Some of the most popular natural deodorants are the “crystal” deodorant stones and sprays. But most people don’t know that these crystal deodorant products contain aluminum.
The crystal deodorant stones are made from alum. The most widely used form of alum used in the personal care industry is potassium alum. The full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate.
Even though aluminum is widely distributed in the earth’s crust, it is NOT needed in ANY amounts in your body. All evidence to date points to aluminum as a poison that serves no beneficial role in your body and should be avoided.
Aluminum is widely recognized as a neurotoxin, which has been found in increased concentrations in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, if you use antiperspirants or some deodorants, you are most likely exposing yourself to aluminum. Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants.
How Antiperspirant Deodorants Work?
Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms with the active ingredient being aluminum.
Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.
In some cases, it is clear that they may be wreaking havoc directly on your brain.
Deodorants And Antiperspirants Linked To Cancer
Alzheimer’s disease is not the only reason to ditch your aluminum-containing antiperspirant and deodorant, as this metal has also been linked to cancer.
A 2006 study found that aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase of breast cancer risk.
In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. Concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast.
Aluminum is not normally found in the human body, so this study was a pretty clear sign that the metal was being absorbed from antiperspirant sprays and roll-ons.
It’s worth mentioning that deodorants are not the same thing as antiperspirants. Deodorants may actually be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, but do not prevent sweating.
However, many deodorants also contain aluminum, along with chemicals called parabens,which have also been linked to breast cancer. So, you’re clearly better off avoiding both, antiperspirants and deodorants.
Are Crystal Alum Antiperspirants Safe?
“Crystal” deodorant stones are a popular natural deodorant alternative, often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid the aluminum and other chemicals common in most antiperspirants and deodorants.
However, if you’re looking to avoid aluminum, crystal deodorants may not be your best choice.
While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide, or aluminum zirconium.
These types of aluminum are widely used in antiperspirants and deodorants. The aluminum is taken into sweat ducts in the top layer of your skin where they act as a plug, stopping the flow of sweat to your skin’s surface.
There is evidence, however, that this aluminum is absorbed into your body where it may cause serious damage.
The aluminum in crystal deodorant stones is a different type of compound known as an alum, the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.
Potassium alum or ammonium alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers.
But while this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it is not completely aluminum-free.
Please note that this recommendation is for antiperspirants only, not deodorants. Many confuse those two. Nearly all antiperspirants use aluminum or alum-based salts to achieve their sweat reduction effect. It is an absolute no brainer for you and your family to avoid all conventional aluminum-based antiperspirants. The evidence is very clear that these are absorbed and will contribute to aluminum in your body.
Regarding purportedly safe “alum” based antiperspirants found in most health food stores, the companies that produce these claim that the mineral salts are too large to be absorbed and thus provide no danger. However, it has been unable to uncover any solid evidence that supports this claim so it would seem prudent to avoid using them.
While these crystals are probably better than using a conventional antiperspirant, they are clearly not aluminum-free.
Additionally, there are many non-aluminum or alum-based alternatives in your local health food store that would likely serve your needs.
Remember you will need to check the label not only for “aluminum” but also for potassium alum or potash alum, as the full chemical name of potassium alum is potassium aluminum sulfate.