How dangerous is aluminium in deodorant?

What is an antiperspirant?

Antiperspirants are deodorants that eliminate not only sweat odour but also the unpleasant wet underarm feeling. Salts made of aluminium are a crucial component. They function by assembling proteins into a plug in the sweat glands’ ducts. As a result, the sweat that forms cannot reach the skin’s surface, keeping the armpits dry. Contrarily, deodorants work to prevent offensive odours rather than reduce sweat production. For instance, fragrances and antibacterial substances mask sweat odour.

aluminium in deodorant
Photo by Godisable Jacob on

Recommended limit for aluminium

The European Food Safety Authority has set a value for the tolerable intake per week of aluminium. It is 1 milligramme per kilogramme of body weight. Excessive aluminium intake could promote breast cancer or Alzheimer’s, however, there is no reliable data basis for this.

Consumers absorb aluminium through food and drinking water, but also from other products such as food packaging, lipsticks, or antiperspirants containing aluminium. Aluminum salts can be found on the content list of antiperspirants, for example under the term “aluminium chlorohydrate”.

No complete renunciation necessary

Many manufacturers offer such deodorants without aluminum salts. In contrast to antiperspirants, they only prevent the smell of sweat.

Where else is aluminium found?

Aluminum is the third most common element in the earth’s crust and the most common metal. It enters drinking water and plants via the soil. Food can also contain additives containing aluminium.

Materials that come in contact with food and have aluminium in them, like aluminium foil used for packaging, can also give off the metal and let it get into the food.

Some cosmetics are made with aluminium compounds on purpose. For example, some lipsticks use aluminium compounds as a part of the colour pigment or as abrasive particles in toothpastes. Therefore, small amounts of aluminium are found in almost all foods and some cosmetic products.

Because of this, everyone gets some of the light metal every day. The kidneys are where a healthy person gets rid of most of the aluminium in their bodies. People with kidney disease don’t do so well with this. Still, no one knows what will happen to the amount that builds up in the body over the years.

Conclusion: Avoid unnecessary aluminium.

Do not use aluminium foil, aluminium grill trays, or uncoated aluminium dishes with acidic or salty foods.



3rd Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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