Ammonium Alum

What Is It?

Ammonium Alum is a white crystalline solid. It is the aluminum salt of ammonium sulfate. In cosmetics and personal care products, Ammonium Alum is used in the formulation of aftershave lotions, body and hand products and douches.

Why Is It Used?

Ammonium Alum can be applied topically for use in caring for the oral cavity. It is also used to induce a tightening or tingling sensation of the skin. Ammonium Alum draws together or constricts body tissues which are effective in stopping the flow of blood or other secretions.

Scientific Facts

Ammonium Alum, or aluminum ammonium sulfate, has bacteriostatic properties. This means that Ammonium Alum inhibits the growth of microorganisms but does not kill them. Ammonium Alum is an inorganic salt.

Safety Information

Ammonium Alum is on the list of substances Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for use as a multipurpose food substance. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) adds ingredients to this list after review by the Select Committee on GRAS Substances. FDA also allows its use in over-the-counter (OTC) oral health care products. When used in an OTC product it must be listed on the label as Alum, Aluminum. The 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.

The FDA’s Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) concluded that there was no evidence in the available information on Ammonium Alum that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when it is used at levels that are now current or might reasonably be expected in the future.

Alum, including Ammonium Alum is allowed to be used as an astringent in OTC oral health care products.…

Link to FDA Code of Federal Regulations for Ammonium Alum (aluminum ammonium sulfate)…

More information about aluminum.

Ammonium Alum may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Regulation of the European Union.

Link to the EU Cosmetic Regulation:…

More Scientific Information

Ammonium Alum is an inorganic salt. In cosmetics and personal care products, Ammonium Alum functions as an astringent.


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