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5 Best Deodorants for Kids and Preteens, According to Dermatologists

May 11, 2022

5 Best Deodorants for Kids and Preteens, According to Dermatologists

These aluminum-free deodorants are doctor-approved.

Good Housekeeping 

By Jacqueline Saguin and Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping Institute (original post 4/19/2022)

If your kids are barely old enough to walk to school by themselves, you might be surprised, and even a little confused, when you notice that familiar scent of body odor coming from their armpits. Rest assured: This is normal.

"I give the green light for kids to use deodorant when they start to have a bothersome body odor in the underarm area," says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. "This is different for everyone, but it is usually early in puberty." There are two types of deodorants for kids out there: Deodorants neutralize or minimize body odor but don't stop sweating while antiperspirants reduce sweating and wetness on the skin. Deodorants are aluminum-free, and most are generally considered safe for children, says Dr. Zeichner. Of course, as with any personal care product, you should always touch base with your pediatrician.

Since safety is always a number one priority, you'll want to choose only heavily vetted and trusted products to apply to your kid's delicate skin. We tapped four dermatologists for their recommendations and rounded up formulas the Good Housekeeping Institute Lab experts found suitable for kids, preteens and teens, alike. Here are the 5 best deodorants for kids of 2022.

Our Top Picks:

0% Aluminum Deodorant - DOVE

Known for mixing moisturizers into their deodorants, which helps soothe irritable skin, Dove aims to protect your kid's sensitive underarms with this soft solid formula claiming 48-hour odor protection. This formula is designed to be gentle, containing 0% aluminum and 0% alcohol, which will help avoid itchy, red underarms – a great option for any teens who shave their armpits. In fact, Dr. Zeichner recommends this aluminum-free deodorant to his own children.

Wicked Cool! Kids Deodorant - TOM'S OF MAINE
Typically easy to find, appealing to kids and available in a few different scents, Tom's Wicked Cool! deodorant is one of Dr. Wattenberg's favorite recommendations for kids. The deodorant stick is said to provide 24-hour odor protection without irritating sensitive skin; it's aluminum-free, paraben-free and artificial fragrance-free, according to its packaging. And since most deodorant packaging is not recyclable curbside, the brand has built a partnership with TerraCycle to help you recycle it properly. Amazon reviewers say it really does banish the stink: "My son is [nine and a half], active, and a typical boy. He started getting a little B.O. after karate. I tried another natural one, and it worked for a few hours. I bought this and if he skips a day for a shower, you would NEVER know."
Aluminum-Free Natural Deodorant Roll-On - GOOD FOR YOU GIRLS
A blend of botanicals — aloe, arnica, lavender, chamomile, witch hazel and white tea extracts — helps naturally neutralize odors while conditioning skin. Our product experts love the youthfulness of the Fresh Honeydew scent with its green and fruity notes. Plus, we enjoyed how the roll-on formula makes for easy reapplications on the go. "I like the cooling sensation of the water-based formula as it goes on and evaporates from skin," says Aral. The texture also feels lightweight and more gel-like than creamy, so you need a more generous amount on the underarms.
Natural Deodorant - NATIVE
Native's deodorants are a popular pick among adults, and teenagers who want to avoid childish scents and branding will love the vast array of scents available, from coconut and vanilla to lavender rose. The variety impressed our Lab experts, but GH Beauty Lab Executive Director Birnur Aral is "especially partial to the eucalyptus and mint." We also love "its creamy texture against the skin," she adds. "It goes on clear and does not leave any crumbly white residue. Thanks to emollients like coconut oil and shea butter in the formula, it just glides on skin and leaves it feeling conditioned." More than 5,000 Amazon reviewers agree. And if you're looking for a more sustainable option, Native also offers the same deodorant in a plastic-free paperboard tube.
Mineral Body Deodorant Roll-On - CRYSTAL

Our Lab experts enjoyed that the Crystal deodorant offers an easy roll-on application. Since the formula is water-based, it takes a while to dry, so we advise that kids apply this on clean, dry skin, then allow it to set completely before putting on clothes. It comes in compact, easy-to-grip packaging, which makes it great for stashing in a sports bag or backpack. We enjoyed its pared-down formula, which has only six ingredients, "a great option for people who do not like to have their deo’s scent clashing with other fragrances," says Aral.

Savvy consumers will notice potassium aluminum sulfate listed in the ingredients of this deodorant, which is a mineral salt with astringent and antimicrobial properties. It's free of aluminum chlorohydrate, the active ingredient in anti-perspirant. While it is labeled “unscented,” meaning that it doesn’t have a specific floral, powdery or fresh scent, we found it had a base odor that might be off-putting for some. It also contains benzoic acid as a preservative, which is technically considered a fragrance due to its faint aroma.