What is in anti-perspirants?

Deodarants, more specifically anti-persperants, are a common commodity these days. What exactly is in them that inhibits perspiration, and what long-term effects would that have on your skin, if you were to say, stop using it after using it since puberty? Or, on the other side of the fence, is deodarant a placebo? Thanks in advance for the input.

The active ingredient in anti perspirants is Al[sub]2[/sub]O[sub]3[/sub].
Aluminium has long been suspected of having a link with Alzheimers disease. Whether or not this has been categorically proved or not, I don’t know.
Anti perspirants and deodorants are two different things, an anti perspirant physically stops you sweating while a deodorant is just perfume, to mask the smell of any sweat.

Also, some deodorants have a chemical like triclosan in them to stop bacteria from growing. Bacteria metabolizing the contents of your sweat make it smell stronger.

Deodorants and anti-perspirants are two different things. Anti-perspirants make you sweat less whereas deodorants make your sweat (if you don’t use an anti-perspirant) smell less.

I know that deodarants are different than anti-perspirants, though most products out there these days are a combo of the two. Good to know that my anti-perspirant is giving me Alzheimers. Thanks guys.

From Cecil’s latest (1997) column on the supposed link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s: http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a971219.html

Aluminum-based antiperspirants do NOT contain Aluminum oxide - that’s an extremely hard, abrasive mineral used in sandpaper, grinding wheels, and gemstones (rubies, etc.) Aluminum CHLORIDE is sometimes used, but aluminum hydroxychloride is more common, as is aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex-gly.

There has not been any proven link betwen Alzheimers and use of aluminium in deodorants or cooking ware. You can bet your bippy antiperspirants will be reformulated immediatly if such a link is ever made.

Nametag has it right:

From How Stuff Works.

anti perspitants work by using a Lewis acid - usually a metal salt which produces acid when wet - iron salts will do if you dont like Al, but they stain.The trick is, acid closes the pores!