Aluminum in deodorant: villain or not?

Are you one of those curious people who enjoys reading labels and checking the ingredients of what you use or eat? If that sounds like you, then you have probably already realized—and caught by surprise—about the fact that the vast majority of deodorants have aluminum in their formula, right? Now tell us: have you ever stopped to ask yourself what  is the reason for that? Is the aluminum in deodorant really necessary and is it good for your health? 

By now, you already probably suspect that we are here to help unravel these mysteries, right? So let's take a look at some more content about personal care, health and sustainability! 




A deodorant, as the name says, has the purpose of fighting or eliminating odors. And when we talk about deodorant, we soon think of the traditional body deodorant that we can find in supermarkets and drugstores, right? But it's nice to remember that there are also other deodorants, such as deodorants for your home, car and even pets.

In either case, for a deodorant to work, it needs ingredients that somehow fight odor-causing agents and manage to mitigate the action of these elements. 

In the specific case of our body, what happens is that the underarm area is more prone to the emergence of undesirable bacteria and fungi, and they are responsible for the unpleasant odor. That's why most deodorants have bactericidal agents in their formulas: fighting the cause of odor, the smell goes away, right?

But there's a catch: in addition to odor-causing bacteria, the underarm is also an area with a strong tendency to sweat. That is why many deodorants include aluminum in their formula: the purpose of this ingredient is to reduce sweating, reducing the production of sweat in your underarms.


Let’s pause a minute for something important: it's nice to clarify that deodorant is one thing and antiperspirant is another—although we end up calling everything by the same name. As we said before, the purpose of deodorant is to eliminate odors, period. It has no obligation in reducing perspiration, okay?

But antiperspirants do: it’s focused on reducing or controlling the production of sweat. Today, most products have a dual function, acting as deodorants and antiperspirants at the same time. To control perspiration, most antiperspirants use aluminum, which plays that role very well. And to fight bacteria that cause unpleasant odors, deodorants bet on substances with a bactericidal effect, such as triclosan, for instance. Most antiperspirants also have a deodorant action, but not all deodorants act as antiperspirants.


We have already seen that the purpose of aluminum in deodorant is to control perspiration and not to fight odors. It can do that because the so-called aluminum salts, added to the formula of these cosmetics, go through a reaction when in contact with skin and turn into a type of gel. With that, an insulating layer is created and it regulates how sweat glands work so that they produce less sweat.

Okay then, but, after all, why reduce underarm sweat? Well, basically because it is believed that sweat can increase the unpleasant odor caused by bacteria. That is, the odor would result from these two factors acting together. But in practice, the actual triggers of unpleasant odors are unwanted fungi and bacteria. Sweat per se is nothing more than water mixed with mineral salts, fat and proteins, that is: totally odorless. 

So it's worth asking yourself: is it a good thing to stop your body from sweating? You have to remember that swearing plays an important role in the thermal regulation of your body system, especially on the hottest days of summer. In short: in principle, there's nothing wrong with sweating, okay?  Plus, it’s necessary for full body functioning. :)

Read more: Did you know that sweating is essential for your armpits?!?


Well dear #BOBer, that’s not a simple question. There are still many studies and research being conducted to try to understand the action of aluminum on the human body and find out if it causes any harm to people.

While there is still nothing conclusive about that, what is known is that accumulated levels of aluminum were discovered in the breasts of women who used cosmetics with aluminum in their formulas, for instance. In other words: our body absorbs the aluminum that we apply to our skin. And, of course, it goes without saying that aluminum is not a natural component of our body, right? 

So, in that sense, the best we can do is  have an attitude of attention and caution: if nobody knows for sure if aluminum in deodorant can or cannot be harmful, it is up to each one of us to research, try to learn more and judge for ourselves if we want to take that risk or prefer to avoid using this substance that could cause some harm to our health.

So the most important thing about this story is to have a choice, right? So, each person can choose whether to use deodorant with aluminum or deodorant without aluminum. And the good news is, yes, there are great aluminum-free deodorants out there!


Read more: All about Clean Beauty: the quest for cleaner beauty


There are a number of deodorant options out there and choosing the best option for you can be a challenge, right? Well, the first decision that you can make is whether you are looking for a deodorant or an antiperspirant. That will help you understand whether aluminum is an essential element in the formula or not—but we’ll say it again: sweating is normal, natural and necessary for your body, okay?

If you rather ditch the aluminum and stick with deodorants, there are also a number of cool options for you to consider. Did you know that some people even make their own deodorant at home? But you don't have to make your own deodorant at home to stay away from aluminum. In addition to being labor intensive, making your own homemade deodorant can involve risks as well, as any errors in the amounts and proportions of the ingredients can lead to allergic skin reactions and other problems.

There are aluminum-free deodorants, which use natural ingredients that are harmless to your body, which are a great option for people who want to take care of themselves without causing any harm to their health or the planet. That’s what our solid deodorants are all about!


There are four versions for you to choose from: all are aluminum-free and do not contain any toxic ingredients. In other words: healthy skin and a planet with less toxic waste! In addition, they come with natural ingredients, which have an odor-fighting action without harming the natural microbiota of your armpit and without interrupting the skin's natural sweating process, which is very important. Plus they take care of tissue with a lot of TLC, regulating hydration and oiliness for healthy and beautiful skin.

Bars Over Bottles natural solid  deodorants on a white background


This is the ideal deodorant for people who sweat a lot, as it has high protection against unpleasant odor and excessive sweat. It keeps the underarm pH alkaline, preventing the proliferation of undesirable bacteria that cause unpleasant odor, without hindering natural sweating.. Oh, and this deodorant is approved for all skin types, okay? And it can be used at night.

Hand holding a Bars Over Bottles Intensive Natural Solid Deodorant in orange stick container


Do you want dry and impurities-free armpits?  This is the deodorant for you! It detoxifies your skin and controls excessive oils. And obviously, it also keeps underarm pH alkaline, preventing the proliferation of undesirable bacteria that cause unpleasant odor, without hindering natural sweating. Oh, and it can also be used at night, okay? 

Hand holding a Bars Over Bottles Purifying Natural Solid Deodorant in green stick container


We bet you didn't know that your armpits need nutrition and hydration too!  This deodorant does that for them. Out of the four formulas, this one is the only one that has Sodium Bicarbonate that maintains underarm pH alkaline, preventing the proliferation of undesirable bacteria that cause unpleasant odor, without hindering natural sweating. This deodorant can also be used at night.

Hand holding a Bars Over Bottles Refreshing Natural Solid Deodorant in blue stick container


Make a mental note of everything this deodorant can do for your sensitive skin: reduces excess oils, replenishes essential minerals for skin health, protects you and the planet, maintains underarm pH alkaline, preventing the proliferation of undesirable bacteria that cause unpleasant odor, without hindering natural sweating. Oh, this one can also be used at night. 

Hand holding a Bars Over Bottles Sensitive Natural Solid Deodorant in violet stick container


My solid natural deodorants are the best option for people looking for an increasingly balanced, healthy and sustainable personal care routine. Aluminum–free formula and investing in natural ingredients, they are also vegan, 100% plastic-free and animal cruelty-free. #CrueltyFree 

Doubts, fears or anxieties about armpit health or care? Just leave your comment below so we can talk about it, okay?

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