How to choose a natural deodorant for kids and teens

November 01, 2021

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Before discussing natural deodorants for kids and teens, I think it is very important to first discuss that the best choice revolves around the day to day needs of your child.  Natural deodorants are just that- "perfume for your pits".  They do not provide much needed antiperspirant coverage that this age group may benefit from socially.  
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How do you choose a deodorant for kids and teens?

If you are seeking a natural deodorant that is aluminum free then reading the label is important to make sure the ingenuous see are all natural. A most common ingredient that is used to neutralize odors is eucalyptus oil. Often times arrowroot powder, baking soda and kaolin clay are added to absorb sweat. Coconut oil, vitamin E and Shea butter can be found to help the products moisturize and soothe the skin. The main caution with these ingredients would be the baking soda- the most common rash I encounter is the reddish brown discoloration that can be sore and itchy under the arms. This is most often a result of baking soda. 

What makes kids and teens different from adults in any way? more sensitive skin? 

Kids and teens can be more unpredictable with their sweating patterns but excess sweating known as hyperhidrosis is more commonly diagnosed in teens and preteens and young adults. Their skin can be a bit more sensitive at time to products as well so being cautious about the ingredients used can help.

What are things to avoid in natural deodorant? What makes some better than others?
I tend to have my patients be cautious with baking soda as an ingredient. It’s not harmful per se but it can be really irritating to the skin. Lots of fragrances added can be pretty uncomfortable for sensitive skin types as well. Remember that natural deodorants are deodorants NOT antiperspirants. This is an important distinction because they do not stop people from sweating. They only work by trying to absorb sweat and neutralize odors. 

Why might a sweat wicking technology be good for teens and kids? 

The concept behind sweat wicking technology is to pull moisture away from the skin by absorbing or pulling the moisture into fabric away from the skin, migrating the moisture through the fabric to the outer layers so it can evaporate from there. This allows the moisture from sweat to not not accumulate close to the skin. You will see this quite often in athletic wear as it has become quite popular. Since I study functional textiles I find this to be brilliant as it simply avoids a chemical finish and focuses on the manufacturing of the textile to achieve this effect.

Kids and teens often get acne and skin issues--what should I look for in natural deodorant to support this?
Breakouts associated with the use of natural deodorants may be linked less to traditional acne and more to a change in the ‘bioflora’ of the skin. With yeast and bacteria present in these areas they may be inclined to overthrow and cause their own irritation. It can help to exfoliate under the arms once a week to remove residue buildup from products. Remember that since they do not stop sweating they just absorb it, there can be a build up that develops over time. Taking a sugar scrub or an apricot scrub or a clean wash cloth it can help to gently clean this area once weekly to remove any buildup. 

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