Is aluminium in deodorant, and does it matter? Walk down the personal care aisle in any pharmacy, drugstore, or supermarket, and you'll be greeted with a myriad of underarm products touting their anti-smelly statuses. You might also notice more brands advertising cleaner, greener products made without certain ingredients (we're looking at you, aluminium salts). Is your underarm routine potentially risky to your health?
What are the dangers of aluminium in deodorants, and why is underarm deodorant without aluminium something to consider? Here, we're giving you the inside scoop on aluminium deodorant risks and sharing the best aluminium free deodorant options to keep your armpits happy, fresh, and healthy.
Why is Aluminium in Antiperspirants?
Who thought this was a good idea in the first place? As you know, antiperspirants do just what the same suggests - prevent you from perspiring, but at what cost? Most anti sweating products contain a lot of questionable ingredients, including aluminium salts. Aluminium salts essentially melt into your pores and plug them up to stop sweat from getting out.
How to Read Labels for Aluminium
Finding deodorant without aluminium is sometimes a little more complicated than just looking for a brightly coloured sticker boasting a product is aluminium-free. It's a good idea to double-check deodorant and skincare product's ingredients for aluminium.
You might see it listed under any of these names in the ingredients list:
- Aluminium salts
- Aluminium compounds
- Aluminium chlorohydrate
- Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY
The Dangers of Aluminium in Deodorant
The word deodorant is used as a catchall term for underarm products that help you keep stinky pits at bay. True deodorants actually don't contain aluminium or stop you from sweating - it's antiperspirants that do. If you've ever applied an antiperspirant, you've likely experienced how the product helps keep you dry and smelling fresh. But how? And at what cost?
When aluminium detects your armpits are getting sweaty, it plugs up your sweat glands. When your sweat glands are blocked, the moisture coming from your pores can't reach the surface. While this seems like a dream come true on a hot day or extra hard session at the gym, more people wonder what kind of long-term health effects antiperspirants may have.
Our bodies get rid of potentially cancerous toxins, chemicals, and a whole bunch of other stuff you don't want floating around your body through sweat glands. When you block your sweat glands, they can't do their job leaving all those unwanted substances lingering in your body.”
Aluminium deodorant risks are real. Two leading health concerns often come up when talking about aluminium deodorant: Alzheimer's disease and breast cancer.
Breast cancer concerns have a lot to do with the proximity of the underarms to the breasts and the fact that antiperspirants block the excretion of toxins. When antiperspirants with aluminium get absorbed by the skin or seep in through pesky razor bumps or cuts, the aluminium gets into the bloodstream and travels to the breast tissue through the lymph nodes. Going along with this is the concern that aluminium plugs sweat ducts. Contrary to popular belief, sweating is a good thing! Our bodies get rid of potentially cancerous toxins, chemicals, and a whole bunch of other stuff you don't want floating around your body through sweat glands. When you block your sweat glands, they can't do their job leaving all those unwanted substances lingering in your body.
Some research has found traces of aluminium in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Although aluminium is a common element in many foods and household products, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to start rubbing in on your underarms. Studies have shown that people who usd antiperspirants with the element had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. That’s not to say your fate is sealed if you use aluminium deodorant, but why take the chance?
The dangers of aluminium in deodorant research are open-ended, but it raises enough questions that swapping antiperspirants for an aluminium-free deodorant makes sense to many people.
Benefits of Using Deodorant without Aluminium
- Avoid a potential breast cancer risk
You don't need aluminium to feel or smell fresh. While the jury is still out on the direct link between breast cancer, why not remove as many potentially dangerous chemicals from your daily body care routine as possible? Swapping to an underarm deodorant without aluminium is a simple way to help ease your mind.
- Good things come to those who sweat
We mentioned before that sweating is a natural way our bodies release nasty toxins. Still, a little good old-fashioned sweating every once in a while can also help regulate your body temperature and keep you healthier. Did you know that plugging your sweat glands could make you feel hotter? Your underarm pores help remove excess heat (especially when you're exercising), release toxins that you may consume, and eliminate environmental pollution. Just like you need to breathe, so do your armpits.
