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It’s a landmark moment in the life of every parent when ‘sweet child of mine’ is replaced by ‘smells like teen spirit’ and we catch a whiff of our child’s BO. Remember how delicious the back of their heads smelled? Armpits are another matter, however, and it can be a serious issue when we remember just how easily pubescent school children can be stigmatised for their niff.
Once you’re resolved to push the button, roll the roll-on or smear the cream, getting the right deodorant for your child will be a process of trial and error. There’s much disagreement on this topic and some quite polarised opinions. Fortunately that’s the stuff of Mumsnet and we’re here to help.
Here are the best deodorants for kids to buy this year.
1. Best natural deodorant: Scrubbingtons Pit Stop Natural Children's Deodorant
“Scrubbington kids' deodorant works well for mine.”
Scrubbingtons Children’s Deodorant is made with 98% natural ingredients. There's no alcohol, parabens, SLS, or artificial colours. It’s daunting to find a roll-on that works, does no damage to young skin and finds favour with embarrassed youngsters, but Pit Stop ticks all the boxes.
Notable for its fresh, child-friendly scent and eight hours of coverage, Pit Stop is easy to use even for self-conscious kids with sensitive, easily-irritated skin or picky personalities. A subtle scent for school.
- Works all day
- Unobtrusive scent
- Deodorant rolls on discreetly and without stickiness
A great choice for kids who are self-conscious about their changing bodies. It’s a reassuringly child-specific product rather than an adult’s deodorant that kids can safely use.
2. Best budget deodorant for sensitive skin: Bionsen Aluminium-Free Mineral Protective Deodorant
“My DD is using Bionsen and I use it too. It's aluminium- and paraben-free, and comes as a roll-on or pump spray.”
“I second Bionsen – DS1 uses it. He’s now 10, but started at eight.”
Dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, Bionsen is a blend of Japanese Thermal Minerals created to leave skin feeling smooth, soft and fresh. Suitable specifically for sensitive skin, Bionsen neutralises the bacteria responsible for body odour without preventing perspiration.
Aluminium- and paraben-free, kids report a feeling of all-day freshness from arguably the best-known natural children’s deodorant. Users say: “Love the smell, no irritation, no junk from what I can see.” However, some suggest that, although it works well initially, Bionsen can become less effective for older, excessive sweaters. It’s a product that some keep handy to top up during the day.
For self-conscious kids, a spare bottle in their school bag will likely offer an extra level of reassurance.
- Great starter deodorant that’s easy to wear
- Aluminium- and paraben-free
- All day freshness, especially if topped up during the day
A great staging post before kids gravitate towards adult deodorants.
Related: The best electric toothbrushes for you and your children, all recommended by parents on our forums.
3. Best aluminium- and paraben-free deodorant: Iceguard Natural Crystal Roll-On Deodorant
“My favourite aluminium- and paraben-free deodorant is Iceguard Roll-On.”
This is a long-lasting, workhorse deodorant, free of pore-clogging metals. Iceguard is a formulation that combines potassium alum (natural mineral salts) for invisible protection, plus soothing aloe vera, witch hazel and comfrey to condition and protect underarm skin without perfume.
Its fans hail Iceguard as “a nice, light, effective deodorant,” crucially free of the nasty stuff.
- Free of metals
- Soothing, light formulation
Does the heavy lifting against bad odours in a discreet, user-friendly fashion and at a mid-range price.
4. Best cream deodorant for kids: Aurelia Skincare Botanical Cream Deodorant
“This one. It’s eye-wateringly expensive if you’re used to high-street brands, but it’s completely natural and it works better than any we’ve ever used. Plus it lasts around six months or more because you only need a dab. Read some reviews on it and you’ll see pretty much everyone agrees.”
This product will be simply too expensive for some, but there’s no doubt that this plant-based cream has gained a cult following on account of a number of favourable press reviews, notably in The Times.
Its fans describe it as a cream deodorant with “a very, very thick creamy gel consistency, almost velvety in texture,” of which only a tiny amount needs to be applied daily.
The pot is supposed to last three to six months, but you’ll need to bear in mind that smaller hands are not apt to be economical and could well dig through the cream more quickly. It smells lovely, though, "with a pleasant menthol-ish smell that’s not too strong” and a citrusy option too.
- Completely natural
- Very effective for most people
This is a premium product and it has a price tag to match. However, most users state you get what you pay for here with an effective, very pleasant deodorant that will go a long, long way as it is used sparingly.
5. Best deodorant for sporty kids: Mitchum Ultimate 48-Hour Protection Clean Control Antiperspirant and Deodorant
“My DD first used Simple antiperspirant. Deodorant alone wasn't enough, particularly when she was wearing the dreaded Lycra. She overruled me and went straight for Mitchum's nuclear deterrent!”
For some kids, particularly those who play sports, the natural solutions may not suffice, which will inevitably lead you back to the big-name brands of your high-street pharmacy.
Mitchum (along with Sure and Dove) scores highly with Mumsnetters because of its reliable protection, claiming to last overnight and into the next day.
