The Best Natural Deodorant For Teens & Stinky Kids
Give your maturing kid, tween or teen natural, non-toxic deodorant to combat body odor. I’ve found the best natural deodorant for kids, tweens and teens that will keep them stink-free all day without any harmful chemicals.
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Whether your child is a teenager, tween or maturing kid, body odor is an issue that most growing children will have to address at some point. With the onset of puberty, increased hormone levels cause the sweat glands to produce and secrete more sweat. When this sweat interacts with the bacteria found in the underarm area, it causes body odor.
There are tons of deodorant options on the market to keep your kids from stinking, but a large portion of them contain ingredients that may be harmful to your child’s health.
Because kids are developing and growing so rapidly, their bodies are especially vulnerable to toxic chemical exposure. Preventing exposure to toxic chemicals now will help to intercept any health issues your children might face in the future. Along with natural deodorant, keep your kids clean with non-toxic bath products and fluoride-free toothpaste.
What Causes Underarm Body Odor?
Our bodies sweat to cool down from heat, physical exertion (exercise) and when we’re nervous or stressed. But sweat alone isn’t what produces body odor. It’s the interaction of sweat and bacteria on our skin that causes body odor. You’ve probably heard about the gut microbiome, but we also have a bacterial microbiome on our skin too. In the underarm area, bacteria break down sweat, and the byproducts are compounds called thioalcohols. Thioalcohols have a stinky smell that’s responsible for body odor. This stinky odor is what we’re all trying to avoid by using deodorant.
Antiperspirant Versus Deodorant
- Antiperspirant works by blocking sweat from leaving your body. The aluminum compounds in antiperspirant physically plug up the pores in your underarm so sweat can’t escape. Without any sweat, bacteria have nothing to break down, so there’s no odor. For more information on ingredients to avoid, scroll to the end of this post.
- Deodorant doesn’t contain pore-plugging aluminum, so you’ll still sweat with deodorant. Deodorant is designed to kill the bacteria that cause odor. Deodorants contain ingredients that absorb sweat and balance underarm pH levels. They may also contain fragrance to mask smell. For more information on what ingredients to avoid, scroll to the end of this post for ingredients to avoid in your child’s deodorant.
Why Is Sweating Good For You?
- Sweating is good for regulating your body temperature, speeding recovery after exercise, promoting healthier skin, lowering stress hormones, and defeating harmful microbes.
- Sweating also rids the body of excess heavy metals and endocrine disruptors. A 2016 review summarized studies where the heavy metals arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury were detected in sweat, suggesting that sweat may be an important route for excretion of these heavy metals.
- Sweating has been shown to eliminate PCBs and the endocrine disruptor BPA from the body.
I’ve rounded up 10 clean & natural deodorant brands that don’t contain harmful chemicals and will keep your kids stink-free all day long. If you want to tame your child’s body odor, look below for the best clean and natural deodorant for growing kids, tweens and teens. From maximum protection to baking soda-free for sensitive skin, there’s a natural deodorant option for every growing child!
Christopher’s Organics Deodorant
Cost: $11.99 for 2.65 oz ($4.53 per ounce)
EWG Rating: EWG Verified
Formulas: Super Strength with Baking Soda-Free & Sensitive Skin Without Baking Soda
From the Christopher’s Organics website: This healthy, non-toxic, organic deodorant is serious in its quality and effectiveness. Christopher’s Organics provides a variety of vivid and full-bodied scents and each stick is crafted with the finest USDA Certified Organic ingredients, forming an antioxidant-rich blend that prevents odor at the source and soothes the skin. USDA Certified Organic, fair trade And vegan deodorant.
Free From: Fillers, toxic chemicals, parabens, aluminum, phthalates, gluten. Not tested on animals.
Scents: Peppermint, Lavender, Tea Tree, Cedarwood, Unscented
Shop: Christopher’s Organics Deodorant
Cost: $6.99 for 2.9 oz ($2.41 per ounce)
EWG Rating: EWG Verified
Formulas: Regular formula and Magnesium formula
From the Think Sun website: This formulation is based on our scientific expertise in creating safer products. All ingredients rated either a “0” or a “1” by EWG’s Skin Deep database. Applies and absorbs easily. No animal testing (Leaping Bunny member), Only tested on humans. Certified B Corporation.
Free From: Biologically harmful chemicals, no phthalates, parabens or aluminum.