- Better for sensitive skin
Non-aluminium deodorants are more gentle and less abrasive on delicate skin. You may notice deodorants containing aluminium salts can lead to rashes, irritation, and those ever-so-annoying small armpit pimples. Do your skin a favour and forgo harsh ingredients.
- No more yellow stains on white clothes
Have you ever wondered why your white shirts have a yellow hue in the armpit area? It's because when aluminium mixes with sweat, it creates a yellow tint that's nearly impossible to remove. To keep your whites crisp, ditch antiperspirant in favour of deodorant without aluminium.
- Beat armpit odour with natural ingredients
There's no need to use aluminium to stay smelling clean. Fresh-smelling ingredients like essential oils combined with bacteria-fighting ingredients like coconut
Is Aluminium-Free Deodorant Considered Natural?
Speaking of natural ingredients, you might be wondering if deodorant without aluminium salts checks off all the boxes to be considered natural. This all depends on the brand. Just because a deodorant is made without aluminium doesn't mean the rest of the ingredients are naturally derived.
Does Going Aluminium-Free Mean Compromise on Performance?
It's hard to overlook the growing pile of research that implies aluminium-free deodorants are a safer, better way to go. But that doesn't mean switching from antiperspirant to a male or female deodorant without aluminium can't be nerve-racking. You're probably worried about how you'll smell - and rightfully so! The good news is that you don't need aluminium to fight off the source of underarm stench. However, you might want to keep in mind there is a short transition period when making the switch. Learn what happens when you stop using deodorant with aluminium.
The Aluminium "Detox"
Making the shift can bring up concerns like fears of smelling weird, dripping sweat, or feelings of self-consciousness. But we're glad to report it's not all that bad.
If you've ever looked into making the change to aluminium free deodorant after mindlessly using antiperspirants for who knows how long, you might have come across some people talking about a deodorant detox. After years (or decades) of blocking your sweat ducts with aluminium salts, your body will need to recalibrate and get used to perspiring again. Surely the first thing that comes to mind is how long it takes to detox from aluminium deodorant? For most, the detox or transition period only lasts about two weeks. You might notice you sweat a little more often, or maybe you'll be one of the luckier ones and don't experience any detox symptoms at all (we're all different).
Free The Pores!
If you are going through a detox period, hang in there. Sometimes even the best aluminium free deodorants need to adapt to your body. As much as you want to reach for that aerosol spray can, try not to because it will make it harder for your body to adjust fully. Your poor pores have been plugged and clogged for so long that it might take them a little time to get used to being 'free.'
If you're having a hard time during the detox, you can try dabbing some apple cider vinegar using a cotton pad to draw impurities from your skin. If you want to show your armpits even more love, you can try using extra virgin coconut oil as an overnight treatment.
Ready for the best news? Many people who change to aluminium free deodorants tend to sweat less overall after getting used to the new deodorant. Sweat less, be healthier, and still smell good? Sounds good to us!
Best Aluminium Free Deodorant
The beauty industry's pursuit of becoming greener has led to many brands abandoning aluminium salts in favour of more natural odour fighters. It's all about finding an aluminium free deodorant that works for your body. The best aluminium free deodorant for men might not be the same as the best aluminium free deodorant for women, and that's OK. Sometimes it takes trial and error to find one that compliments your lifestyle.
Our Axilla™ Natural Deodorant Paste is a multi-award winning, trusted aluminium free deodorant in Australia. The universal men's deodorant without aluminium and ladies' deodorant without aluminium uses naturally derived ingredients to keep armpits fresh.
Think you're ready to give aluminium-free deodorant a shot? Black Chicken Remedies is here to help make the transition easy, comfortable, and most importantly - great smelling!
It’s important to us that we only share reliable, useful, and correct information with you.
Gorgogietas VA, et al. (2018). Potential interference of aluminum chlorohydrate with estrogen receptor signaling in breast cancer cells. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108589/
Is deodorant harmful for your health? (2019). pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2019/june/deodorant
Linhart C, et al. (2017). Use of underarm cosmetic products in relation to risk of breast cancer: A case-control study. DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2017.06.005
Klotz K, et al. (2017). The health effects of aluminum exposure. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2017.0653