Much like your skincare, deodorant is such a personal thing. You know what works for you and your skin type, and you stick to it. That being said, there’s one particular ingredient in many deodorant ranges that has become a bit of a sticking point: aluminium.
Found in antiperspirant deodorant, and often referred to as aluminium salts, or aluminium chlorohydrate, the function of aluminium in antiperspirants is to block the pores under the armpit to prevent sweat from escaping. The salts dissolve and act as a ‘pores plug’. You’re not alone if you think this sounds a little off-putting, and while the use of aluminium antiperspirants may not necessarily be harmful to you persay, it is pretty harmful to the environment. Here’s why:
Aluminium antiperspirants cause health conditions: fact or fiction?
While there have been studies undertaken to find a link between the use of aluminium antiperspirants and diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimers, there has been no solid evidence to suggest the use of the ingredient has any substantial effect on whether a person develops these illnesses or not. Recent research carried out by the National Centre for Biology in the US found a link between frequent use of antiperspirants and the amount of aluminium in the breast tissue, but it was also concluded that there is no more aluminium in breast cancer tissue than normal breast tissue. That being said, aluminium salts have been listed by Breast Cancer UK as an ingredient to be wary of, so switching to natural deodorants eliminates any risk completely.
Furthermore, while most toxins are flushed out through the kidneys and liver - by blocking the pores under the armpits, they are unable to also escape through the sweat. In addition to this, sweating helps cool the body down, blocking the pores means the body can’t regulate its temperature properly.
Aluminium antiperspirants and their effect on the environment
There are some health concerns attached to the use of aluminium antiperspirants, but according to science, none that should stop you from using them unless suggested by a professional. That being said, the research has highlighted the amount of junk our bodies are subjected to, and it’s probably no coincidence the demand for deodorants with a more natural ingredient list is on the rise.
In addition to that, there is a growing demand for green consumerism, in which case, purchasing products containing aluminium salts is not the way to go. Aluminium mining is a very destructive and polluting practice, with open and underground mines requiring the demolition of habitats and contributing massively to carbon emissions and erosion. The increasing recognition of the damage aluminium antiperspirants can have on the environment, and surge in consumers searching for organic beauty products, has paved the way for the natural deodorant to come into the spotlight.
Which are the best aluminium free deodorants?
There may be several options for aluminium-free deodorants on the market now, but Cacao Pow will always be the first natural deodorant bar in a jar. With her own needs for a sensitive-skin-friendly natural deodorant unable to be met 10 years ago, founder Tonya developed Cacao Pow as an alternative to deodorants with ingredients causing her eczema to flare up. Not only is it an aluminium-free option, it’s also palm oil-free, and has ditched essential oils and fragrance for those with sensitive skin - a perfect, all-round natural deodorant option. Being in stick form, the deodorant is incredibly easy to apply and completely travel-friendly - especially when paired with its handy jar packaging, which is also 100% recyclable. For more on how to use Cacao Pow, be sure to check out our ‘How to Apply Natural Deodorant' blog post, which is full of helpful tips.
It’s important to make the distinction between antiperspirant and deodorant here; antiperspirant prevents the sweat, while deodorant still allows the sweat to escape, but reduces the odour. As far as we’re aware, there’s no such thing as an aluminium-free antiperspirant on the market at the moment, but with products like the Cacao Pow Deo Bar, the switch to aluminium-free deodorant is super simple and highly effective.