I honestly don't know if this is true or not, am just throwing out a possible (or not) reason for Potassium Alum being the preferred option -- Is it to do with different pH values, with Ammonium Alum having a lower pH value (more acidic), thus stings more?

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 04-27-2012, 11:38 AM
#2
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The sting is the only reason. Ammonium alum is more harsh than Potassium alum. I'd liken it to taking pure rubbing alcohol and using that as an after shave compared to something like Aqua Velva or Skin Bracer.

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 04-27-2012, 12:10 PM
#3
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
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(04-27-2012, 11:38 AM)Williams Warrior Wrote: The sting is the only reason. Ammonium alum is more harsh than Potassium alum. I'd liken it to taking pure rubbing alcohol and using that as an after shave compared to something like Aqua Velva or Skin Bracer.

hee-hee,
I have the Naturally Fresh deodorant stick (a crystal like RazoRock stick), which is Ammonium Alum, and it does sting a bit more than my Crystals roll-on Potassium Alum.

Both seem to work well, and each is readily available in Wal-Mart, and health places like GNC.

give it a try! can't beat it for $3 each Wink

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 04-27-2012, 12:27 PM
#4
  • mikeperry
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(04-27-2012, 11:38 AM)Williams Warrior Wrote: The sting is the only reason. Ammonium alum is more harsh than Potassium alum. I'd liken it to taking pure rubbing alcohol and using that as an after shave compared to something like Aqua Velva or Skin Bracer.

Hi Keith

Ok! but can you please expand on...

Quote:Ammonium alum is more harsh than Potassium alum.

Why is more harsh, what makes it more harsh?

I'm not trying to be a **** here, I'm just trying to get a proper understanding on why Potassium Alum over Ammonium Alum.

I've tried, used both, and have settled on Potassium Alum. But if I'm being totally honest here I could hardly tell the difference between the two, with Potassium Alum I get zero stinging (unless I haven't been "perfect" with my DE shaving technique), with Ammonium Alum I got almost zero stinging (more of a tingle)...

Take care, Mike

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 04-27-2012, 01:04 PM
#5
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(04-27-2012, 12:27 PM)mikeperry Wrote:
(04-27-2012, 11:38 AM)Williams Warrior Wrote: The sting is the only reason. Ammonium alum is more harsh than Potassium alum. I'd liken it to taking pure rubbing alcohol and using that as an after shave compared to something like Aqua Velva or Skin Bracer.

Hi Keith

Ok! but can you please expand on...

Quote:Ammonium alum is more harsh than Potassium alum.

Why is more harsh, what makes it more harsh?

I'm not trying to be a **** here, I'm just trying to get a proper understanding on why Potassium Alum over Ammonium Alum.

I've tried, used both, and have settled on Potassium Alum. But if I'm being totally honest here I could hardly tell the difference between the two, with Potassium Alum I get zero stinging (unless I haven't been "perfect" with my DE shaving technique), with Ammonium Alum I got almost zero stinging (more of a tingle)...

Take care, Mike

I don't have the slightest clue as to why one is more harsh. I've tried that Natural Fresh with Aloe and it caused me some irritation compared to the Osma and Razo Rock alums. I'm hoping someone that has a chemistry background will chime in and let us know what's up.

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 04-27-2012, 01:32 PM
#6
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Mike,
Here are two sites that provide a bit of insight into your question:
1. http://www.prlog.org/11669660-pure-natur...-alum.html

2.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum

i have heard that the Potassium Alum is a more natural product as opposed to the Ammonium Alum, but i am no scientist and can not confirm this.
Cheers.

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 04-27-2012, 07:33 PM
#7
  • mikeperry
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  • St Louis via the UK
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(04-27-2012, 01:04 PM)Williams Warrior Wrote: I don't have the slightest clue as to why one is more harsh. I've tried that Natural Fresh with Aloe and it caused me some irritation compared to the Osma and Razo Rock alums. I'm hoping someone that has a chemistry background will chime in and let us know what's up.

(04-27-2012, 01:32 PM)celestino Wrote: Here are two sites that provide a bit of insight into your question:

1. http://www.prlog.org/11669660-pure-natur...-alum.html

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum

I have heard that the Potassium Alum is a more natural product as opposed to the Ammonium Alum, but i am no scientist and can not confirm this.

