Body odor. It’s bound to happen. Right around the time kids enter puberty, you might start noticing that your dear darling smells a bit, which is to be expected and totally natural. It also means that it’s probably time to start using deodorant.
But, your child is still a child after all, and you’re probably looking for a deodorant that is gentle on sensitive skin while still being effective at keeping the bad smells at bay. That’s why we rounded up our favorite deodorants for kids so that you won’t be wondering which one to choose for your child.
But, that said, you might still have some questions. So take a look at what you need to know about kids and deodorants before choosing the right one for their little armpits.
What Age Should My Child Start Using Deodorant?
Usually, body odor begins to happen around the time of puberty, which can be as young as 8 years old for girls and 9 years old for boys. So simply put, when your child starts to smell a bit, well, smelly, and bathes regularly, then it’s probably time to introduce a deodorant into their routine.
When in doubt, always talk to your child’s doctor to see if it’s a good time to start having your child use deodorant.
Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant
Deodorants stop the smell of body odor when you sweat whereas an antiperspirant stops you from sweating at all.
Most children do best with a deodorant. When bacteria on skin mixes with sweat it gives off an unpleasant smell. Sweat itself does not smell until it comes in contact with the bacteria.
If your child sweats more than normal, check with their doctor to see if an antiperspirant is right for them. They may have a common condition called hyperhidrosis, which is the medical term for excessive sweating.
Ingredients to avoid
Kids are growing and some chemicals found in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants aren’t good for their sensitive skin and growing bodies. Before choosing a deodorant, check the ingredients list and make sure it does not include any of the following:
- Aluminum. Aluminum is a very controversial ingredient that prevents sweating by blocking sweat ducts. When it comes to kids, it’s best to stay away from deodorants and antiperspirants with aluminum in it.
- Phthalates. Phthalates can be found from everything to toys, containers, cosmetic products and more. Some research suggests that it can disrupt the endocrine system in males and impact reproductive health in females.
- Parabens. Parabens are a type of preservative. When applied to the skin, they are absorbed and research suggests that it can mess with hormones since it mimics the hormone estrogen.
- Artificial fragrance. Look for deodorants that contain natural fragrance derived from oils and plant-based ingredients, or when in doubt, stick with unscented.
Top 10 Deodorants for Kids
We’ve made it to the list! Most of the deodorants on this list are suitable for kids of all ages with a few that are better for teens. But don’t worry. We’ve noted which ones are best for teens below.
But no matter which one you choose, the deodorants that made our list are effective and don’t contain any nasty ingredients.
1. Tom’s of Maine Wicked Cool Deodorant
As always, Tom’s keep it all-natural including the fragrance. This deodorant comes in two scents, Freestyle for the boys and Summer Fun for the girls, and both smell equally great while providing odor protection for up to 24 hours.
Tom’s of Maine Wicked Cool Deodorant doesn’t contain aluminum, parabens or artificial fragrance. The ingredients list won’t have you confused either. Tom’s breaks down the purpose of each ingredient on their website so that you know what it is and why it’s in there.
- All natural ingredients.
- No aluminum or parabens.
- Easy to apply.
- Great scent.
- Can melt easily. Make sure to store in a cool place.
2. Schmidt’s Fragrance-Free Natural Deodorant
For kid’s sensitive skin, Schmidt’s Fragrance Free is a great choice. But just make sure your child isn’t applying too much. A little goes a long way, and a small amount will do the trick.
Schmidt’s natural deodorant goes on easy and doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients like parabens, phthalates, aluminum or artificial fragrance. This is another ingredients list that you can understand with ingredients like baking soda, arrowroot, coconut oil, and jojoba seed oil.
- Free of artificial fragrance, aluminum, parabens, phthalates, and propylene glycol.
- Gluten-free, vegan and cruelty-free.
- All natural ingredients.
- Baking soda absorbs wetness.
- Kids may apply too much which can lead to an unwanted sticky feeling.
3. Primal Pit Paste All-Natural Deodorant
Primal Pit Paste is not just great for adults, but kids too! This all-natural deodorant contains arrowroot powder to absorb wetness and as well as aluminum-free baking soda to keep kids armpits smelling good.
Not only are the ingredients natural, but they are organic too! Besides keeping kids smelling good and dry, it also is gentle and moisturizing on skin with coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter. We also love that there are so many scents to choose from too including lavender, lemongrass, rosemary lavender, orange creamsicle and more.
- Arrowroot powder and baking soda are effective at odor control.
- Free of parabens, aluminum, and phthalates.
- All organic ingredients.
- Variety of scents as well as unscented.
- Doesn’t go on as smooth as other deodorants.
4. Keep It Kind Fresh Kidz Fragrance-Free Deodorant
Made for tweens and teens, this deodorant keeps kids smelling great naturally for up to 24 hours. It is free of parabens, aluminum, and SLS and it is also not tested on animals.
Kids may need to get used to this deodorant though. It rolls on wet and needs a little time to dry. But once it’s on it is super effective. While it’s fragrance-free, it keeps kids smelling fresh and clean, even after a long day of playing hard.
- Very effective but gentle on sensitive skin.
