A good Aluminum free deodorant?

The subject kind of says it all. I am looking for a good Men’s deodorant that doesn’t contain Aluminum. Any recommendations? Preferably reasonably priced and relatively easy to get but willing to hear about any and all kinds. Thanks.

I don’t pay attention too closely to this stuff, but I thought it was antiperspirants that usually had the aluminum, not the plain deodorants.

This is exactly correct (I used to work on a brand of anti-perspirants). In the U.S., anti-perspirants are considered to be an over-the-counter drug (since preventing perspiration is interfering with a bodily function), and the FDA has only approved a small number of active ingredients (all of them aluminum salts) for use in an anti-perspirancy claim.

All anti-perspirants are also deodorants (i.e., they contain fragrances and other things to mask or eliminate odor), but there are “deodorant-only” products, which don’t have an anti-perspirancy function (and, thus, don’t contain aluminum salts).

Generally speaking, most deodorant-only products are targeted specifically to men, so take a look for brands that are oriented to men (such as Old Spice, Speed Stick, Axe, etc.), and then look closely at the package to make sure that it only says “Deodorant” (since these brands usually make both deodorant-only items as well as anti-perspirant items).

Coconut oil or magnesium oil. These work far better than any deodorant and I’ve tried tons, even aluminum free ones. If I don’t shower for a couple days for whatever reason, they’re still working.

Why is that?

Because, generally, there’s a significant proportion of men who aren’t as concerned about having wet underarms (though they don’t want to smell); hence, there’s a market for deodorant-only products for men. There are some women who feel the same way (or have decided that they don’t want to use a product with an aluminum salt), but it’s a much, much smaller number; the large majority of women want a product that’ll stop perspiration as well as odor.

When I worked in the industry, the only female-targeted deodorant-only product among the major brands was a single SKU from Secret, and it sold poorly.

I’m a fan of Arm and Hammer Essentials. As far as I can tell it is unisex. It allows me to sweat without the stink. Plus, it doesn’t leave yellow stains on my shirts.

We use Mennen Speed Stick Ocean Surf deodorant. Mrs. FtG is happy with it.

I had no idea this was the case and thought all deodorant sticks were, well, deodorant sticks and nothing else, which made me look closer at my stick’s packaging. What I thought was simply a deodorant really was an antipersperant as well as a deodorant. I’m actually kind of mad that I never noticed and that I’ve been using this my whole life without noticing. I use Secret and I feel like at some point I may have been using the deodorant only one, because the one I wanted was always difficult to find and eventually I had to switch to a different one they had, and never noticed that tiny text. I don’t know when or how this happened to me, but I’m not pleased about it. Finding unscented deodorant is another story altogether, too.

Don’t feel too badly about this – it’s a pretty common misperception that people have. A significant proportion of the population doesn’t understand that there’s a difference between “deodorant” and “anti-perspirant,” and use the terms interchangeably.

Yes, those are also highly challenging to find. Deodorant-only products usually contain two ingredients that do something:

  • A fragrance to mask underarm odor
  • An anti-bacterial agent (often triclosan) to kill off the bacteria under your arm (since what we smell as “underarm odor” is the waste product of bacteria munching away on the apocrine sweat that certain glands in your underarms produce).

“Unscented” anti-perspirants usually still have a light “masking fragrance” (used to mask the chemical odors of the other ingredients). An unscented deodorant, on the other hand, would essentially be lacking one of the primary mechanisms that makes the product work (i.e., fragrance).

I’m fine with some sort of…really basic, really light, scent, if it’s necessary for function, but I’m not here to make my armpits smell like a meadow or berries or deer musk or whatever they want me to smell like instead of “human”. Which is what you get with all the sticks I’ve found that aren’t marked “unscented”.

FWIW I understood that distinction that’s why I specified deodorant and was wondering if people had recommendations for good ones.

Indeed, as one example, here is the pharmaceutical label for Degree White Flower & Basil antiperspirant. I tried this once, and I smelled like Thai food.

FWIW, here is Cecil on aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease.

I have been using deodorant (not antiperspirant) for years. They are common items at any grocery store I have visited, atho I will grant there are less of them than antiperspirants. Are they not easy to find in some places?

Check the Dollar Tree near you; they should have several deodorant-only name brands, including Arm & Hammer which isn’t scented as far as I know. I’m a gal but I use men’s deodorant (ladies deodorants stopped working well for me about a decade ago) and I don’t have trouble finding light scents.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I think antipersperants have aluminum. Deodorants do not (unless also an antipersperant). Are you ok with a deodorant which is also NOT an antipersperant? If so, a simple perusal of the ingredients of “deodorants which are not antipersperants” should reveal many choices without aluminum, at your local Walmart or whatever store. Or my stunning recall ability fails here. If you really meant antipersperant instead of deodorant, then I can offer no advice. I don’t sweat that much. I am usually in climate controlled facilities, or eschewing such, I and things are temperate enough anyway. Or at least, I do not notice my sweating, and no one dares or cares enough to bring it up (I am an alpha male). I buy deodorants that are NOT antipersperants; just look for aluminum on the package: if you see it, move on. If you don’t, add it to your pool of choices for consideration. Or do you sweat too much? If so, any details you can provide may be a diversion for me and others, or perhaps not. Or do you live in a country with lax labeling laws? Which one? That may indeed complicate my above proscribed procedure. Or maybe you want aluminum? Is all this nonsense about alzheimers and aluminum tangles bunk?

You’re not wrong. I laid all of that out in post #3. :smiley:

I’ve used Tom’s of Maine off and on and it seems to work fairly well. I’ve also tried the “Crystal” types but they are definitely a 12 hour effective thing at best with my body chemistry.

But asking for aluminum-free deodorant is like asking for vegetarian pickles - they all are, or close enough to all.

But not everyone knows the difference so I worded it the way that I did to surf the line of accuracy and getting people’s suggestions that were relevant to what I was looking for. If I just wrote “deodorant” and not mention aluminum I would get stuff with Aluminum and I said “antiperspirant without aluminum” I would have been wrong (and probably just get bunches of corrections instead of suggestions). So you see the (vegetarian) pickle I was in :slight_smile: