Anti-perspirant is a hugely important part of our beauty routine, but did you know there’s a whole lot of science at work every time you apply the product under your arms?

Why is there aluminium in anti-perspirant?

Anti-perspirants work so well thanks to the active ingredient, aluminium salts. Aluminium salts are compounds derived from aluminium, and aluminium chlorohydrate is the most common aluminium compound used in anti-perspirants.

It’s actually the aluminium chlorohydrate in anti-perspirant that works hard to reduce the amount you sweat. It does this by binding with the moisture released by your sweat glands to form a thick gel. This gel plugs and constricts your sweat glands and the result is you’ll feel fresher for longer.

Depending on the brand, anti-perspirants can protect you from sweat for up to 72 hours. Soft & Gentle’s Classic Range of anti-perspirants provide up to 48 hours of sweat protection.

Does the aluminium in anti-perspirant help prevent unpleasant smells?

If you sweat a lot then you may still experience underarm wetness, even if you use anti-perspirant, which could mean you soon start to notice an unpleasant smell.

One way to combat this is to spritz a little scented deodorant under your arms after applying your anti-perspirant. Deodorant which contains antimicrobial agents helps to fight the bacteria that feeds on your underarm sweat.

Anti-perspirants containing aluminium salts and deodorants with antimicrobial agents will provide a defence against sweat. If you use a natural antiperspirant, then use a deodorant with antimicrobial agents as well to create a double-defence against sweat.

Is the aluminium in anti-perspirants harmful?

If you’re worried about how safe it is to use deodorant or anti-perspirant, you can find out more about the safety of these products here.

Does the aluminium in anti-perspirants irritate the skin?

Some people with sensitive skin may experience some skin irritation from using cosmetic products with aluminium in them, anti-perspirant included.

To reduce the risk of any underarm irritation and still feel fresh, you could try using an anti-perspirant or deodorant that’s specifically designed to care for sensitive skin. Soft & Gentle’s Skin Protect range is free from alcohol, contains organic coconut and jojoba oils and is approved by the Skin Health Alliance, having been specifically tested for people with sensitive skin.

If you prefer to avoid aluminium in your skincare products, then try an aluminium-free anti-perspirant, such as the 0% Aluminium roll-on range from Soft & Gentle. This range features anti-perspirants with fresh and floral fragrances that are powered by an active botanical complex rather than aluminium.

Is it possible to buy aluminium-free anti-perspirant?

The active ingredient in most anti-perspirants is aluminium salts—these block the sweat glands to help reduce the amount of sweat you produce. However, there are aluminium-free anti-perspirants and deodorants that use natural sweat-blocking alternatives, such as herbs.

Soft & Gentle’s 0% aluminium anti-perspirant roll-on range features horsetail extract, which acts as a natural anti-perspirant by reducing the size of your pores. These anti-perspirants also contain sage which acts as a natural deodoriser to minimise unpleasant smells.

Don’t forget, most deodorant will not contain aluminium, as the main benefit of deodorant is to reduce odour (not sweat). You can find out more about the differences between deodorant and anti-perspirant here.