Aluminium in cosmetics and personal care products

J Appl Toxicol. 2021 Nov;41(11):1704-1718. doi: 10.1002/jat.4228. Epub 2021 Aug 15.


Usage of inorganic ingredients like aluminium salts in cosmetics and personal care products has been a concern for producers and consumers. Although aluminium is used to treat hyperhidrosis, some worries have been raised about aluminium's role in breast cancer, breast cyst and Alzheimer's disease. The human population is exposed to aluminium from vaccines, diet, and drinking water, but the frequent use of aluminium-based cosmetics might add additional local exposure. This paper reviews literature to determine if aluminium-based products may pose potential harm to the body. The dermal absorption of aluminium is not widely understood. It is not yet known whether aluminium can travel from the skin to brain to cause Alzheimer's disease. Aluminium may cause gene instability, alter gene expression or enhance oxidative stress, but the carcinogenicity of aluminium has not been proved yet. Until now, epidemiological researches were based on oral information, which lacks consistency, and the results are conflicting. Future studies should target real-life-based long-time exposure to antiperspirants and other aluminium-containing cosmetics and personal care products.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; aluminium; antiperspirant; cancer; personal care products.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / toxicity*
  • Aluminum Compounds / toxicity*
  • Cosmetics / toxicity*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects


  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Cosmetics
  • Aluminum