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danger of aluminum in antiperspirants

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Dec 08, 2008

How many of you are using commercial antiperspirants?


Not much research has been published on what happens to our health as a consequence of using them.   But  they all  contain aluminum, which I believe is one of the most toxic ingredients in personal-care products.   (It is followed closely by sodium laureth sulfate and propylene glycol).   I hope you will memorize those three names and avoid products that use them.   And if you want to add a few more ingredients to avoid, add these to your list: talc (containing aluminum as well), dimethicone, clyclomethicone, and polyethylene.


We do know that aluminum is linked to Alzheimer’s as well as problems absorbing minerals.   It may be linked to kidney problems and breast cancer as well.   The FDA assures us that we can continue using antiperspirants without concern, but then again, the FDA is not truly protecting us from much.   That organization’s modus operandi with chemicals seems to be “innocent until proven guilty.”


You may think, well, I’m putting these products in my hair, or on my skin, which isn’t that bad.   But your skin is highly absorptive, and those chemicals do go into your bloodstream, where they then become systemic.


Many companies offer natural deodorants and antiperspirants.   You can find a variety of options at any health food store.   I haven’t personally found the “deodorants” to be effective (and I care about this a  LOT since I like to break a sweat  six days a week, for an hour).   The only thing I’ve tried that I really love is also the simplest: a crystal stick.   You just wet it and rub it under your arms.


I hope you’ll decide now to quit using commercial antiperspirants.   I watched my former husband’s grandfather die of Alzheimer’s, and it isn’t a pretty way to go.   It’s also emotionally devastating to everyone who loves that person.   Anything we can do to reduce our risk of that ugly fate is a good thing.


(The other significant finding is that we reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s if we READ a lot into our old age.   You’re already on the right path there, all of you, for the obvious reason!   So just work on getting the aluminum off your skin.)

You ready to commit to that?   A crystal stick is about $4 at your health food store and lasts a really long time.

Posted in: Robyn Recommends

18 thoughts on “danger of aluminum in antiperspirants”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    this is funny you posted now because about 2 weeks ago I bought a crystal stick because i kept getting rashes under my arms and they HURT (they were irritated) so I bought one and they are all gone (i have healthy, happy armpits 😉 — i really just did it becuase I thought there must be something not natural in deoderant becuase it’s making my arms hurt (it hurt to wear shirts!) a crystal stick fixed that!!!

    Robyn, do you think that the L’Equip is the next best dehydrator to get? is there anything wrong with it that I should know before getting one (for significantly cheaper) THANKS

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have been using a crystal stick for a year now and I love it and it really works well for me.

  3. http:// says:

    About dehydrators: I’m going to blog about that TOMORROW.

  4. Anonymous says:

    before friday? becuase I have to tell my MIL what I want from emergency essentials for Christmas by then! pretty please?!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m fond of a deodorant product by Burt’s Bees that has just been discontinued since Clorox bought them, and haven’t had any luck with the crystals. Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so what works for me might not work for others…so I’m looking for a replacement and contemplating making a run at formulating something based on the ingredient list from the Burt’s product.

  6. Thanks for this reminder. After years of crystal use, I’d slipped back into commercial products this last year (it’s hard to shower daily while camping out). But tomorrow I’ll get that crystal again…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have been using a crystal stick for years….but I haven’t needed to use anything this year at all….even during our hottest months. I guess eating mostly raw and the whole foods way has elliminated my stinkies! Ha!

  8. I stopped using antiperspirant about 1 year ago. Boy did I go through a detox, but now that I am allowing my body to detox from its parts it is supposed to, I feel much better. I sometimes have to reapply mid-day during warmer weather…but that is a small price to pay for clean products. I use an aroma free roll-on while my husband uses ancient spice aroma roll-on.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sweating is a serious issue for me so I had a hard time finding something natural that actually worked. It turned out to be something so simple and very cheap! Baking Soda! I use a round make-up sponge to apply. Just poor some soda, add a few drops of water and mix with finger till it’s pastey. It goes on white, but dries clear. If I do sweat there is no odor at all! It really works.

  10. Anonymous says:


    I thought I’d give you some feedback on the L’Equip dehydrator. I have had one for at least 20 years. It was put away for years when I didn’t use it, but I broke it out about a year ago when we went whole-foods. I couldn’t believe it – it works! Fantastically. It sounds like from the link that they have improved it since I got mine.

    This is what I love: You can add or subtract as many shelves as you need. It fits into a small space. It is quiet. It does a great job. And after all these years it still works.

    I borrowed my mom’s Excalibur and it took much longer to dehydrate the food. Her’s did have a temperature adjustment (mine doesn’t). But it was LARGE, the size of a television. Whether you dehydrate a whole bushel of peaches or just a couple the size is the same.

    I don’t know what the shelves of the L’Equip are made of now, but I cut bridal mesh to fit mine to accommodate small grains. It also helps to peel off stuck on food and washes well in the dishwasher. I also bought the teflex you use in the bottom of the oven for spills, to dehydrate sloppy things. Both of those things work great.

    I just don’t think you could go wrong with the L’Equip.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have also been using just plain baking soda for the last few years. It works great! I don’t mix it with water…….I just pour a little in my fingers and put it under my arms.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know a great hand & body loition that really works on dry cracked skin without all the chemicals that Robyn has mentioned?

  13. Yes Leslee,

    I can help you out. Feel free to email me directly at mooreganics@gmail.com or send me your email and I will contact you with the information.

    Thanks! Laura

  14. Anonymous says:

    For hand & body creams that are effective and with ingredients I feel safe putting on my skin, I’ve found a couple sources. We love several products with natural oils and essential oils at healinghandsapothecary dot com (in particular her healing hand & foot balm, and aromatic body balm). The healing hand & foot balm really helps chapped hands, and the essential oils are also naturally antifungal/antiviral/antibacterial unlike all those harmful antibacterial products on the market. I also like Burt’s Bees beeswax hand cremes (in almond, and banana scents – I’ve found these cheapest at vitacost dot com).

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have found that ACV (the raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar) works wonders for me. The vinegar smell goes away really quickly and it helps me not stink. My husband uses it to wet a crystal stick and gets double duty that way…

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’ve heard that vinegar, whether white or ACV, works great from a friend of mine–she called it “husband-approved.” My nose is too sensitive for that and I just smell vinegar on me all day. I like the crystal stick, so I’m good to go with that.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I just picked up a crystal stick the other day and was confused by the ingredients. Apparently they made of either potassium alum or ammonia alum, which means that there is aluminum in the chemical structure of the crystal.

    Is this form of aluminum less of a danger? I haven’t spent enough time on Google to get a feel for what the consensus is.

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