woman using aluminium in deodorant

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

Our guide on aluminium in deodorant and aluminium chloride antiperspirants.

All you need to know about aluminium in deodorant and antiperspirant

Whether we roll, spray or smooth it on under our arms, deodorant helps us keep fresh and dry no matter what life - and the weather - throws at you. Despite it playing a key role in our body care routine, it’s probably fair to say most of us pay scant attention to what we put on our underarms. In fact, while we tend to refer to everything we apply to our armpits as deodorant, deodorant and antiperspirants are actually different. The chief difference between deodorant and antiperspirants lies in the active ingredient aluminium. So what do we know about aluminium in deodorant and antiperspirants? 

Read on to get the lowdown on aluminium in deodorant. 

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

What’s the deal with aluminium in deodorant?

Well, firstly, there actually isn’t usually any aluminium in deodorant. Aluminium is found in most antiperspirants and antiperspirant deodorants.

While deodorants and antiperspirants both help manage sweat they work differently. Here’s how:

  • Deodorants usually do not contain aluminium, and they don’t stop you from sweating
  • Deodorants help curb body odour and make sweat smell better by using fragrance or antibacterial compounds to reduce BO while antiperspirants make work to inhibit how much you sweat. 
  • Antiperspirants usually contain aluminium, as do many deodorant-antiperspirants (which do the job of both an antiperspirant i.e. limiting how much you sweat plus the effects of a deodorant - making you smell fresh).

woman using aluminium in deodorant

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

How does aluminium in antiperspirants work?

woman enjoying using aluminium in deodorant

Antiperspirants work by blocking the sweat ducts which limits how much you sweat.


Aluminium salts, such as aluminium chloride, aluminium zirconium, and aluminium chlorohydrate are the most common ingredients in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary “plug” within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. These salts melt into your pores, creating a barrier and limiting the amount of sweat that comes out of them.


The aluminium in antiperspirants not only reduces wetness by blocking your underarm sweat ducts, they also help to reduce body odour by inhibiting the bacteria that feed on your sweat that produce the smell we know as BO.

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

How do I know if there is aluminium in deodorant antiperspirant?

If you want to know whether there is aluminium in deodorant or antiperspirant, check the ingredient list. The active ingredient at the top to look out for are:

  • aluminium chlorohydrate or 
  • aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly

young woman using alum deodorant

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

What are the concerns over aluminium in deodorant?

There have been some health concerns raised in recent years surrounding aluminium in deodorant and antiperspirants. You are actually more likely to get aluminium from other places - aluminium is the third most abundant element on the planet and we ingest it in large proportions every day in water and food everyday.


The concerns over aluminium are based on the idea that aluminium in deodorant enters the body through sweat glands. But actually, the skin, our natural defence barrier, stops it from seeping into our bloodstream.

woman using aluminium chloride deodorant

Does alum in deodorant stop my body sweating out toxins?

Contrary to detox mythology, we don’t release many toxins through sweat. Sweating is our body’s way of cooling down and regulating our body temperature, not filtering out toxins. That’s the job of the liver and kidneys, and you get rid of the toxins filtered through your body’s major detoxing organs when you release urine. 

Can aluminium in deodorant sting?

If you apply deodorant after shaving your armpits or if you have a rash or any nicks in that area, then applying anything to your skin may irritate it. 

If your skin is particularly sensitive, opt for a deodorant designed to protect. The NIVEA Beauty Elixir Sensitive Anti-Perspirant Spray 200ml not only moisturises and soothes, the deomilk helps to recover your skin from irritations.

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

Are there aluminium-free deodorants?

Most deodorants are aluminium free, but you can also find those that contain no alum and are marked as such to be sure, such as the NIVEA Deodorant Aluminium-Free Spray Fresh Flower – 0% Aluminium (ACH)
woman using alum deodorant

What is alum deodorant and is alum safe?

Alum has been used for many years, as a deodorant, astringent and basic antiperspirant. Alum is found in crystal deodorants, a type of alternative deodorant in the form of potassium alum.


Crystal deodorant is usually available as a stone, roll-on, or spray. Often built as the alternative to conventional deodorant, alum still contains aluminium, often hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate, (otherwise known as potassium alum). There is no scientific evidence that suggests alum is not safe. 

Aluminium In Deodorant & Antiperspirant

What is aluminium chloride deodorant and aluminium chloride antiperspirant?

Aluminium chloride hexahydrate is supercharged aluminium, used to treat excessive sweating, also called hyperhidrosis. Aluminium chloride, an aluminium salt, can form a stronger, deeper barrier against sweat compared to other aluminium compounds. It is found in ‘everyday’ deodorants, to give you great but gentle all-day protection. Aluminium chloride is also found in treatments that are applied at night to clean, dry skin and left overnight to allow the active ingredients to work while your body is sweating less. 

If you suffer from excess sweating (hyperhidrosis, to give it its medical name), seek out products containing aluminium chloride. If you’re looking for a deodorant antiperspirant that is tough on sweat, NIVEA Black & White® Max Protection offers strong sweat protection for 48 hour. 
woman using aluminium chloride antiperspirants