Thanks gents Smile

From reading the information available via those couple of links, plus what I've read previously on the subject, it seems Potassium Alum is more aligned with the skins pH, though I could have that totally wrong -- seeing as I'm yet to read something on the subject that clearly lays out the differences between the two in a manner I can (fully) understand...

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 11-30-2013, 02:09 PM
#8
  • Shaun
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  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I seem to recall this discuss before. My memory is that potassium alum is actually dug out of the ground (Osma alum is) and does indeed have a more closely aligned pH balance, yes, and is not so 'bitey'. Potassium alum could truly be sad to be the 'naturally occurring' variety. The other (ammonium alum) is the by-product of an industrial process and can vary in intensity (it seems to me). It is often labelled as 'natural' but that would be to say (a la Spinoza) that there is nothing in existence that is not natural. It's a stretch, in other words and the labelling is dubious. That's why I don't like it. It's often the 'natural crystal' that's found in health food stores as a 'natural' deodorant, etc, but yes, it's an industrial by-product, often made in Thailand. There is a difference, but for some it doesn't matter which they use.

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 11-30-2013, 03:04 PM
#9
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(04-27-2012, 01:32 PM)celestino Wrote: i have heard that the Potassium Alum is a more natural product as opposed to the Ammonium Alum, but i am no scientist and can not confirm this.
Cheers.

You are right, Celestino!

But, to be correct, both can be synthesized. 444 is synthesized potassium alum, for example.
However, there are several brands of natural harvested potassium alum, like Osma or Allume di Rocca.

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 11-30-2013, 10:04 PM
#10
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Emanuel, thanks for the information, meu amigo!

Either way, I don't use alum any longer as cold water works just as well for me. Biggrin

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 01-13-2015, 07:41 AM
#11
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There is most probably a serious health issue with aluminiun containing sosmetics and food.

While there is no proof, there is a lot of evidence about aluminium having unwanted neurological effects.
The pattern of dementia occurence and sewage plants using aluminium for processing water in France.
Case reports of aluminium containing ulcer medication for years and severe neurological problems.

While there is no hard proof, evidence for me is strong enough to avoid any cosmetics containing aluminium.
Food containing a lot of acids or much salt should not have contact with aluminium, too.




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 01-13-2015, 11:54 AM
#12
  • Shaun
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(01-13-2015, 07:41 AM)apogee Wrote: There is most probably a serious health issue with aluminiun containing sosmetics and food.

While there is no proof, there is a lot of evidence about aluminium having unwanted neurological effects.
The pattern of dementia occurence and sewage plants using aluminium for processing water in France.
Case reports of aluminium containing ulcer medication for years and severe neurological problems.

While there is no hard proof, evidence for me is strong enough to avoid any cosmetics containing aluminium.
Food containing a lot of acids or much salt should not have contact with aluminium, too.




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There is not just no proof; there is no evidence at all. There has never been an established link, but a lot of fear generated. I am assured there is nothing to worry about regarding the use of alums. Had there been any kind of link, given the widespread use of alums, there would have been a clearly identified link, many, many years ago. There isn't. There is nothing to worry about.

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 01-13-2015, 01:35 PM
#13
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How come you are so sure?
Just use potassium "alum" and you will be safe.



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 01-13-2015, 10:00 PM
#14
  • Shaun
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[quote='apogee' pid='487475' dateline='1421184910']
How come you are so sure?
Just use potassium "alum" and you will be safe.

Because there is zero evidence that demonstrates a link between alum used in cosmetic and cooking products, including pots and pans, and neurological problems such as dementia. None.

Your references go to large volumes of contaminant; the use of an alum block bears little resemblance to that scenario.

Mr preference is to K because it is what it claims to be. The other type of alum (ammonium) is advertised, IMO, under false pretences, i.e that it is 'natural crystal'. It only is insofar as it naturally forms crystals as the end process of a chemical industrial process, but it still wouldn't give you dementia. It might hurt a lot, though

I have seen no hard evidence that demonstrates that alum (in the context of shaving) causes neurological problems. Loose speculation, yes, but not backed up by hard facts and empirical evidence. None.

