Aerial view of three jars of makeup, one yellow, one pink and one beige

WHAT IS IT? Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is the aluminum salt of the reaction product of Octenylsuccinic Anhydride with starch. Used in foundations, skin moisturizers, lipsticks, eye shadows, concealers, sunscreens and facial powders as an anti-caking and viscosity increasing agent, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is no scarce ingredient, found in concentrations as high as 30% in many of these products.

HEALTH RISK: Its main health concerns include:

– Developmental/reproductive toxicity (reproduction and fertility)
– Birth or developmental effects
– Contamination concerns – arsenic, lead, heavy metals
– Neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

We think that is reason enough to avoid using this chemical!

A Healthier Alternative: Try Tom’s Natural Confidence Roll-On Deodorant – it contains all natural ingredients and potassium alum derived from ore from the earth.

From our friends


  1. i think there shuld be campaign to people to be more aware of this products.people buy it evryday not knwing that its harzadous to their health.

    abiola | 10.23.2013 | Reply
  2. Could you send me details of research and findings of tests done on aluminum-starch-octenylsuccinate as I am working on some research which shows that this product is used in a potentially deadly sun tan lotion.

    Jon Sims | 07.26.2015 | Reply
  3. can we have some background on the molecule and how likely it is that the aluminium will detach and leach from said molecule?
    My instinct is to avoid it, but I’d like to know for sure.

    gloria | 11.30.2016 | Reply
  4. I purchased an anti aging product, and this was one of the first 3 ingredients in the product. The first I used it, I had a pimple within 1 hour. I’m returning. Thanks for the information.

    Eileen Chambers | 12.30.2018 | Reply
  5. Another site says otherwise, with direct references to studies: https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/700326-ALUMINUM_STARCH_OCTENYLSUCCINATE

    It is not enough to proclaim a product toxic (or avoid a product) without at least linking to your claims. Google is your friend.

    Marzi Pants | 12.28.2019 | Reply
  6. The link described above as well as so many other “google” sites, are primarily based on the: Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The National Library of Medicine (NLM). EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
    All these “Scientific Data” it’s from Government Agencies that are directed by the Pharmaceutical companies themselves. Who consequently “sponsor and do the funding” for all the “Safety” Scientific Evidence and Data collected to demonstrate it’s “safety” and get approval to place ON ALL FOOD and SKIN,SCALP,FACE PRODUCTS.

    This “Safe” product is ADDED on ALL Commercial flour(Basically ALL Breads have it), Cake flours, baking powders, lots of condiments, baby formulas, Coffe Creamers… Deodorants, Body lotions, Shampoos, Conditioners ..
    So by the end of the day .. your (1) Ingredient Goverment “Safety Product” .. becomes 20 TIMES the Quantity INSIDE your body.
    1- Ingested=GI organs every time you eat.
    2- Through your SKIN (lotions) (sun-blocks)
    3- Through your lymphatic nodes (Deodorant)
    4- Through your scalp/forehead (shampoos/conditioners).
    It’s the CUMULATIVE EFFECT … Simple Math!!
    * Research ONLY Non-Gov/3rd party non-bias sources.

    Bella Bel | 04.08.2020 | Reply
  7. Thanks Bella Bel. That’s a good point about Google. Just decided to compare a tube of working hands hand cream vs same brand but in the green plastic container. I noticed the tube had different ingredients including this crap. I love that hand cream but I guess I will stick to the plastic twist top vs the squeeze tube.

    Mia Murica | 04.30.2020 | Reply
  8. The aluminium in the potassium alum of the recommended roll-on deodorant is more motile and in a much higher concentration than that found in the listed cosmetics.

    PaperTec | 03.19.2021 | Reply
  9. I am a PhD chemist. I see no reason to worry about the toxicity of this ingredient for topical use, such as in hand creams and cosmetics. The aluminum in this ingredient increases the the viscosity, decreases the water-solubility, and therefore leaves a more protective coating on your skin, but it will come off when you wash with soap and water. It should not diffuse through your skin into your blood stream. However, I would not eat an aluminum-containing compound.

    Geoff Lindsay | 04.16.2021 | Reply
  10. Thank you Geoff

    Cupid | 05.01.2021 | Reply
  11. Just bc you are a PhD doesn’t mean we ignore the truth about it’s toxicity. Maybe a Pharma or Cosmetic company paid you to insert this laughable comment to persuade us to poison ourselves?!

    L O | 05.04.2021 | Reply
  12. This man has spent most of his life studying chemistry and its applications. As a professional biologist I agree with everything said. Most of these comments show a fundamental misunderstanding of the structure and permeability of different tissue types as it relates to different molecules, especially metal ions like aluminum. Squamous cell epithelium (skin) is impermeable to metal ions. This is why aluminum and magnesium salts are generally recognized as safe for use topically. Another example of this application is something like Epsom salts, where someone can sit in a bath of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) without accumulating magnesium and resulting toxicity. Please do not spread misinformation online without first examining primary source literature and review literature on the subject.

    Biology matters | 05.30.2021 | Reply
  13. Agree with you 100% Medical Medium Anthony William can help with heavy metal detox

    Brian G Roberts | 08.06.2021 | Reply
  14. Thanks for this article! So many harmful ingredients in women’s cosmetics and beauty products. The shills at EWG really downplayed the harmfulness of this ingredient, and other ingredients, and I was distrustful of the low toxicity rating I saw on that site, so glad I found this article.

    Hannah | 01.02.2022 | Reply

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