Scents: Rose & Lavender, Coconut & Pineapple, Charcoal & Sage, Chamomile Citrus, Bergamot Cedarwood
Shop: Thinksport Deodorant
Play Pits Deodorant
Cost: $13 for 2.65 oz ($4.91 per ounce)
EWG Rating: 1
Formulas: Regular formula with Baking Soda
From the Play Pits website: Mom-approved ingredients! Created with gentle skin and skin sensitivities in mind. 100% all-natural deodorant that uses the best quality, non-toxic ingredients that are safe for everyone. This deodorant works with your body to absorb moisture and fight odors to keep you fresh all day and night, and the long-lasting formula keeps you protected throughout your most active days. Perfect for the entire family!
Free From: Parabens and synthetic fragrance
Scents: Suga (lemon, grapefruit & lemongrass), Happy (lavender), and Sunshine (orange & peppermint)
Shop: Play Pits Deodorant
Pretty Frank Deodorant
Cost: $14.99 for 2.7 oz ($5.55 per ounce)
EWG Rating: 1
Formulas: With Baking Soda & Baking Soda Free
From the Pretty Frank website: All Natural and Organic Ingredients. Pretty Frank natural deodorant provides around the clock protection from odor and wetness. This deodorant stick can be used on all body parts in any situation. The natural formula has been athlete tested and parent approved. Leaping Bunny Certified and Cruelty-Free.
Free From: Aluminum, Parabens, Fake Fragrance
Scents: Unscented, Charcoal Seaside, Lavender, Woodlands, Jasmine, Orange Vanilla
Shop: Pretty Frank Deodorant
Cost: $13.98 for 1.76 oz ($7.94 per ounce)
EWG Rating: n/a
Formula: Baking Soda Free
From the Mona website: 100% natural aluminum-free deodorant for kids. Developed by a doctor and parent and designed especially for young and growing pre-teens and teens. This deodorant is perfect for sensitive skin and is a natural way to neutralize odor and keep armpits dry, healthy, fresh, and smelling good all day!
Free From: Propylene glycol, artificial fragrance, aluminum, alcohol, Talc, petrolatum, parabens, colors, or preservatives
Scents: Orange, Honeydew, Vanilla Spice, Unscented
Shop: Mona Deodorant
Cost: $12 for 2.5 oz and 0.35 oz travel-sized ($4.80 per ounce)
EWG Rating: 1
Formulas: Original Formula With Baking Soda & Baking Soda Free For Vegan & Sensitive Skin
From the Humble website: With only 4 simple ingredients plus essential oils. Made with simple and effective ingredients that you can feel good about.
Free From: Aluminum, alcohol, dyes, parabens, talc or artificial fragrance. 100% Cruelty-Free.
Scents: Simply Unscented, Mountain Lavender, Black Spruce, Bergamot & Ginger, Lavender & Holy Basil, Lemongrass & Sage, Palo Santo & Frankincense, Patchouli & Copal, Moroccan Rose, Rosemary & Mint, Texas Cedarwood & Grapefruit
Shop: Humble Deodorant
Attitude Plastic-Free Deodorant
Cost: $12.99 for 3 oz ($4.33 per ounce)
EWG Rating: EWG Verified
Formulas: Original Formula With Baking Soda & Sensitive Baking Soda Free
From the Attitude Living website: Presented in a biodegradable packaging, ATTITUDE Plastic-Free Deodorant for Sensitive Skin is designed to provide long-lasting protection and a soothing sensation because it does not contain aluminum or baking soda. Easy to apply, this creamy EWG VERIFIED™ deodorant glides easily on the skin while providing maximum hydration, thanks to the shea butter and coconut oil contained in its formulation. Soothing ingredients like calming oatmeal will leave your armpits soft, and you’ll be naturally liberated from unwanted odors throughout the day, as magnesium hydroxide will keep you dry without the use of aluminum compounds.
