Aluminum Chlorohydrate

What is it?

Aluminum Chlorohydrate is a simple form of a group aluminum-based salts that can be used to reduce underarm wetness in underarm antiperspirant products.  Aluminum Chlorohydrate is also widely used in water purification to remove dissolved organic material. Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust behind oxygen and silicon, but, like many of earth’s resources, its supply is finite.  

What does it do?

Aluminum Chlorohydrate is one of a number of  aluminum-based ingredients used in underarm antiperspirant products. Our clinical studies show our antiperspirant stick helps reduce sweat and perspiration. Aluminum Chlorohydrate works by forming a temporary plug within the sweat duct that helps reduce the flow of sweat to the skin's surface. While the aluminum chlorohydrate reduces the amount of sweat on the skin surface, the ingredient also helps creates a skin environment, which is hostile to the growth of malodour-producing bacteria, to help reduce underarm odour.

How is it made?

Our Stewardship Model guides us to select ingredients which have been processed in a manner that supports our philosophy of human and environmental health.

Aluminum Chlorohydrate is typically prepared from virgin aluminum, mined and purified from naturally occurring mineral bauxite. This process is very energy intensive, creates greenhouse gases and the mineral supply is finite.

In our antiperspirant products, we use an aluminum chlorohydrate prepared from recycled aluminum which was originally refined and purified from bauxite ore. The recycled aluminum is then combined with hydrochloric acid and water and reacted under controlled conditions to form the aluminum chlorohydrate ingredient.

While efforts have reduced the carbon footprint of primary aluminum production from the mineral bauxite, preparing pure aluminum from recycled sources takes just 8 percent of the energy needed to make primary aluminum from bauxite and was the responsible/sustainable choice to serve as a source for our aluminum chlorohydrate. Using recycled aluminum reduces energy consumption and greenhouse gas production as compared with sourcing aluminum from bauxite ore and helps to manage depletion of a global finite resource.

What are the alternatives?

There are several aluminum-based salts to reduce underarm wetness. These include a number of forms of aluminum-based salts including aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate(s), and aluminum zirconium salts. Among these options, aluminum chloride is the simplest form but its inherent acidity means that it can be damaging to many fabrics and some may find it irritating to the underarm. Aluminum Chlorohydrate is the simplest salt that is not damaging to fabric and is generally well-tolerated on the skin. There are a number of more complex aluminum chlorohydrate salts, as well as aluminum zirconium salts.

Consumers who do not wish to use an antiperspirant product may be interested to know that Tom’s of Maine also produces a line of deodorant sticks, which includes aluminum-free deodorant options. We feel it is important to offer individuals a choice and trust that they will establish a personal care regimen that is right for them.

Is this the right option for me?

We are aware that many people are concerned with the safety of aluminum-based underarm products, as a small number of studies have linked the use of such products with the occurrence of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society there is no evidence that the use of  antiperspirants increases your risk for breast cancer1. Additionally the Canadian Alzheimer Society reports that studies have not provided strong evidence of aluminum being a risk factor for the development of dementia2. If you are concerned about the risk of breast cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, we encourage you to contact your healthcare professional to address your individual circumstances.  

Tom's of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with naturally derived ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.