Aluminum in Antiperspirant: What You Should Know

Aluminum in Antiperspirant: What You Should Know

mary futher founder of kaia naturalsWelcome to DECODED, a series to help you make sense of what’s actually in your beauty products.

As a veteran product developer from the beauty industry, I understand the harmful ingredients that are formulated in many products, and while they may work, there are effective natural alternatives. This week we are decoding a controversial ingredient used in antiperspirant



Aluminum is a metal that most of us come in contact with on a daily basis. It is a naturally occurring element from the earth and is used in the manufacturing of cars, paint, propellant, fuel additives, over the counter medications (like antacids), soda cans and aluminum foil. YES, it is also the same one used it in antiperspirants — a consumer product that is applied 360 days a year.



  • Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (found in solid antiperspirant formulation)
  • Aluminum Chlorohydrates (found in roll-on and aerosol antiperspirant formulations)
  • Aluminum Chloride (found in roll-on and aerosol antiperspirant formulations)



Aluminum used in antiperspirants block your sweat glands to prevent you from sweating. While this may sound like a good thing, sweating is the body’s natural way to expel toxins on a daily basis. Thankfully, there are aluminum-free alternatives that you can turn to.



When applied to the underarms, aluminum migrates into your sweat glands, causing an obstruction in the sweat gland so sweat can’t reach the surface of your skin. This is what keeps your underarms dry. Unfortunately, it can also migrate into your bloodstream, as confirmed by blood tests.



You wouldn’t knowingly ingest a spoonful of toxic cosmetic ingredients, yet so many people are fine with applying them to their skin every single day. In some ways, smearing toxins under your arms in the form of deodorant or antiperspirant may be worse than if you were to eat it.

“When you eat something, it’s broken down by your liver and digestive system,” says Heather Patisaul, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University. “But when you put something on your skin, there are times when it can enter your bloodstream without being metabolized.

Patisaul studies endocrine disruptors — both suspected, as well as known chemicals — that may disrupt your body’s reproductive and developmental hormones. She says rubbing something on your skin doesn’t mean all—or even any—of it will make its way into your bloodstream; it depends on the chemical. Blood tests have the ability to show that many of the substances commonly included in deodorant products can, in fact, worm their way past the epidermis and into the body.



The topic of aluminum in cosmetic products is a controversial one. While there is no hard evidence that aluminum causes breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, there are studies that have shown possible links. In my opinion, why run the risk? It is always better to practice PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE.


Keep in mind, the underarm area houses fatty tissue that can be susceptible to storing substances — especially if you shave and apply antiperspirant chemicals on the broken skin.  The scientific community still does not support the possibility that antiperspirants are a possible danger to your health (that is why they are still on the shelves). It is up to you as a consumer to make the decision if this is a risk to your health.

-Mary, founder of kaia naturals




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3 Reasons Why Your Natural Deodorant Is NOT Working

3 Reasons Why Your Natural Deodorant Is NOT Working

HINT: It’s not the deodorant.

When switching to natural deodorant, some people are concerned that it just won’t work for them. Most often consumers blame the ingredients in the natural deodorant when it does not work. What they don’t realize is that it may not be the ingredients at all.


Here are 3 things you may be why your natural deodorant is not working, but can easily fix:


Wearing Synthetic Fabric

When natural deodorant is not working, one thing most people don’t think about is the clothing they are wearing! This is especially true of when you are going through the initial transition to natural deodorant.

TIP: Try wearing natural fabrics when making the switch.

Natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, bamboo, and silks allow your body to breathe. This is vital when the body experience excess moisture levels. Synthetic fabrics, such as rayon and polyester, do not allow the body to breathe. The mix of trapped moisture aka sweat combined with bacteria is what will produce body odor. Click here to read why your body smells.

You may also want to be cautious in wearing tighter-fitting synthetic fabrics. Doing this is just asking for trouble as trapped sweat is inevitable.


Your Diet

Sometimes it may be that you have successfully found a natural deodorant that works for you. However, there can be odd days or weeks when you feel it has stopped working. Rather than blaming the ingredients in the product, first analyze what you are eating. Different types of foods can affect the body in different ways.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you drank just a little too much alcohol, then find that you smell of booze the next day? This is because once the alcohol breaks down in the body, it is shuttled out through your pores – then causing you to stink.

Eating processed, sugary foods can also cause body odor. Processed food lack chlorophyll, the compound that gives green vegetables their color. Chlorophyll is known for cleaning and deodorizing the blood, so foods that lack this compound will be more likely to cause the body to smell.


Bacteria Under Your Arms

It’s not actually your sweat that smells, but the mix of sweat and bacteria under your arms that produce body odor. Don’t be alarmed as there is an easy way to help mitigate this problem! Using natural antibacterial products under your arms before applying natural deodorant will provide a squeaky clean surface for your deodorant to start fresh and do what it’s intended for – TO DEODORIZE!

The underarm bar is a a natural antibacterial deodorant bar soap created to help control underarm bacteria. Using this soap in the shower daily before applying natural deodorant provides the extra strength protection against odor. A DIY alternative is to try applying a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water to the underarms in replacement.

Before turning against the ingredients in your natural deodorant, try taking a look at parts of your lifestyle. It is a trial and error method, but you will be surprised how much money and time you may be saving before rejecting a product.

The #1 trick to STOP hyperpigmentation

The #1 trick to STOP hyperpigmentation

Picture this: It’s an above-average Saturday night out with your girl gang, and there are so many insta-worthy opportunities. You go to take a selfie, and proceed to angle the phone overhead for the perfect shot and BAM – all you see staring back at you on your phone screen is a big blotch of hyperpigmentation under your arm. Even the best Instagram filter won’t be able to fix this! Just like that, your perfect selfie is ruined.

The Cause

Honestly though – what on earth is causing that selfie-ruining hyperpigmentation? The answer is shaving!


Shaving causes major irritation to the sensitive skin under your arms. The repetitive irritation and friction caused by razor blades promotes the skin to become thicker and more resistant to trauma. To make matters worse, most of us are applying deodorant right after shaving, which only promotes more irritation. The skin is getting thicker and thicker to protect itself, but also changing color from all of the trauma.

How to Fix Hyperpigmentation

Shaving before bed instead of in the morning can prevent irritation. You can also apply aloe vera gel, Vitamin E oil or Argan oil to help combat irritation. By the time you go to apply your deodorant the next morning, your underarms will have calmed down. Now you can go back to taking that perfect selfie.

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