Lifestyle Fashion

The difference between aluminum chlorohydrate and alum

Confusion about the safety of alum often arises because the press talks about aluminum being bad for us. Aluminum is the third most abundant element on the planet and we ingest it in large proportions every day in water and food. In fact, in some parts of the world, their presence in water is the only thing that makes it safe to drink. Aluminum is not particularly good for living organisms in the body, which is why over the years humans have developed a system to allow natural aluminum and its salt derivatives to pass through the body without effect.

However, when the press talks about aluminum as dangerous, it often refers to specific types of man-made aluminum, rather than natural forms; Aluminum chlorohydrate for example. Aluminum chlorohydrate is designed to be absorbed and block the pores under the arms to prevent perspiration. It is believed that aluminum chlorohydrate may enter the bloodstream this way. There have been some claims that there may be a connection between breast cancer and aluminum chlorohydrate, but so far there is no real concrete evidence. There is also speculation about links between long-term use of aluminum chlorohydrate and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

When it comes to the difference between aluminum chlorohydrate (the active ingredient in most antiperspirants) and alum (the raw material in crystal deodorants), many people get a bit confused.

Much is said that these two ingredients are the same, but they are not. Aluminum chlorohydrate is a group of salts created synthetically using any number of aluminum-containing raw materials, such as metallic aluminum, that react with hydrochloric acid. However, alum (known as potassium aluminum sulfate) is a naturally occurring mineral compound. It is double aluminum potassium sulfate. Alum occurs as encrustations in rocks and is mined and used in natural deodorants in its natural form.

Alum differs from aluminum chlorohydrate, not only in form but also in use. Alum has been used for many thousands of years in the Far and Middle East as a deodorant and for other topical applications. Alum is used in deodorants for its antibacterial properties, which helps inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause body odor on the skin. Some people find that alum also performs a basic antiperspirant function, as it is somewhat astringent. The alum molecules are too large to pass through the skin, so they don’t get in and block the pores. Instead, alum leaves a thin layer of salts on the skin.

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