- Made specifically for tweens and teens.
- Free of nasty chemicals and fragrance.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
- Kids might not like that it rolls on wet.
5. Prep U Natural Deodorant for Guys
Prep U is just for the guys, both tweens and teens. This natural deodorant comes in a vibrant citrus mint sent your teen will love. You’ll love that the ingredients including the fragrance are all-natural.
Not only does this deodorant contain no aluminum and parabens, but baking soda free. The essential oil blend gives it its great smell and includes bergamot, eucalyptus, neem tree, lemon, and frankincense.
- Great citrus mint scent.
- Natural ingredients are gentle on sensitive skin.
- Free of GMOs, baking soda, parabens, and aluminum.
- Very effective on tween and teen boys.
- On the expensive side.
6. Dirty Kids Organics Deodorant Stick
The Dirty Kids Organics Deodorant Stick is a great pick for moms (dads) that are looking for not only a natural deodorant but also an organic one for their kid. We also love that it’s free from parabens, paraffin, aluminum, and SLS. It’s so natural, Dirty Kids says it’s edible, though we don’t suggest snacking on it.
This vegan and cruelty-free deodorant have a pretty short list of ingredients that you’ll know like baking soda, coconut oil, shea butter, and arrowroot powder. This deodorant is available in “forest” and lavender scents, but for extra sensitive skin, stick to the unscented version.
- Simple, pure ingredients are great for sensitive skin.
- Lavender and forest scent smells great.
- Applies easily.
- Not strong enough for kids with extra strong body odor.
7. Truly’s Cream Deodorant for Kids
Truly’s has all the benefits of great kids deodorant. It’s organic, free of chemicals and effective. What makes this deodorant stand out is its unique application. Simply rub a pea-size amount of this cream on armpits for all-day odor-blocking capabilities.
The ingredients list is super short – 4 ingredients! It is made of organic coconut oil, organic powdered sugar (yes, really!), baking soda and beeswax. That’s it! It has a nice coconut scent that kids may or may not like, but there’s no doubting it’s effective.
- Contains 4 ingredients.
- Made with organic coconut oil and powdered sugar!
- Absorbs quickly and won’t stain clothes.
- Free of any chemicals or artificial fragrance.
- Kids may not like its untraditional deodorant application.
8. FoodGradeOrganic Natural Deodorant Kids
Here’s another deodorant that is so natural you could eat it! It is made with carcinogen-free ingredients and is hypoallergenic. We also love that the company has a heart – 100% of the profit goes to cancer prevention charity.
Some of the ingredients in the FoodGradeOrganic deodorant are like many of the ingredients included in deodorants on this list like aluminum-free baking soda, arrowroot. But what sets this deodorant apart from the rest are ingredients like rose water, aspen bark extract, burdock root extract, stinging nettle, calendula and more that make this deodorant effective as well as smelling great.
- Roll-on goes on clear.
- Blend of essential oils smells good.
- Effective and hypoallergenic.
- Ingredients are organic or wild harvested.
- Free of carcinogens.
9. Crystal Mineral Deodorant Stick
The Crystal Mineral Deodorant stick not only looks pretty but also works great on kids, teens, and adults. The stone shaped deodorant glides on smooth and won’t rub off on clothes. What you won’t believe is that it contains only one ingredient: mineral salts.
Mineral salts work by providing a barrier so sweat and bacteria don’t mix to produce unwanted body odor. Crystal is hypoallergenic and safe for all ages.
- One effective hypoallergenic ingredient.
- Goes on smooth.
- Goes a long way – one container can last up to a year!
- Unscented and free of chemicals.
- While suitable for everyday use, might not block odors during strenuous activities or hot days.
10. Native Deodorant
We think Native Deodorant is great for teens that need something that will keep them dry and smelling fresh. Native uses baking soda and tapioca starch to get rid of odors and minimize wetness and it does so very well.
Teens will love the yummy scents it comes in including coconut & lime, coconut & vanilla, and cranberry & plum. This deodorant is aluminum-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free and free of phthalates.
- Great scents to choose from.
- Free of chemicals.
- Great for teens.
- Not tested on animals.
- Effective even on hot days and strenuous activity.
- Doesn’t go on as smooth as other deodorants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My child is using deodorant but it isn’t working. They sweat a lot/have a strong body odor. What should I do?
A: If deodorant isn’t effective or your child is sweating more than usual, check with your child’s doctor. It could be an underlying medical condition that will require more than an over the counter deodorant.
Excessive sweating is one condition that is common in children, teens and young adults that may require prescription-strength antiperspirant or even medication. But again, consult with your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s sweating or body odor.
Q: When should my child apply deodorant?
A: Many deodorants will provide 24-hour protection and only need to be applied once a day. The best time to apply deodorant is at night, preferably after a shower or bath. Make sure skin is dry before applying the deodorant though.
If your child needs some help fighting off body odor, but you are worried about what they are putting on their body, we know that any deodorant off this list will help them smell great and feel better.
Our top pick though is good ole Tom’s of Maine. Natural effective ingredients and great scents for both boys and girls will help keep your child free of body odor no matter how hard they play or how hot the day.