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According to wikipedia, Aluminium based compounds are the most widely used antiperspirants. They react with the electrolytes in the sweat to form a gel plug in the duct of the sweat gland. The plugs prevent the gland from excreting liquid. The blockage of a large number of sweat glands reduces the amount of sweat produced in the underarms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiperspirant