The 7 Best Non-Toxic Deodorants For Kids And Pre-Teens
This post contains affiliate links which may earn Eco Mom Diaries a commission.
Around the time my son turned 8 years of age, I noticed that his armpits had developed a funky odor—especially on days when he had been really active at school.
I knew that he would eventually start to smell, but this early? I have to admit, I was a little concerned. So at his well check appointment, I asked his pediatrician if it was normal to have funky armpits this early in adolescence, and his doctor said “absolutely”.
Body odor is an unavoidable part of growing up. While some children may start to experience body odor around age 10 or 11, it is not at all uncommon for some children to start having body odor as early as 8 years of age (like mine).
The whole thing is bitter-sweet. You’re celebrating the fact that your child is growing up, but then you find yourself mourning that “little baby”, which they literally were just a few short years ago.
Why Do Kids Stink So Much??
Armpits stink in general because they are a warm, moist area of the body that provide a perfect environment for bacteria to grow. When sweat mixes with the bacteria on the skin, it produces a strong odor.
Now, in more scientific terms, we sweat because we have two types of sweat glands on our bodies: eccrine and apocrine. Let’s get to know them.
Eccrine sweat glands are a type of sweat gland found all over the body. These glands produce sweat that helps to regulate the body’s temperature, and are found in the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and forehead.
The sweat produced by these glands is composed of water and salt, and it is odorless. The Eccrine glands are important for maintaining a healthy body temperature, as well as for cooling the body down during exercise or in hot weather.
Apocrine sweat glands, on the other hand, are larger than eccrine glands, and are mainly found in the armpits, groin and scalp area. Apocrine glands produce a thicker, more odorous sweat than eccrine glands, and this sweat contains proteins and fatty acids, which are broken down by bacteria on the skin, causing body odor.
How Do I Talk To My Child About Their Body Odor
The body odor conversation with your child can either go really awkward, or it can go really smoothly. The trick is to pick the right time and place, and make it as casual as possible.
After realizing that my little guy was starting to stink, and after doing thorough research on kid-friendly deodorants, I snuck the topic in while we were out walking. I figured that the best time to bring up the topic of body odor was while it was happening—during exercise.
The conversation went something like “man, we both stink right now” (my son raises his arm and proceeds to smell his armpit and gags). “You’re right” he replies. I then ask him how he feels about getting his own deodorant and putting it on as part of his morning routine.
The response? Complete excitement. Something about being able to wear deodorant made him feel like a mini adult with a new exciting responsibility.
“Wow, they make those for kids?” He asked. I told him yes, and explained to him how it all works. We even got into the whole chemistry of body odor and how that all works and he was really fascinated with it instead of grossed out.
What Are The Benefits Of Natural Deodorants For Kids?
- Natural deodorants are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin.
- Natural deodorants are made from ingredients like baking soda, arrowroot powder, activated charcoal and essential oils, which are gentle and safe for kids.
- Natural deodorants are also free from aluminum, which is a common ingredient in many conventional deodorants and has been linked to many health concerns.
Do Natural Deodorants Really Work?
My son, who is 9 now, has been wearing a natural deodorant for a year now, and after some trial and error with different formulas and brands, we finally found the one, and I’ll tell you right now that not only does it kill odor, it even keeps his underarms dry during PE at school (not that he sweats a lot at his age, but physical activity in humid Northwest Florida is nasty).
Every child is different, so you’ll find that not every natural deodorant will work for them. You have to experiment to see which formula works with their body type.
In our case, a formula made of activated charcoal and tapioca starch is what did the trick. The natural deodorant which he uses (and I do too), is PiperWai.
PiperWai is made with a combination of activated charcoal, tapioca starch, coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils that are super delicate on skin, yet still manage to eliminate bacteria which causes BO, and trap wetness without clogging pores like aluminum tends to do.
I’ll elaborate more on PiperWai below, and provide you with recommendations on a few other great brands with similar formulas (because there are some that focus only on odor and not so much on trapping sweat).
All of these natural deodorants are safe for kids, and are made with 100% natural ingredients (made without parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances). They are also vegan and cruelty-free.
Best Non-Toxic Deodorants For Kids And Pre-Teens
PiperWai Activated Charcoal Deodorant
I was the first person in our family to start using PiperWai, and when my son wasn’t liking the other deodorants that he initially tried, I reached out to PiperWai and asked if it was safe for children to use. Their response left me more than happy!
A representative from PiperWai stated that “the entire essential oil blend within PiperWai makes up less than 1% of the overall formula, falling far below the <2% safe range.”
My son loves the light and airy scent (which smells like citrus candy), and he stays dry and odor free, even on days where he skips a shower. If you’re a boy mom, you know exactly how stinky those pits can get when they skip a shower. That’s why I LOVE this formula so much.
See my full review of PiperWai, and what it looks like on the skin, here!
- Vegan & Cruelty-Free.
- Container made from ocean waste plastic (OCP).
- Aluminum free.
- Made with a combination of activated charcoal, tapioca starch, coconut oil, shea butter and essential oils.
- Safe for delicate skin.
- Lasts close to 48 hours (in our case).
