woman applying deodorant
Image: Shutterstock/Pavel Ryabushkin

Deodorant is one of the most widely-used beauty products out there–yet most women aren’t aware of the potential benefits of switching to an aluminum-free option. Keep reading to discover these benefits, and consider taking the plunge into the aluminum-free deodorant world.

1: Aluminum-free deodorants may reduce your risk of cancer

Research about the connection between aluminum and breast cancer is inconclusive, but there are many professionals who warn against beauty products that contain heavy metals. Heavy metals such as aluminum can accumulate in our bodies over time, leading to an increased risk of cancer. Some researchers also think that this buildup can cause developmental problems during adolescence, and reproductive problems later in life.

Aluminum-based deodorants also tend to contain other potentially toxic ingredients. Even their fragrances are often made up of harmful chemicals which may increase your risk of cancer if accumulated in your system over time.

2: Aluminum-free deodorants promote healthy sweat

Most of us wrinkle our noses at the idea of sweating, but both ancient wisdom and modern research suggest that sweating is an important way for our bodies to release harmful compounds. (This is one of the reasons why regular sauna use is considered so beneficial!) Sweating also helps your body to control its own temperature by cooling itself off when it gets too hot.

Most deodorant products that use aluminum are meant to function as antiperspirants as well as deodorants: not only do they cover up the smell of sweat, they actually stop your pores from perspiring. That’s why most women notice a temporary increase in perspiration after switching to an aluminum-free deodorant–but this increase subsides after a few days, as your body re-learns to regulate how much you sweat.

3: Aluminum-free deodorants won’t block or irritate your pores

Aluminum-based deodorant products actually work by clogging your pores to prevent sweat from seeping out. In many people, this block-up can lead to irritation (ever had those nasty, red bumps?) and other dermatological issues. With an aluminum-free alternative, you can get clearer, healthier pores!

4: Aluminum-free deodorants can prevent body odor over time

While aluminum-based deodorants simply prevent your body from sweating, many aluminum-free options can actually make your sweat smell better over time. When you’re shopping for an aluminum-free deodorant, check to see if it contains baking soda: This ingredient actually prevents the formation of the bacteria that make sweat stink.

5: Aluminum-free deodorant won’t disrupt your hormonal balance

The parabens contained in some aluminum-based deodorants (and many other beauty products) can disrupt your hormonal balance, resulting in dozens of unpleasant side-effects–including adult acne, irregular menstrual cycles, and even depression. Most aluminum-free deodorants are made with natural ingredients and don’t contain harmful parabens.

It’s easy to feel uncomfortable during the first few days of switching to an aluminum-free deodorant–but as your body learns to self-regulate, and the baking soda in the deodorant takes effect, you should start to see results. Don’t forget that everyone’s body is different: If the first product you try isn’t a good fit, consider switching to a different brand that works better for you.

Some of our favorite aluminum-free deodorants:

Camille Bond is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has interned in the film industry and the publishing industry, as well as for a political campaign. When it comes to the world of beauty and wellness, she loves researching natural skincare brands, concocting DIY recipes, and discovering new mediation techniques!