Someone has to say it—kids can stink. We may not always know how to handle kids' body odor between hormones, puberty and nervous sweats over testing or homework. Sometimes no matter how well they wash, the scent lingers. And chances are, they've probably already ruined their best kids sandals from sweaty feet but let's tackle one problem at a time.
We'll break down what to look for in the best kids deodorants to cleanse the air you share.
When looking for the best deodorant for kids, Dr. Leah M. Alexander, MD, pediatrician and consultant for Mom Loves Best says parents should be aware that children's skin is more sensitive than that of adults.
"To prevent local skin reactions, choosing an unscented deodorant or one with less added fragrance is often better," says Alexander. "The higher up on the list of ingredients, the more fragrance has been added to the deodorant product."
Alexander also noted that age has no real bearing on when it's appropriate and says when your child, "begins to have an axillary odor that is no longer managed with a daily bathing routine." That's a clear indicator it's time for deodorant.
"In most cases, odor develops when early signs of puberty are present, which coincides with some amount of apocrine gland activity," Alexander says. "The timing of normal puberty ranges from ages eight to 10 in girls and 10 to 12 in boys. However, some prepubertal children develop an axillary odor, and the use of deodorant is also warranted to prevent bullying or social isolation."
However, puberty can begin early—she's seen it as early as four—and in those cases, Alexander suggests having them evaluated by their pediatrician or an endocrinologist.
Another thing to look out for is whether the deodorant contains aluminum. Though it reduces sweating, Alexander says most prepubescent kids can typically get away with aluminum-free or natural deodorants. Older kids sweat more and often desperately need odor control, so they can tolerate aluminum-based deodorants and antiperspirants—just be sure to research which is best for your child.
"In the past, there was concern that aluminum could cause breast cancer or have other adverse effects," Alexander says. "However, recent research studies have failed to find an association between skin application of aluminum-containing deodorants and cancer. It has also been shown that little to no aluminum is absorbed into the skin."
As far as what type is best, Alexander says it's a personal preference adding, "I would, however, be concerned about using a spray deodorant in younger children due to the potential inhalation of aerosols that could irritate the lungs."
There's a reason we chose this Dove solid stick as the best kids deodorant. It may not be directly solely at kids or preteens, but the aluminum, alcohol, and baking soda-free formula helps reduce skin irritation without sacrificing odor protection. Infused with cucumber and green tea fragrance, teensl enjoy 48 hours of stinkless confidence all while the moisturizing formula comforts skin.
It's our top pick thanks to budget-friendly pricing, a mess-free delivery system and adult-feeling packaging that makes tweens and teens feel mature. We also love the coconut oil additives that keep bacterial growth around sweat glands at bay while hydrating delicate skin.
You don't have to spend a lot to find the best deodorants for kids. This oldie but goodie has been going strong since the 90s—and for good reason. The "sassy" pink crush scent devours odor with no white residue in one simple swipe. And bonus: Lady Speed Stick is also an antiperspirant so kids can raise their hands without fear.
If you're looking for a natural deodorant with a sweet scent that still kicks the odor to the curb, this Fresh Monster Natural Deodorant gets the job done. Made with plant-based ingredients (without aluminum, parabens, triclosan, phthalates or other harsh chemicals and irritants), this solid stick is long-lasting with a unique gummy burst scent that glides on with ease.
Dermatologist-tested for even the most sensitive skin, Gummy Burst is a perfect choice for kids at almost any stage—or whenever they're ready to start wearing deodorant.
As one of the best natural deodorants for kids, Tom's of Maine's Wicked Cool is a winner among kids and parents. This three-pack is a must-try for its 24-hour odor protection, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Reviewers say the Freestyle Scent is cool, fresh and light while combating unbearable tween odor.
Wicked Cool deodorant is also one of Amazon's best-rated health and hygiene products overall thanks to natural ingredients like baking soda and a cruelty-free formula.
For the young, nervous sweaters in your life, Miles Antiperspirant and Deodorant can help. Made with mostly plant-based ingredients, Miles promises to neutralize underarm odor and stop the bacteria that cause the stink while nixing any wetness. This is an amazing first choice for kids who have a combination of sweat and odor.
We also love the bright, gender-neutral packaging and smooth delivery system that's easy to toss in a gym or sports bag. It keeps excessive sweating at bay while making kids feel cool, mature and trendy. It's available in both antiperspirant and deodorant-only formulas, so take your pick.
There are plenty of deodorant options directed at boys versus girls, but Kobi Sport is a gender-neutral alternative. Though they have versions for both genders, some reviewers have tried both. With 24-hour odor protection that reactivates when your child sweats, this natural, non-irritating, sensitive formula goes on clear with a roll-on ball and replaces gnarly body odor with the brand's signature Mountain Mint scent.
Some kids might prefer a roll-on deodorant and this Good For You Girls natural deodorant promises superior odor protection with the use of two types of probiotic technology to eliminate bacteria. Created with clay, essential minerals, amino acids, beta-glucan, and vitamins for an invisible layer of protection, and microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, the fresh honeydew scent is a winner.
For the older tweens and teens who can't waste time swiping or rolling, the ABOVE Neymar Jr. Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant Spray offers an invisible, fast-drying option so they can spray and go. With 72 hours of clinically-proven sweat and odor protection, your kid will love the invigorating scents of patchouli, oak musk, and citrus fruit notes keeping them fresh.
All the teens in your house will thank Keep it Kind Fresh Kidz Natural Roll On Deodorant when it's time for school. The convenient, dermatologist-tested roll-on combats body odor for 24 hours. There are multiple versions available, suited toward girls or boys but none clog pores or leave ugly stains on clothing.
This handy bottle is also a great option for sensitive skin as it's made without harmful chemicals like aluminum.
There you have it. But the best deodorant for kids is one they'll wear. That's it. That's the real secret. Peace be with you!
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