Aluminium vs Natural Deodorants: Is Aluminium Bad?
First thing’s first, let’s get one thing out of the way: aluminium is present in antiperspirants (the stuff that keeps you from sweating), not deodorants (the stuff that keeps you from smelling). But for the sake of this article, we’ll be using “deodorant” as a catchall. After all, most deodorants come with antiperspirant properties anyway. All the deodorants we’ll recommend on this list are ones that are antiperspirants too.
Now, on to the big question: Is aluminium in deodorant harmful?
Aluminium is present in deodorant in the form of aluminium salts or aluminium sulphate – a compound that is capable of blocking sweat ducts, thus minimising underarm wetness and reducing body odour by acting as a bactericide. There has been a longstanding belief that the aluminium in deodorants increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Some believed that because aluminium deodorant is applied to the same area where most breast cancers are discovered, then there must be a link.
But according to LiveScience, “All the major research into aluminium antiperspirants since the early 2000s has suggested that [antiperspirants] are not a problem”. So, overall, no research points to any hard evidence that aluminium sulphate is bad for your health. It’s even used in vaccines and water purification; so we can assume it’s safe enough for the skin!
Why Go Aluminium-Free?
So if aluminium hasn’t been proven to be harmful to humans, why go aluminium-free at all? Well, some people are allergic to aluminium sulphate and develop rashes and breakouts when they use deodorants with the compound. These folks should opt for natural, hypoallergenic options instead.
Other people shift to aluminium-free deodorant because they want to incorporate more natural, plant-based products into their beauty regimen, believing that organic and chemical-free products are better for the skin. While studies conflict on whether this is true, there isn’t much harm in going natural.
Lastly, most antiperspirants are packaged in plastic casings. For those concerned about their environmental impacts, this can be a deal-breaker.
Is Aluminium-Free As Effective?
One concern about aluminium-free deodorant is their efficacy in eliminating sweat and odour. You or your friends may have already tried some aluminium-free deodorants at Coles or Woolworths and ended up unsatisfied with less than fragrant pits.
The truth is that no natural ingredient can beat aluminium. However, the Sydney Morning Herald states that certain natural ingredients like powder or starch can control odour and essential oils like tea tree oil have antibacterial properties. All you have to do is find the deodorant with the right blend of ingredients!
The 5 Best Aluminium-Free Deodorants
Overview: With Australian bentonite clay and coconut extract, this deodorant is built to absorb moisture not just in the underarms, but in the groin, feet, and bum too. It’s scented with a blend of bergamot, sweet orange, and cedarwood, so it’s a good option for men too! Another plus? It comes in a zero-waste packaging made with recycled paper!
4. No Pong All-Natural Anti-Odourant
Overview: With natural ingredients like coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate, beeswax, and a blend of essential oils, No Pong is a gentle and safe deodorant that comes in a gender-neutral scent. It also comes in a small tin container, meaning you can bring it around in your backpack or your purse with enough room for all your other essentials!
They also have a bicarb-free option for those who are sensitive to it!
Overview: With magnesium salt and German chamomile extract, Bondi Wash is a natural, antibacterial deodorant that’s gentle enough for kids and those with sensitive skin. As the deodorant comes in Lemon Tea Tree and Mandarin scent, it works for men and women!
Overview: Don’t worry, no chickens were harmed in the making of this deodorant. This natural, cruelty-free deodorant paste is made with soothing organic shea butter, odour-neutralising sodium bicarbonate, moisture-absorbing arrowroot extract, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory clove essential oils, and a spate of other good ingredients that make it strong and long-lasting.
Do you know what else makes Black Chicken one of today’s best skincare and beauty brands? They’ve got a recycling program where consumers can send in empty bottles in exchange for a gift card!
Overview: This Australian-made, award-winning deodorant is unique in that it’s got probiotics and magnesium and is free from parabens, alcohol, aluminium, and other so-called “nasties”. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and won’t leave stains on clothing.
Oh, and did we mention it’s rose and geranium-scented? Kind.ly’s website describes it as an “intense floral spicy rose with sweet lemon scent”. It’s highly rated as one of the best-smelling natural deodorants on the market today. Perfect for women who want to smell sweet all day!