Why You Should Use Aluminum-Free Deodorant

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on June 8, 2015


There are times in life when we need added protection against body odor. Whether at the gym or in an important meeting, it’s very likely that, without some type of deodorant, we’ll sweat and let out a little odor. Not a pleasant topic, but it can’t be ignored. Choosing the right deodorant is just as important as wearing it regularly, not just because you need to find one that will provide lasting protection, but will be safe in the process.

Difference Between Antiperspirant and Deodorant

While most people use the terms antiperspirant and deodorant interchangeably, the two are not the same. Antiperspirants work by preventing perspiration from occurring. Deodorants allow perspiration but block odor. Deodorants accomplish this by killing the bacteria that cause odor. From a purely natural standpoint, it makes more sense for us to use deodorants, as it is a more natural process.

Of course none of us wants to emit an unpleasant, offensive odor, and some of us don’t particularly enjoy sweating. The fact is many personal care products that deal with these concerns contain aluminum as an active ingredient. Aluminum is also a known neurotoxin. Aluminum-free deodorants are perhaps the best alternative, and these products are growing considerably in both availability and number.

The Dangers of Using Products Containing Aluminum

Deodorants contain aluminum and synthetic fragrances, undesirable components many people are sensitive to. [1] If you find that your underarms are irritated, it may be an allergic reaction to the aluminum which is toxic to the body.

Aluminum has been associated with a variety of health issues, [2] [3] [4] including:

What to Look for in an Aluminum-Free Deodorant

Aluminum-free deodorants should consist of essential oils and all natural ingredients. Aluminum free alone may not be enough as some aluminum-free deodorants are still high risk, according to the Environmental Working Group, and can contain chemicals like triclosan and propylene glycol. Triclosan is perhaps a more fierce endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it. This article contains a recipe for making your own deodorant using natural ingredients like baking soda and coconut oil.

The Take Home

With new evidence and reports of adverse reactions staring us in the face, it is difficult to ignore the potential danger of so many health and beauty items on the market. What it boils down to, however, is that each of us has to take the initiative and actively seek out the products that are healthier for us.

Do you use organic or natural personal care products? Tell us about them in the comments!


  1. Matthew J. Zirwas, MD and Jessica Moennich, MD. Antiperspirant and Deodorant Allergy. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2008 Sep; 1(3): 38-43.
  2. Darbre PD. Aluminum, antiperspirants and breast cancer. J Inorg Biochem. 2005 Sep;99(9);1912-9.
  3. Tomljenovic L. Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link? J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2011;23(4):567-98. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101494.
  4. Malluche HH. Aluminum and bone disease in chronic renal failure. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2002;17 Suppl 2:21-4.

  • Maxwell

    I use plain old Generic Milk of magnesia from WalMart it works better
    than any antiperspirant like Speed Stick or Mitch-em. It drys fast and i
    never smell….

  • Sheepy MicStaelens

    I have used baking soda and coconut oil for years and it still works best for me unlike many of the natural deodorants I have tried.

  • Sheepy MicStaelens

    That’s interesting, never thought of that. Pretty cool.

  • VioletteRDuchenne

    I do not see any proof that aluminum in deodorant is dangerous in the references linked. These only seem to be alarmist conjunctures and not based on clinical evidences that allows to infer solid causality links. And the last reference is on patient already suffering from chronic renal failure, which I do not suffer from like most people, and it makes no link to deodorant or skin absorption. I really wish this was a more serious and informative article. Bad science on the internet is a plague.

  • DoubtingThomas

    Seems you’re correct about finding definitive causality in terms of aluminum and disease; the mere correlation of this ingredient in personal care products to disease risk isn’t enough to satisfy a scientific-based rationale. I guess what it gets to for me is that there are many things we may use or intake every day that is associated with disease risk, like refined carbohydrates and pollution. While we have no clear-cut studies showing that these things cause disease, studies show strong correlations between such factors and diabetes, immune suppression, mental health, etc. Taking appropriate care with the data we have on aluminum is probably the best way to go before we start using it pervasively. Knowing that aluminum is considered an endocrine disruptor, it makes it doubly important to take precaution, just to be on the safe side. Check these out:


  • Mariah

    I’ve tried every possible remedy to stop sweating, to no avail. Finally decided to give up, especially since sweating is a natural process. No more anti-perspirants for me. Using an all-natural deodorant called Lavilin instead.

  • Paige

    The National Cancer Institute, the NIH, and the FDA have found no evidence that aluminum in deodorants and antiperspirants causes cancer. This is straight out of reference #1 “but recently the FDA and the National Cancer Institute have stated that antiperspirants and deodorants are not linked to cancer.”

  • Sue Anne Ward

    That is NOT what they said…they said it was NOT the #1 cause of cancer. Aluminum is not safe to most people.

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