Antiperspirants can be an important and powerful tool in the fight against sweaty pits. Yet they’ve gotten a pretty bad reputation in recent years, especially in certain natural health circles. The complaints tend to focus on one ingredient: aluminum. The active ingredient in most traditional antiperspirants, aluminum works by clogging the sweat glands and reducing the amount of sweat your body excretes. Sounds nice, right?
Except, according to its detractors, aluminum can be bad for your health, especially when you’re applying it in your armpit, right near your lymph nodes. They worry that this can cause issues as serious as hormone imbalance, immune issues, and even breast cancer. If this is true, it’s definitely not worth it just to reduce sweat. Yet if you believe that aluminum-based antiperspirant is unhealthy but still don’t want to be sweaty all day, what can you do?
Enter the aluminum-free antiperspirant. This product is made to do all of the perspiration-reducing dirty work of traditional antiperspirants without exposing you to the same chemicals. Sounds great, but you’re probably wondering if it actually works. Well, this article is a deep dive into that exact question.
What Is an Antiperspirant without Aluminum?
First, let’s clear something up. There’s actually no such thing as an aluminum-free antiperspirant. This is because the FDA currently identifies aluminum as the only ingredient able to stop perspiration by blocking your sweat glands. So products that aim to reduce sweat but don’t contain aluminum can’t actually be categorized as antiperspirants. Instead, you might call them deodorants.
Now, this can be a bit confusing because the term “deodorant” usually refers to products meant to reduce body odor, not perspiration. Regardless, it’s all a matter of nomenclature.
The bottom line? No, there are no aluminum-free antiperspirants. But yes, there are products available that reduce sweat without aluminum.
One of the main aluminum alternatives used for this purpose is peptides, which are amino acids that block sweat-releasing pores and minimize the stimulations of the muscle that triggers the release of sweat. Other ingredients used in aluminum-free sweat-reducing deodorants include natural astringents like aloe vera that contract the tissues and moisture-absorbing powders like arrowroot.
Is Aluminum the Only Problem With Antiperspirants?
You might be thinking that all of this hubbub seems like a lot of drama about one little ingredient. Especially because there is no research to support the idea that aluminum is harmful to the health. But aluminum isn’t the only thing that people are concerned about.
Another common ingredient found in antiperspirants is parabens, a preservative widely used in personal care products. Like aluminum, there are people who are concerned that parabens might do all sorts of things such as disrupt your hormones, harm your fertility, increase your risk of cancer, and irritate your skin while they’re at it.
Again, it’s important to note that there is no scientific evidence that this is true. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t true, only that there are currently no studies that prove it. If you still want to be careful about ingredients like aluminum and parabens, it is a personal choice.
Why Bother with an Antiperspirant?
Let’s say you are concerned that traditional antiperspirant is made with potentially harmful ingredients that you don’t want to put on your body. Fair enough. Maybe you’ll just stop using antiperspirants altogether.
And that might be an option for some people, but not necessarily everybody. Because some of us have a tendency to get pretty dang sweaty. Maybe it’s because we live in a hot and humid climate where temperatures are high for most of the year. Or maybe it’s because we’re highly active and participate in a lot of sports. Maybe it’s because we tend to get sweaty when we’re nervous. Or maybe we even suffer from conditions like hyperhidrosis which make us sweat excessively.
Whatever the cause, being a sweaty person can be a serious problem. Not only does it hurt your self-esteem and self-confidence, but it can also make you feel physically uncomfortable as you soak through your clothes. Not only that, but you might end up having to replace clothing more often as it gets sweaty and stained. When that’s what you’re up against, using antiperspirant becomes a must.
Looking for a way to manage your sweating problem? Try Social Citizen’s sweat-proof Social Tee, made to keep you dry and fresh all day.
Best Aluminum Free Deodorant for Men
If you do want to manage your sweating problem but don’t want to use aluminum, you’ll be happy to know that you actually have a lot of options at your disposal. Here are our recommendations for the best aluminum-free deodorant for men.
Type:A Deodorant Cream
Made with arrowroot powder, coconut oil, beeswax, and vegetable glycerin, type:A is a natural deodorant with all-day protection. Because it’s a cream, it’s easy to apply and avoids any mess. It’s designed to be activated as you sweat so it can give you protection when you most need it. Plus, it doesn’t leave residue on your clothes.
One of the most popular aluminum-free deodorants on the market is made by Native. This deodorant is made with 100% natural ingredients and is great for excessive sweaters. Coming in a variety of scents for men (and women too, by the way), it’s great at fighting odor.
Best Aluminum Free Deodorant for Women
Don’t worry, women, we didn’t forget about you. Here are our top aluminum-free deodorant picks for women.
Secret Aluminum Free
If you’re like many of us, the first deodorant you tried as a teen was Secret. Well, you don’t have to stop being a loyal Secret customer over aluminum, as they make an aluminum-free deodorant now! It’s certified cruelty-free and doesn’t contain parabens, dyes, or talcs. It can prevent odor for up to 48 hours.
Dove 0% Aluminum
Another popular deodorant brand getting into the aluminum-free game is Dove. Their 0% aluminum deodorant is available in all of its most popular scents and offers 24-hour protection. Made with moisturizer and no alcohol, the formula is ideal for sensitive skin.
I Used Aluminum-Free Deodorant for a Month
In case you’re wondering what it’s like to switch from standard antiperspirant to aluminum-free deodorant, you might be interested in hearing my story. Like I hinted at above, I can get pretty sweaty sometimes. I live in an incredibly hot climate with brutal summers, plus I tend to exercise nearly every day. I’m no stranger to sweat, but I don’t like the odor or the feeling of my clothes getting wet. That’s why I’ve always used deodorants and antiperspirants.
However, the underarm areas of my t-shirts would always get yellow pit stains from the aluminum in my antiperspirant, and I was nervous about putting potentially-harmful chemicals on my skin. So I decided to try out Native deodorant.
I’ll admit, it was hard to get used to. It wasn’t quite as strong as the antiperspirant I was used to and had more of a “natural” smell that didn’t mask my body odor in the same way that the super intense fragrances in my usual deodorant did. But, over time, my body adjusted to it and I found myself sweating less and liking that I smelled neutral, not like a field of flowers.
Today, I still use antiperspirants on days that I know I’ll need them, like when I’m going out to play sports in the hot sun for a few hours. But I’m glad to have aluminum-free deodorant in my toolbox for when I don’t need as much protection.
How Social Citizen Sweat Proof T-Shirts Can Help You
If you’re dealing with a sweat problem, there’s one more game-changing solution you might want to consider. Social Citizen’s sweat-proof Social Tee is designed specifically with people like you in mind. It’s made with breathable, sweat-resistant fabric so you stay cool and dry all day. There’s also a hidden underarm pad made to absorb sweat so you never show any sweat stains. Plus, it’s made with antimicrobial bamboo to keep you clean and odor-free.
Best of all, the Social Tee is designed to look like a normal t-shirt so that nobody would guess you’re getting extra sweat protection in your stylish tee. Coming in three neutral colors, the Social Tee pairs perfectly with any outfit so you can feel confident no matter where you’re going. Check it out today in men’s and women’s cuts to see the difference for yourself. Because antiperspirant and deodorant aren’t the only options you have for managing your perspiration.