People suffering from excessive sweating are often recommended, by friends or medical professionals, to try antiperspirants with Aluminum Chloride.

But what is Aluminum Chloride? How does it differ from the aluminum found in more conventional antiperspirants? Is Aluminum Chloride safe and effective? Do you need a prescription from the dermatologist for it?

This post covers these frequently asked questions (and more) about Aluminum Chloride and aluminum-based antiperspirants. 

Plus, we cover in detail our tried and true solution for excessive sweating: Duradry’s 3-step system.

Our 3-step uses the most effective Aluminum Chloride concentration, along with other critical ingredients, proven to treat your excessive sweating problem safely and effectively. 

Try Duradry’s 3-step solution that actually works to stop excessive sweating. Use Duradry PM at bedtime, Duradry AM in the morning, and Duradry Wash to deep clean and prepare your skin for total protection against hyperhidrosis. Get started for just $20.

What is Aluminum Chloride (and Why Is It So Effective for Excessive Sweating)?

We cover all you need to know about excessive sweating in detail here, but it’s important to know some basics before we continue. 

Excessive sweating has a medical name: hyperhidrosis. 

There are two types of hyperhidrosis: secondary (generalized) and primary focal hyperhidrosis. 

  1. Primary focal hyperhidrosis is where you experience excessive sweating simply because you have an overactive nervous system in areas that control your sweat glands.

  2. Secondary hyperhidrosis is where your excessive sweating is brought on by an underlying health condition or as a side effect of medication. 

While most people suffering from hyperhidrosis experience it in their armpits, it can also occur in the hands, feet, and lower back.

The main takeaway is that both types of excessive sweaters sweat more than the average population. Much more.

Hyperactive sweat glands produce more perspiration than your traditional antiperspirant can handle. Imagine trying to stay dry in a rainstorm using an umbrella made out of paper.

Let’s look at why.

Topical antiperspirants work by seeping into your sweat ducts. As your sweat mixes with the applied antiperspirant, the active ingredients inside the antiperspirant go through a chemical reaction and form a plug of aluminum salts that help block the flow of sweat.

A diagram showing how antiperspirant blocks the sweat ducts.

Image Source

If you’ve tried over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirants in the past and found them lacking, it’s likely because they don’t use the right active ingredients to treat hyperhidrosis. 

The active ingredients in conventional strength brands don’t get deep enough into your pores — or plug your sweat duct effectively enough — to stop your excessive sweating.

Some brands started making clinical strength antiperspirants to help treat excessive sweating.

Often, these antiperspirants simply use an increased dosage of Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY, or similar. But this compound isn’t the best solution for excessive sweating, and adding more of it to a solution doesn’t really make a difference. You’ll need to support this with a more robust active ingredient like Aluminum Chloride.

Hyperhidrosis sufferers have hyperactive sweat glands, so they need a topical solution that can get deep into their sweat ducts and block the heavy flow of perspiration.  


What Does the FDA Say About Aluminum Chloride?


The FDA recognizes that “over-the-counter antiperspirant[s]” are generally safe and effective if they are using any of the 18 approved aluminum-based salts at the right concentration, of which Aluminum Chloride is one.

However, there are some restrictions.

If a topical antiperspirant uses more than 15% of Aluminum Chloride, it will require a prescription. This is likely because there’s a greater risk of experiencing side effects, which we cover next. 

The Side Effects of Aluminum Chloride

Aluminum Chloride does come with some potential side effects, such as skin irritation, which makes sense because Aluminum Chloride is actively working to keep you dry. 

But the likelihood of experiencing these side effects — from extremely unlikely to extremely likely — depends on how much Aluminum Chloride you’re using, how it’s applied, and whether you have any preexisting allergies to aluminum (which, if you do, all effective antiperspirants, unfortunately, are off the table — but you can read about other hyperhidrosis treatments available).

There are several ways to reduce the risk of side effects. Brands can change the amount of Aluminum Chloride they use. For example, in Duradry PM — our Aluminum Chloride antiperspirant and the first step of our 3-step system for achieving dryness — we use a 15% concentration instead of a 20% one. 

Duradry PM’s 15% concentration of Aluminum Chloride has two benefits:

  1. Studies show that using 15% Aluminum Chloride is just as effective as using 20%.

  2. Since our product contains less than 20% Aluminum Chloride, you can try Duradry without having to get a doctor’s note or going to a pharmacy. FYI: We ship Duradry directly to your front door!

We also use Salicylic Acid in Duradry PM. Salicylic Acid is used to help reduce irritation. Plus, Salicylic Acid has been shown to increase the effectiveness of Aluminum Chloride in excessive sweaters. 

By using these quality ingredients in our aluminum chloride antiperspirant, we were able to make a highly effective product while reducing the risk of any negative side effects.

Note: For a full review of “prescription strength” antiperspirants and Duradry, check out our comparison post on Drysol vs. Certain Dri vs. Duradry.

Are There Aluminum-Free Antiperspirants?

Some consumers are reluctant to use aluminum-based products. This is generally because of either an allergy concern or concerns about the relationship between aluminum use and specific cancers, such as breast cancer. 