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 01-14-2015, 01:26 AM
#15
  • BobH
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  • Thunder Bay Canada
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I have asked a druggist at a pharmacy what the difference was between the two. The answer was that the Ammonium based alum would sting more.
On that basis I have been using the Ammonium based alum for several years now as it is readily available locally. Yes, it does sting a bit more.

Bob

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 01-14-2015, 02:13 AM
#16
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Ammonium alum has similar properties to the naturally occurring rock alum but it is synthetically made. The pH level of Ammonium alum is more acidic than Potassium alum (i.e The ph value of Ammonium alum is slightly lower in value than Potassium alum, hence it stings slightly more).

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 01-14-2015, 10:09 AM
#17
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Just for the record, no one is stating that anyone should use this or that. If you wish to use the potassium version you should be safe. If one uses the other, and there is a link to dimentia found years down the road you might wish you hadn't used the other form. It's not like it's at all difficult to find the potassium version.

While no link has been established the idea took feet when high levels of aluminum was found in the brains of Alzheimer patients, oh, 20, 30 years ago. Why couldn't the aluminum come from anti-perspirant? Sure it could, or soft drink cans, or aluminum cookware. But if it's high levels of aluminum causing dementia is it wise to tempt fate? In the end each of us does as we wish.

Just because the thousands products we use every day (and in combination with other products) are untested and links to cancers and such haven't yet been found does that make them safe? It could only mean that we don't know it all yet, however much we'd like to think that we do. I'm sure Cro-Magnon man thought he was the pinnacle of intelligence too.

We discover new things every day and when someone definitively stands up and states something as fact, one had better question where the data came from. Lots of organizations produce self serving data that people hear and repeat. Coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you. At one time tobacco was a medicine and radium was also used medicinally. In the '70s false teeth contained a small amount of radioactive isotopes to make them appear "alive". But that was back when we knew all there was to know. Knowledge changes and man is fallible.

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 01-14-2015, 11:03 AM
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Thanks!


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 07-14-2015, 12:00 AM
#19
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(01-14-2015, 10:09 AM)ShadowsDad Wrote: Just for the record, no one is stating that anyone should use this or that. If you wish to use the potassium version you should be safe. If one uses the other, and there is a link to dimentia found years down the road you might wish you hadn't used the other form. It's not like it's at all difficult to find the potassium version.

While no link has been established the idea took feet when high levels of aluminum was found in the brains of Alzheimer patients, oh, 20, 30 years ago. Why couldn't the aluminum come from anti-perspirant? Sure it could, or soft drink cans, or aluminum cookware. But if it's high levels of aluminum causing dementia is it wise to tempt fate? In the end each of us does as we wish.

Just because the thousands products we use every day (and in combination with other products) are untested and links to cancers and such haven't yet been found does that make them safe? It could only mean that we don't know it all yet, however much we'd like to think that we do. I'm sure Cro-Magnon man thought he was the pinnacle of intelligence too.

We discover new things every day and when someone definitively stands up and states something as fact, one had better question where the data came from. Lots of organizations produce self serving data that people hear and repeat. Coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, coffee is bad for you. At one time tobacco was a medicine and radium was also used medicinally. In the '70s false teeth contained a small amount of radioactive isotopes to make them appear "alive". But that was back when we knew all there was to know. Knowledge changes and man is fallible.

Do you even know that both potassium and ammonium alum contain aluminium? Hence the name alum.

Whether you are using potassium alum or ammonium alum has no effect on aluminium exposure, because they both contain the same amount of aluminium. Aluminium salts are the salts commonly used in antitranspirants and have adstringent properties.

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 07-14-2015, 01:12 AM
#20
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A good question to ask your healthcare professional is do they know the concentration of aluminium : potassium in a potassium or aluminium based alum block. If they do they are lying or not selling you alum as its a naturally occurring product and thus has a varied make-up. I don't wish to blow my own horn but i'm speaking from an educated view point. Of course you could micro analyse the molecular structure and obtain a prediction as to relative concentration but that is excessive and should show both K and Al molecules present.



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