How to use the alum stone in your skincare - reducing fine lines, breakouts and dark spots
You know we’re all about sustainable self care, but these days the skincare world is full of 20-step skin routines and pressure to look 16 forever. Aging gracefully means something different to everyone - I’m super into simple and minimalist products that can multitask to keep my skin fresh and clear; Marimar goes wild on the treatments, serums, tools, and the science behind it all. No matter where you fall on the scale of skinimalist to product junkie, the important thing is that you’re carving out time to stick to a routine that makes you feel good. The thing Marimar and I have in common? We loveee to experiment. So when we heard you could use the alum stone in skincare, our curiousity was piqued. We finally got around to playing with different methods and we’re here to tell you yet again, “weirdly, it works!” (This is a reference to the 50+ five star reviews from former skeptics - we live for it).
So how do you use a salt stone in your skincare? It all boils down to the toning, astringent and brightening properties of potassium alum. You can use your crystal to smooth wrinkles and fine lines, to treat acne, blemishes and breakouts, or to brighten dark spots. Like any good natural remedy, the effects are gradual over time, but alum stones have been used in skincare since the ancient Egyptians (at least that’s one of the first times it was recorded!). Let’s get into the how and why.
Using an alum stone to reduce wrinkles or smooth fine lines:
Alum stones are formed of a single ingredient: potassium alum. It’s a salt crystal that has a lot of medicinal and practical uses, one of which is it's toning and tightening properties. When you apply it to your skin, it has a similar effect to a toner or a mask that softens, tightens and tones. I recently did a 10 day experiment using the alum stone on my forehead every day to see if there was a noticeable difference... It’s an area where I have a lot of fine lines from sun exposure and my permanent smile (I have the personality of a Labrador and the opposite of RBF). I’m surprised to say that after using it every night for a week and a half, I did see an improvement in texture! It was slight, but I felt like my skin was smoother, softer and tighter in that area. Here’s what I did:
✦ Wash your face with a bar soap that matches your skin type and pat dry with a towel.
✦ Wet the top of your alum stone and apply it directly to the area you want to treat with a few gentle swipes (I did 5-10 until the area felt covered and my skin had absorbed some of the saltwater solution as the stone started to dry… you can go by feel).
✦ Let dry and leave the salt crystals on your skin for 5-10 minutes. Relax your facial muscles during this time.
✦ When you can feel your skin has tightened a bit, rinse off the treatment with a bit of water and pat dry.
✦ Follow with an oil, cream or moisturizer to lock in hydration and seal the treatment.
✦ Repeat once daily, at night.
This is the first time we’ve played around with these treatments, so if you try it we definitely want to hear from you!
Using the alum stone to treat acne, blemishes or fight breakouts:
Because of the salt content, alum stones are astringent and antibacterial, giving them the power to reduce the appearance of breakouts, bring acne to the surface, and reduce blemishes. You can use them as preventative or remedy tools. You want to use your alum stone at regular intervals (once a week or so) or to deal with an episode (for a few days in a row) rather than in your everyday routine. Here’s how to use your alum stone to treat breakouts.
✦ At the end of the day, use a splash of micellar water on a washcloth or cotton round to remove any dirt, makeup or oil from the skin.
✦ Wash your face or body where you’re breaking out, using a clarifying soap bar like our Fresh Face, Muddy Buddy or Abyss (listed from gentle to deeper cleansing, based on the strength of the clays in the bar and your skin’s needs at the time). Pat dry with towel.
✦ Wet the top of the stone and apply directly to the acne, blemish or breakout. Keep gently massaging the stone into your skin until the saltwater dries. Try not to pick at the problem area.
✦ Leave the solution on your skin for 10-15 minutes and let it work its magic.
✦ Rinse off with water and pat dry.
✦ Follow with another treatment if you like, such as witch hazel, oil with tea tree or a treatment or balm.
✦ Moisturize your skin with an oil, cream or moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic meaning it won’t clog your pores. Yay for Earth is a great option because it’s made with olive oil which regulates sebum and oil production and honey which is antibacterial.
How to use your alum stone to brighten dark spots:
This is one we haven’t tried yet, but it’s a known method that dates back to ancient Egyptian beauty rituals. Here’s how to use your crystal to brighten dark spots:
✦ Apply the alum stone to your dark spots once daily - after cleansing but before your moisturizer or sunscreen. We recommend morning.
✦ Wet the top of your stone and very gently swipe it onto the area you want to treat. Do this a few times until the salt starts to dry and the area is sufficiently “covered.”
✦ Let this dry and wait 10 minutes.
✦ Rinse off, pat dry with a towel and follow with your usual skincare to moisturize.
Because of its tightening properties and salt content, it can have the tendency to be a bit drying or harsh if used every single day for an extended period, so we recommend a 10 day to two week treatment window every few months or as needed.
We love a multi-use product ♥︎ Here are even more ways to use the alum stone in your skincare routine:
✦ As an aftershave
✦ As a stiptic, to stop bleeding from minor cuts
✦ As your crystal deodorant
Questions? Drop them below!