Aluminum Hydroxide

What Is It?

Aluminum Hydroxide is a stable form of aluminum. It is found in nature as the mineral gibbsite. In cosmetics and personal care products, it is used in many types of cosmetics and personal care products including makeup and eye makeup products, lipstick, cleansing products, lotions, moisturizers, hair conditioners, other skin care products and suntan products.

Why Is It Used?

Aluminum Hydroxide functions as an opacifying agent and a skin protectant.

Scientific Facts

When used as an antiacid, the hydroxide ion in Aluminum Hydroxide reacts with the excess acid in the stomach, reducing the acidity.

Safety Information

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed the safety and efficacy of Aluminum Hydroxide for use in Over-the-Counter (OTC) drug products. It is permitted for use as an active ingredient in OTC antacids, and in OTC skin protectant drug products, including those intended for use in the anorectal area. The FDA also permits Aluminum Hydroxide to be used as an indirect food additive. For example, it may be used as a defoaming agent in the manufacture of paper and paperboard used to package food. Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has deferred evaluation of this ingredient because the safety has been assessed by FDA. This deferral of review is according to the provisions of the CIR Procedures.

Link to the FDA Code of Federal Regulations:

In Europe, Aluminum Hydroxide is an approved color additive (CI 77002) that may be used in all types of cosmetics and personal care products (see Annex IV). When used as a colorant in cosmetic products in the European Union, this ingredient must be called CI 77002.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More information about aluminum.

More Scientific Information

Aluminum Hydroxide is an inorganic base. Inorganic bases are alkalies which contain no carbon atoms. When placed in water, Aluminum Hydroxide separates into cations (positively charged aluminum) and hydroxide anions (negatively charged). The hydroxide anions serve to decrease the acidity of water (increase pH).


Find out more about the regulation of over-the-counter drugs by the Food and Drug Administration

OTC Drug Home Page:…

Information about OTC Drug monographs:

Find out more about the regulation of Food Additives by the Food and Drug Administration

Food Ingredients and Packaging:

Food Contact Substances:…

Substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):

Search the Code of Federal Regulations

EU Cosmetics Inventory