What Age Should a Child Start Using Deodorant?

By Bridget M. Burns in Natural Products

Summer sun and a break from school likely mean your tween is spending more hours outdoors running, playing, and sweating in the heat. All that perspiration—and the odor that comes with it—might have you asking: what age should a child start using deodorant?

What Age Should a Child Start Using Deodorant?

The tween years are full of changes, and for parents, it can be a difficult time to navigate. According to the Child Mind Institute, tweens are loosely defined as children between the ages of eight and twelve. Though a relatively short period of time, these years include monumental shifts in cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development. That development can make it a perfect time to introduce your kids' first deodorant.

Many families wait for signs of puberty before introducing their child to an underarm product. Others might notice bodily changes earlier, either because their child is especially active or as a result of their chemistry or diet. Starting the practice of using a natural deodorant for kids before puberty officially begins could help to avoid an embarrassing situation later on. Tween years are tumultuous enough!

Kids might not immediately embrace the new hygiene practices that come with puberty. Showering more frequently, shaving, and wearing deodorant are habits that can take some time to get used to. By introducing an underarm product early, your child's routine will be well-established by the time they really need odor protection.

active kids jumping on trampoline

Deodorant vs. Antiperspirant

People often use the word deodorant to refer to any underarm product. In reality, there is a big difference between products labeled as deodorant and those labeled as antiperspirant. While deodorants are designed for odor protection, antiperspirants claim to reduce underarm sweat.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the only active ingredients currently approved for antiperspirants are variations of aluminum salts. While underarm products containing aluminum are considered safe, there are some people who prefer to avoid using products that contain it. Understanding the difference between aluminum-free deodorant and antiperspirant is the first step in deciding which product is best for you and your family.

How to Stop Smelly Armpits Naturally

As a parent, you've likely taken care to avoid unnecessarily exposing your children to artificial ingredients in food. The great news is that you can do the same with personal care! Many companies are now introducing products, including kids' first deodorant, with kid-friendly packaging and naturally derived ingredients.

Look for natural products that are specially designed for tweens. Your kids can still get twenty-four hour odor protection without artificial fragrances, preservatives, parabens, or aluminum. Scent is also an important factor to consider whether you're looking for a natural deodorant for girls or boys.

You may want to purchase several different deodorant options for your tween to try. While many options are unisex, you may still find that what works great as a deodorant for a teenage girl might not be as great a fit for a boy of the same age. Different people may also be drawn to different fragrances. If you let your child make the ultimate decision on their new deodorant, there's a better chance they'll actually use it.

Four girls jump on school track outside

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Why It's Good

Parenting is full of opportunities to help your child through life's milestones. By educating yourself on underarm products, you can better understand what makes natural deodorant for kids different and feel more confident choosing the best deodorant for your child.