Freedom Natural Deodorant
Freedom is a women-owned, all-natural deodorant that’s great for the whole family. It’s cruelty-free, gluten-free, and made without parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances. It’s also safe for all skin types and sensitivities, including kids.
Freedom deodorants are made with baking soda and arrowroot powder. Baking soda neutralizes odor, while arrowroot powder absorbs moisture—leaving you odor-free and dry.
Other natural ingredients include: Shea butter, natural beeswax, kaolin clay, and a safe blend of essential oils to keep your child smelling great! Freedom is available in a few different scents, and you can even choose unscented.
- Cruelty-free & leaping bunny certified.
- Made with baking soda, arrowroot powder, shea butter, natural beeswax, kaolin clay, and a safe blend of essential oils.
- Safe for delicate kids skin.
- Eco-friendly packaging.
Kidskin Odor Fighting Natural Deodorant
Kidskin is one of my favorite children’s skincare brands. In fact, I have them listed in my Top 5 Face Creams For Kids article.
The Kidskin natural deodorant for kids is made with baking soda and tapioca starch—two ingredients that neutralize odor and trap moisture. It also has another interesting natural ingredient, Diatomaceous Earth, which is composed mostly of silica, and just like its friends, baking soda and tapioca starch, is a highly absorbent material that takes away bad smells.
Unlike other natural deodorants, Kidskin is unscented—making it a highly hypoallergenic option for someone with very sensitive skin. So if your child’s skin is so sensitive that they can’t even handle essential oils, this natural deodorant is the best choice.
- Made with tapioca starch, baking powder and Shea butter.
- 24 hour odor protection.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
BeNat All-Natural Deodorant For Kids
The BeNat natural deodorant for kids contains a perfect blend of coconut oil, beeswax, vegetable emulsifier, cornstarch, baking soda, avocado seed oil, and essential oils.
BeNat was founded by a mom of 3 with a mission to raise awareness about chemicals used in our daily hygiene and cosmetic products, promoting the use of simple, clean, safe and effective all-natural products.
The BeNat deodorant for kids lasts 24 hours, and is dermatologist tested to be hypoallergenic. As far as scent, BeNat has a lovely scent of citrus and tea tree that many find kids find pleasant.
- Made with coconut oil, beeswax, vegetable emulsifier, cornstarch, baking soda, avocado seed oil, and essential oils.
- 24 hour odor protection.
Not My Dad’s Aluminum Free Deodorant
“Not My Mama’s” is a really fun and colorful kids’ personal care brand that has a really cute line of natural deodorants for both boys and girls. The boys deodorant has a subtle “clean spice”scent , while the girl version has a sweet lemon scent.
These deodorants are roll ons, and contain strong and unique odor fighting ingredients including magnesium hydroxide, arrowroot powder, diatomaceous earth, probiotics and baking soda.
These make especially fun first-time deodorants for kids who need a little push. The aesthetic labels are really fun, and encourage kids to want to use the product. The video game controller is a super cute idea.
- Magnesium hydroxide, arrowroot powder, diatomaceous earth, probiotics, baking soda and essential oils.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
Coco Me Fresh Organic Deodorant For Kids
The Coco Me Fresh organic deodorant for kids is made with only all-natural and organic ingredients that are actually edible! But, please don’t tell your children that, lol.
This all-natural kids deodorant is made with strong and effective odor fighting ingredients including arrowroot starch and baking soda, which also absorb moisture, and keep your little one dry.
This organic deodorant also contains organic Shea butter to moisturize your little one’s skin. The strawberry essential oil also adds a lovely berry scent that kids and parents love.
- Made with organic arrowroot powder, baking soda, organic Shea butter and organic essential oils.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
Dirty Kids Organics Natural Deodorant
I love the Dirty Kids Organics brand, and have listed them in my Best Shampoo Bars For Babies and Kids article.
The Dirty Kids Organics natural deodorant is made with all-natural and organic ingredients, and its combination of baking soda and arrowroot powder will keep your little one dry for up to 24 hours.
You have the option of choosing unscented, forest or lavender, and currently, these are sold in packs of two, with a $2 coupon available on Amazon. They are also a bit more pricier than all the other brands.
- Made with baking soda, arrowroot powder and Shea butter.
- Lasts up to 24 hours.
- Vegan and cruelty-free.
Bonus Hygiene Starter Kit
Dirty Kids Organics Daily Hygiene Kit Gift Set
Hygiene starter kits are a great idea for kids. They provide the necessary supplies and products needed to help kids learn how to properly take care of themselves. Additionally, these kits can help to reduce the financial burden of having to purchase all of these items separately.
Dirty Kids Organics has created a really cool hygiene kit for kids that includes all natural and organic hygiene items. The kit above contains an organic shampoo bar, all-natural face wash and a non-toxic deodorant. I think it’s really cool, and makes a wonderful gift.
- How To Look And Feel Pretty Without Makeup
- Best Mineral Sunscreens For Babies And Kids | 2023 Edition
- First Holy Communion Suit For Boys Review
- Bee And You Skincare Products: Honest Review
- Best Sustainable Smartphone For Kids: Teracube Thrive