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Magnesium Hydroxide for Natural Deodorants and Body Smells

Who doesn’t want to feel fresh and clean while ensuring that what you put on your skin is as safe and natural as the skin itself? As we learn more about the harmful effects of chemicals and hazardous ingredients in the nutraceutical industry, finding alternatives to these potential dangers has become increasingly important. Magnesium hydroxide has become a popular ingredient and substitute for previously used and sometimes harmful additives.

Now, I would love to tackle all the products on the market, and maybe I will one day… but today, let’s focus on DEODORANT, shall we?!?

In this post, we will

  • Review the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant.

  • Discuss commonly found “not so good for you” ingredients.

  • Answer the question, “Why going natural may be better for you.”

  • Learn more about natural deodorant.

  • Compare magnesium hydroxide to other neutralizing ingredients.

  • Introduce NutrapHix® Magnesium Hydroxide.



Many natural ingredients can (and do) go into the formulation(s), but let’s face it, not all of them work. Sometimes, it comes down to an inaccurate matchup of ingredients to the consumer’s intended bodily function. Do you want to combat the smell or the moisture, or both?

First, let’s break down words: deodorant vs. antiperspirant.

De - odor - ant.

Undoing odor is very different from

Anti - perspir(e) - ant

Stopping perspiration or no longer “emitting matter through the skin” as defined by Merriam-Webster.

Clearly, those are two different issues, and the ‘smell’ness industry is tasked with combatting both.

Let’s address some misconceptions:

  • Body Odor: Sweat doesn't smell. Sweat (specifically from the apocrine glands) mixed with our body-producing bacteria can produce an offputting odor.

  • Deodorant doesn't help with the amount of sweat or help to control wet marks.


It’s no secret that the cosmetic and body wellness industry has been ridiculed within published media, given the potentially toxic components that make up specific products. Many consumers are searching for alternatives to lessen the toxicity in their everyday lives.

Here are a few of the ones commonly found in several deodorants and most all antiperspirants

Aluminum- a metal that is used as the primary ingredient in antiperspirants. Although there is no direct link between aluminum and cancer, research suggests that there is a growing link to gene instability, as discussed in the Time article “5 Things Wrong with Your Deodorant.”

Parabens- are used as a preservative in many deodorant products. Research suggests that some may interfere with various hormones in the body.

Phthalates- the compound added to many cosmetics and nutraceuticals that help the good smell stick to your skin. Researchers have found that phthalates can alter hormone production, affect androgen function, and potentially lead to reproductive toxicity.

Triclosan- a chemical used to prevent contamination of bacteria. Although research is still evolving, there is mention that this chemical can affect the body’s microbiome and hormone activity.

So, if all those are not so good... what is better?

Magnesium Hydroxide, Mg(OH)2, is a safe and naturally occurring compound used, at a pharmaceutical grade, in natural deodorant products as an alternative to aluminum, baking soda, and other ingredients that are potentially irritating, ineffective, or hazardous.


Before launching into what natural deodorant is and its associated benefits. I want to share something I recently learned. Even though Garrison Minerals has been supplying the magnesium hydroxide found in many commercial and home-based natural deodorants for over a decade, I discovered that there is (at this time at least) NO SUCH THING AS ALL NATURAL ANTIPERSPIRANT. As reported by New York Magazine in the Strategist article, aluminum is the only FDA-approved antiperspirant; even if a natural deodorant helps to minimize moisture, nothing else has been found to impede the sweat glands the way aluminum does medically.

That said, many natural deodorant options help with both odor and moisture. Time for another shameless magnesium hydroxide plug: because Mg(OH)2 is less soluble than other natural aluminum alternatives, magnesium-based deodorants often help to absorb the moisture before and during the bacteria battle.



Natural deodorants substitute the aluminum compound for safer, more naturally occurring ingredients that seek to eliminate the underlying cause of odor - microbes and bacteria on the skin’s surface and attached to hair follicles. They also carefully source all additional elements skipping the harsh additives and chemicals.

If you are trying to eliminate or lessen the toxic intake and sustain a more natural, healthy lifestyle or experiencing side effects from your aluminum-based deodorant, switching to natural deodorant may be best.

And the fun is just beginning, as there is quite a variety of natural ingredients used in deodorants.

That said, our customers choose magnesium hydroxide specifically for their formulations. Here’s why:

"I use NutrapHix® magnesium hydroxide in my formulation for its absorbent and odor-neutralizing properties."

- Cristina Black, founder & managing director for Cris's Blends

"I chose NutrapHix® magnesium hydroxide as a safe and effective alternative to baking soda."

- Hilary Orr, founder & formulator for Honestly pHresh


Because approximately 60% of chemicals applied to the skin can be absorbed directly into the body, carefully considering the contents of topical products, like deodorant, is essential to personal health. Studies have shown that magnesium hydroxide does not absorb into the skin. Instead, its primary purpose in a natural deodorant is to counteract any odor-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface without impacting the dermis – the layer of skin containing sweat glands, pores, and hair follicles.

Better than Baking Soda

Although it effectively neutralizes bacteria, baking soda is alkaline, contrasting with the skin’s acidity. As a result, baking soda often strips the natural moisture barrier and can cause irritation, dryness, and discoloration. There is also the potential for allergic reactions.

On the other hand, magnesium hydroxide, found in soothing products such as Milk of Magnesia, balances the body’s natural pH while killing odor-causing bacteria without reducing skin moisture or causing skin damage.

Better than Alcohol

Another ingredient commonly found in natural deodorants is alcohol. Though it is often included as a solvent for various ingredients, aiding in the drying process, it can also kill odor-causing bacteria. That said, unless you have hardened skin, it is extremely drying and can cause immense irritation.

Better than Oils

Don’t get me wrong; I want my natural deodorant to smell nice; however, just masking the body odor with essential oils reminds me of a middle school locker room with branded cologne spray. As previously mentioned, magnesium hydroxide will neutralize the odor-causing bacteria, leaving any added essential oils to provide a pleasant aroma.


NutrapHix® Magnesium Hydroxide

Garrison Minerals is the preferred supplier of NutrapHix®, a pharmaceutical-grade magnesium hydroxide used by a number of industry-leading natural deodorant producers.

We offer ultra-high purity materials, free from synthetic solvents, carriers, processing aids or preservatives, that meet the USP Food Chemicals Codex, European Directive 2000/63/EC, and are certified by the Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000.

NutrapHix® Pharma+ is:

  • Vegan

  • 100% cruelty-free (and many of our customers are certified through Leaping Bunny)

  • Allergen free

  • Declared Kosher by The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America.

  • Non-GMO, non-bioengineered, and unaltered through biotechnology.

For over a decade, Garrison Minerals has provided the raw materials utilized in antacid preparation, mineral supplements, natural deodorants, cosmetics, and other food/pharmaceutical applications.


We would love to become your choice supplier of pharmaceutical-grade magnesium hydroxide.

Contact us today to discuss your natural deodorant production requirements or other pharmaceutical-grade magnesium hydroxide needs.

Need a sample or ready to order? All can be done, conveniently on our website where USA domestic shipping is always free.

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