Free From: Parabens, triclosan, steareths, phthalates, talc or artificial colors found in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants
Scents: Baking Soda Free (Avocado Oil, Argan Oil, Chamomile, Unscented); With Baking Soda (Unscented, Fresh, Olive Leaves, Lemon Leaves, Red Vine Leaves, White Tea Leaves)
Shop: Attitude Plastic-Free Deodorant
Prep U Deodorant
Cost: $9.99 for 2.5 oz ($4.00 per ounce)
EWG Rating: EWG Verified
From the Prep U website: All-natural, aluminum-free protection from body odor. That’s what you can expect from every stick of Prep U Natural Deodorant because you don’t actually need harmful chemicals to smell better. Aluminum and baking soda-free, they’ve combined the power of essential oils, the moisture of Jojoba oil, the hydration of Coconut oil, and the nourishment of Vitamin E to prevent odors without harming skin. Yes, you will still sweat because this isn’t an antiperspirant, but that sweat will be odor-free. EWG verified.
Free From: Parabens, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and SLS’s.
Scent: Citrus Mint
Shop: Prep U Deodorant
Fresh Kidz Deodorant
Cost: $9.99 for 1.86 fl oz ($5.37 per ounce)
EWG Rating: 1
Formula: Baking Soda Free Roll-On Formula
From the Fresh Kidz website: The roll-on deodorant goes on smoothly and is free from aluminum, alcohol, artificial colors, parabens and other harsh chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Fresh Kidz deodorant inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria, keeping kids from smelling through their day’s activities.
Free From: Aluminums, parabens, alcohol and other harmful chemicals.
Scents: Purple, Pink, Blue, Unscented
Shop: Fresh Kidz Deodorant
Meow Meow Tweet
Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant
Cost: $14 for 1.8 oz ($7.78 per ounce)
EWG Rating: 2
Formulas: Original Formula With Baking Soda & Baking Soda Free
From the Meow Meow Tweet website: Effective and low-waste and baking soda free? Our vegan all-natural deodorant stick is the cat’s pajamas! Meow Meow Tweet blends their tried and true dream team of potent plants and minerals together in a convenient biodegradable paper tube.
Free From: GMOs, parabens, phthalates. Certified organic and vegan ingredients.
Scents: Grapefruit, Eucalyptus Lemon, Rose Geranium, Cedar Spruce and Lavender Bergamot
Shop: Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant
Natural Deodorant On-The-Go
Imagine this scenario: you pick your tween up from school and drive directly to the dance studio, where he or she has a lesson. In the car, you breathe in the awful stench of body odor and realize that your child stinks. What do you do?
I have an answer! Stash some EO Natural Deodorant Wipes in your child’s bag, along with a travel size deodorant, like Humble Deodorant. When your tween goes into the dance studio, have them head to the bathroom, wipe their underarms with the wipes, then apply more deodorant. This should do the trick and keep your child stink-free for the rest of the day!
- Cost: $34.99 for 24 wipes
- EWG Rating: 1
- From the EO website: Stay feeling fresh on the go with effective, natural, individually-wrapped wipes. The soothing scent of floral lavender calms your senses. No aluminum or other toxins.
- Free From: Aluminum, synthetic fragrances, or propylene glycol
- Shop: EO Natural Deodorant Wipes
- Cost: $13.99 for 2.5 oz and 0.35 oz travel-sized ($4.91 per ounce)
- EWG Rating: 1
- From the Humble website: With only 4 simple ingredients plus essential oils. High elevation lavender delivers just-picked freshness and sweet herbaceous aromatics. Beloved for its calming effects, lavender has a rich history as a medicinal and culinary herb. Our rendition is a clean, bright, full-bodied scent that lives up to its legacy and brings the good vibes daily.
- Free From: Aluminum, alcohol, dyes, parabens or artificial fragrance. 100% Cruelty-Free.
- Shop: Humble Deodorant
Tips For Keeping Kids Stink-Free
- Start with an unscented natural deodorant. You’ll get a better idea of what brands work and what doesn’t work on your child without masking underlying odor with essential oils.
- Your child should shower on a regular basis. Washing regulates the bacterial count on your skin and helps keep unpleasant smells in check.
- Worried about smell on-the-go? Stash a pack of EO Deodorant wipes and a travel size deodorant in your bag before heading out. If your child notices body odor, have them head into a bathroom and wipe their underarms with deodorant wipes, then apply travel sized deodorant to keep odor under control.
- If your teen has sensitive skin, have them shave at night (if they shave) and apply deodorant in the morning. Make sure the deodorant is warm to prevent friction and dab instead of swipe if your skin is super sensitive. Switch to a sensitive formula without baking soda if a rash persists.
- Diet-induced body odor is a real thing. Red meat, fish, highly processed foods, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, onions & garlic and spices like curry can increase body odor. Eat plenty of leafy greens!
