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Article: Aluminum in cosmetics - Why you should do without it!

Aluminium in der Kosmetik – Bedenklich und unnötig

Aluminum in cosmetics - Why you should do without it!

Hardly any ingredient in cosmetic products has triggered such heated discussions in recent years as aluminum. In fact, it is no longer possible to speak of complete harmlessness. That's why it's a good idea to largely avoid products with the light metal on the ingredients list.


Aluminum is classified as a light metal and is a natural element that occurs very frequently on our planet. It is usually present in bound form and is a component of some rocks, for example. Due to its strong presence in nature, it is not uncommon for some of the substance to enter our bodies. This can happen during food intake and is basically harmless. This is because a healthy organism breaks down the substance and discharges it with the involvement of the kidneys. Permanent deposits in bones or organs are also a fairly normal process and usually have no negative consequences.

However, both the intake and the storage of aluminum depend on the quantity. Among other things, modern lifestyles mean that in many cases the maximum acceptable dose is quickly reached. Experts currently classify a weekly intake of one milligram per kilogram that you weigh on the scale as unproblematic. Beyond this limit, negative effects on the body cannot be ruled out.


Of course, a single food or a specific cosmetic product does not contain so much aluminum that it would exceed the maximum dose. However, the whole thing adds up quickly when the organism is confronted with it in the diet as well as in body cosmetics, dental care and makeup.

Aluminum is particularly frequently used in deodorants to inhibit perspiration and reduce odor. This is why these products for daily body care first came under fire. However, the use of the substance in lipsticks is also common to achieve the desired shine and longer hold. Other examples of cosmetics containing aluminum include sunscreen creams and lotions with a glitter effect.


There are several variants of the ingredient that can be easily identified in the inci statements, since aluminum is usually a component of the technical term. Experts classify aluminum salts, which are often on the ingredient list of deodorants, as particularly critical. These substances are water-soluble and enter the body's own system particularly easily. In contrast, scientific assessments of aluminum silicate, which is contained in lipsticks, are more moderate. The substance is not water-soluble, but can be absorbed through the mouth during lip care.

Scientists, manufacturers and other stakeholders continue to argue about whether cosmetics containing aluminum can have negative effects. There is also the question of the specific consequences for health. Some medical studies suggest that excessive aluminum levels can damage nerves, affect bones and promote infertility. In addition, studies of tumors and lymph nodes in patients with breast cancer showed that levels of aluminum were higher than average. The same applies to analyses that looked at the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Scientifically, this does not yet prove that there is a clear connection between the elevated levels of aluminum and the disease. Nevertheless, the indications are so alarming that the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment does not rule out the possibility of adverse health effects from cosmetic products containing aluminum.


Even laypersons can logically understand that aluminum can impair the compatibility of cosmetics. In many deodorants, the light metal combines with a substance produced naturally in the body to form a kind of cork that seals the sweat glands. In view of the reduced odor, this seems clever. However, the body also discharges harmful substances via certain areas such as the armpits. This process is slowed down by the aluminum blockade. In addition, the backlog of sweat can cause the skin to show irritation or create inflammatory processes in the application area.

At the bottom line, it seems wiser to avoid unnecessary uses of aluminum. Just as there is an alternative to canned drinks, which are not environmentally friendly packaging anyway, there are very good aluminum-free cosmetics. This is because the ingredient can be replaced with natural ingredients just fine. For example, some essential oils kill the bacteria in sweat, which takes care of the problem with the smell. The formulations of lipsticks, lotions and other care products can be adapted in a similarly uncomplicated way.

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