(It’s worth noting that the National Cancer Institute's page on the relationship between antiperspirants and cancer says that “no scientific evidence links the use of [antiperspirants] to the development of breast cancer.” For more information, here is a helpful document published by the American Cancer Society.)

But whatever your reason for looking for aluminum-free antiperspirants, here are some things you should know...

While you can find home remedies online for excessive sweating, there is no evidence that aluminum-free topical solutions will work for those suffering from hyperhidrosis. What makes an antiperspirant an antiperspirant is — per the FDA — the presence of aluminum-based ingredients that work to plug your sweat ducts.

And sometimes people confuse antiperspirants with deodorants. A deodorant is more like a perfume — it masks your body odor. (We offer an antiperspirant deodorant as part of our 3-step system, which we cover in detail below.) 

Yet some deodorant can help you maintain some dryness in your underarms, though indirectly. What happens is the baking soda or talc in the deodorant absorbs the sweat on the surface of your skin. But that doesn't mean deodorants will work for excessive sweaters. 

Excessive sweating is a medical condition. The amount of sweat your body produces will overpower any deodorant powder that is absorbing moisture on the surface of your skin. When it comes to OTC topical solutions, the only widely accepted treatment is using aluminum-based antiperspirants.

The goal is to find the most effective solution that is affordable and works to reduce any risk of adverse side effects, like the Duradry 3-step system.

What’s the Best Aluminum Chloride Antiperspirant?

The best Aluminum Chloride antiperspirant is effective at keeping you dry without increasing your risk of skin irritation. Plus, it’s affordable and easy to get.

We checked off all those qualifications when we made Duradry PM

Duradry PM uses a 15% concentration of Aluminum Chloride — which is just effective as the higher concentration brands with the added benefit of not requiring a prescription. We then added Salicylic Acid to our formulation to reduce any adverse side effects while moisturizing your skin and boosting the effectiveness of Aluminum Chloride.

We didn’t just stop at Duradry PM, we created a 3-step system, covered below.

Next Steps: Using Duradry’s 3-Step System


Author’s Note: I understand the frustration of finding a solution for your excessive sweating problem. I developed Duradry because I personally suffer from excessive sweating and I have tried everything (from several different products to more invasive solutions like Botox injections) to solve my problem. After years of research, and trial and error, I decided to create my own solution for excessive sweating, which I cover below.

Step 1: Use Duradry PM Before Going to Bed

Duradry PM is a gel antiperspirant that uses 15% Aluminum Chloride as its active ingredient. We chose to make it a gel because a gel is more effective as a topical treatment (it covers your skin more evenly) than a liquid or spray.

You apply Duradry PM before you go to bed. This way, Aluminum Chloride, and Salicylic Acid can more effectively treat your excessive sweating when your sweat glands aren’t as active.

You only need to use Duradry PM about 2-3 times a week. That’s how effective it is at treating excessive sweating.

Step 2: Use Duradry Wash as a Daily Cleanser

In the morning, use Duradry Wash to clean your skin of any residual powders (from deodorants, antiperspirants, lotions, soap, bacteria, oils, etc). 

We include this second step because it’s important to make sure your skin is primed to be treated for hyperhidrosis. If you're applying antiperspirant to skin that has residue build-up, then the active ingredient isn’t given the best chance to permeate your skin and plug your sweat ducts.

You can use Duradry Wash daily.

Step 3: Use Duradry AM as a Daily Antiperspirant-Deodorant 

The final step of our 3-step system for achieving dryness is to apply Duradry AM each morning. 

Duradry AM is a more “conventional” extra strength antiperspirant-deodorant. It comes in a pleasant and neutral unisex scent.

Duradry AM uses Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly as its active ingredient.

Aluminum Zirconium is commonly found in other antiperspirant solutions, and while it is an effective Aluminum compound to block sweat production, it’s not always sufficient by itself for hyperhidrosis sufferers, due to the volume of sweat. 

That’s why this is the third step in the system (after both treating your sweat areas with our Aluminum Chloride antiperspirant and then cleaning off any residue with our Duradry Wash).

By combining all three products, 97% of our customers have reported achieving full dryness within a week.


Final Thoughts: Finding a Solution for Excessive Sweating Is Possible


Excessive sweating is never fun to talk about — hyperhidrosis sufferers are often embarrassed by their condition, even though they’re not alone. While it’s uncomfortable to experience, luckily, it’s treatable. 

Aluminum Chloride antiperspirants work because they get deep into the skin and effectively plug your sweat ducts, significantly reducing the amount of sweat that reaches the surface of your skin. But not all Aluminum Chloride antiperspirant products are made the same.

Duradry uses a 3-step process to treat your excessive sweating. Not only do we use the right active ingredient at the right dosage (15% of Aluminum Chloride), but we also use powerful secondary ingredients, such as Salicylic Acid, to keep your skin dry, soft, and totally rash-free.

Try Duradry’s 3-step solution that actually works to stop excessive sweating. Use Duradry PM at bedtime, Duradry AM in the morning, and Duradry Wash to deep clean and prepare your skin for total protection against hyperhidrosis. Get started for just $20.