- Different people have different bacteria making a home on their skin—your child’s body odor is unique. Managing body odor is equally individualized, so what works for one child may not work for another.
Avoid These Ingredients In Deodorant
- Aluminum- Aluminum salt is the active ingredient in antiperspirant. You may see it listed as aluminum chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, or aluminum zirconium chlorohydrate. Although a 2003 study of 437 females with a positive breast cancer diagnosis found that underarm shaving followed by antiperspirant use may play a role in breast cancer, this study was flawed due to lack of a control group. The American Cancer Society claims that there is no conclusive evidence linking the use of antiperspirant to an increased risk of breast cancer. Despite this lack of evidence, I still choose to use deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminum, and my teenagers also use deodorant that’s aluminum-free too (see the section on why it’s healthy to sweat).
- Triclosan- The FDA has classified Triclosan as a pesticide. Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in household products like sanitizing hand soap, dish detergent, body wash, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant and antiperspirant. It’s meant to kill bacteria on contact. The overuse of products containing Triclosan has been blamed for bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Triclosan is a known endocrine disruptor and a suspected carcinogen. Studies show Triclosan impacts thyroid hormone concentrations and is associated with abnormal endocrine system signaling. Triclosan has also been linked with an increase in in vivo breast cancer cell growth.
- Parabens– Parabens are a type of preservative used to prevent the growth of bacteria and prolong the shelf life of lip balm, deodorant, lotion, and other beauty products. The most commonly used are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben and butylparaben. Based on a study conducted at the University of California Berkeley, researchers found that parabens were able to stimulate breast cancer cell growth, even at concentrations 100 times lower than the natural growth factor heregulin. These findings suggest that paraben exposure doesn’t have to be high to lead to cancer growth. The European Union banned the use parabens in cosmetics in 2012.
- Phthalates- Phthalates are used to increase the flexibility and transparency in plastics. They’re also found in beauty products, and they enhance product absorption, help products stick to your skin and keep fragrance smelling fresh. Phthalates mimic hormones, interrupting hormone production. A 2018 review found that current human exposure to phthalates may have effects on the male reproductive system.
- Polyethylene glycol– Polyethylene glycol is used to make lotion thicker and better able to transport moisture to the skin. The manufacturing process and introduce impurities and by-products, such as ethylene oxides and 1,4-dioxane, which are known carcinogenic materials.
- Synthetic fragrance- Beauty products can list fragrance as one ingredient and don’t have to disclose the fact that these formulations may contain hundreds of ingredients. Synthetic Fragrance may contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants and neurotoxic chemicals. Synthetic musks like galaxolide and tonalide, are linked to hormone disruption. Fragrance formulations also contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors.
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- Sears ME, Kerr KJ, Bray RI. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:184745. doi:10.1155/2012/184745
- Stephen J. Genuis, Sanjay Beesoon, Detlef Birkholz, “Biomonitoring and Elimination of Perfluorinated Compounds and Polychlorinated Biphenyls through Perspiration: Blood, Urine, and Sweat Study”, International Scholarly Research Notices, vol. 2013, Article ID 483832, 7 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/483832
- Genuis SJ, Beesoon S, Birkholz D, Lobo RA. Human excretion of bisphenol A: blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:185731. doi:10.1155/2012/185731
- Pan S, Yuan C, Tagmount A, Rudel RA, Ackerman JM, Yaswen P, Vulpe CD, Leitman DC. 2016. Parabens and human epidermal growth factor receptor ligand cross-talk in breast cancer cells. Environ Health Perspect 124:563–569; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1409200
- Patisaul, H.B. and Adawele, H.B. Long-Term Effects of Environmental Endocrine Disruptors on Reproductive Physiology and Behavior. Front Behav Neurosci. 2009; 3: 10.
- Adke, E.G. et al. Phthalate exposure and male reproductive outcomes: A systematic review of the human epidemiological evidence. Environ Int. 2018 Dec;121(Pt 1):764-793.
- Jang, H.J. et al. Safety Evaluation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Compounds for Cosmetic Use. Toxicol Res. 2015 Jun; 31(2): 105–136.
- Nudelman, J. and Engel, C. Right To Know. Exposing toxic fragrance chemicals in beauty, personal care and cleaning products. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. Sept. 2018.
- Synthetic Musks. Campaign For Safe Cosmetics. A Project of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.