- Heavy artillery for fighting nasty niffs
- Easy to use overnight as part of a daily routine
- Excellent for active kids, especially those wearing manmade performance sportswear.
Reliable protection from a mainstream big hitter.
6. Best starter deodorant for kids: Tom’s of Maine Natural Deodorant Stick
This US deodorant has recently become quite hard to find, going out of stock with most UK suppliers. However, it remains a popular all-rounder that’s perfect as an introduction to deodorant.
It smells great, works well and isn’t off-puttingly sticky or drying for young pits reluctant to wear something obtrusive or uncomfortable. Fans say it works for kids with skin conditions, such as eczema, and doesn’t appear to trigger a sensitive skin response, which is a major plus.
- Smells great
- Clean to use
- Works well for most
Great all-rounder starter deodorant from the US that is kind to skin for those prone to allergic reactions or skin conditions, such as eczema.
Related: The best mould removers to leave you with a sparkling shower and bathroom.
7. Best deodorant for heavy perspirers: Green People Oy! Deodorant
“My DD has needed deodorant since the age of seven. We use the Green People deodorant for teenagers called Oy! It's organic and, before I ordered it online, I spoke to them about whether it’s suitable for young children. They said it was safe – none of the usual chemicals. DD has found it works very well. She applies it once a day and, even with PE etc, no problems now. She also has sensitive skin, but this deodorant has been absolutely fine. I'd recommend it.”
This is one that splits the crowd. For its fans, Oy! (Organic Young) is an organic product at a reasonable price, with a pleasingly strong fragrance. For those unimpressed, the orange and vanilla fragrance and the presence of sodium benzoate in the list of ingredients is a deal-breaker.
But for those without allergies who want a grown-up-smelling kids’ deodorant, this is a pleasingly effective product that’s ideal for sweaty kids.
- Organic product
- Value price
- Pleasantly strong scent
This one splits the crowd, not least with sodium benzoate in the list of ingredients, but it has its fans as an organic product that works just as it should, all day long.
8. Best long-lasting kids’ deodorant: Dr Organic Lavender Deodorant
“My nearly eight-year-old DD occasionally uses Dr Organic bioactive deodorant. I've used it myself and it does work. It's aluminium-free, SLS-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free and natural. I got it from Holland and Barrett.”
This lavender-scented deodorant is a no-fuss roll-on that doesn’t compromise on all-day performance despite giving the heavy-duty chemicals a wide berth.
A non-pore-clogging deodorant, users say the small bottle should last around six weeks of daily use. Some heavy perspirers complain that this product isn’t strong enough for their needs, but this is a consistent complaint with most organic/natural deodorants and is not specific to this particular product.
- Pleasant lavender fragrance
- An easy to apply, effective roll-on
- No pore-clogging metals
Might not be effective for profuse sweaters, but this natural deodorant with an appealing fragrance is notably long-lasting for those who favour it.
9. Best for kids with sensory issues: Salt of The Earth Crystal Spring Natural Deodorant Spray
“My sensory DS couldn’t cope with any roll-on. But he has been OK with the salt spray, which seems amazingly effective. He's now 15 and it still seems to keep the whiffs at bay. It’s dear, but lasts for ages.”
Mumsnetters who want a green, clean and chemical-free deodorant for especially sensitive teenagers say that this spray can be a great alternative to applying a roll-on, which can often be met with resistance from children with sensory issues.
This vegan-friendly spray deodorant combines natural potassium alum with skin-soothing aloe vera, antibacterial honeysuckle and purified water to create a product which, when sprayed, creates a thin mineral salt barrier that prevents the growth of BO-making bacteria.
It can be used on pits, feet and even into shoes. Users recommend two to three sprays per pit and wiping away any excess liquid for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
- Natural spray formulation that’s easy to use
Great for kids with sensory issues.
10. Best deodorant for young vegans: Fit Pit 100% Organic Natural Deodorant Cream
“I get an amazing deo called Fit Pit from my local zero-waste shop. It comes in a glass jar and is like a paste that you wipe on with your fingers. The heat of your body makes it dissolve instantly. It's really effective too, and no nasties – all natural. I know it looks quite pricey, but a jar lasts ages.”
Free from aluminium, parabens, BPAs, petrochemicals and plastic packaging, and suitable for vegans, The Green Woman’s Fit Pit wears its heart and its eco-credentials on its sustainable sleeve.
This cream deodorant ‘promises all-day protection and melts on contact with your skin.’ The 100ml recyclable glass jar contains a three-month supply (again, though, young paws might need some supervision). But if you’re all in the bathroom at the same time and using the family pot, it’s good to know that it’s also suitable for use during pregnancy.
This is a blend of bicarbonate of soda, coconut oil and shea butter with the uplifting scent of rosemary and bergamot. Reviewers claim no skin irritation on sensitive skin, easy application, and no stains on clothing, although a couple of detractors mentioned that the cream was a little drying to the skin.
- Green product
- High performance
Works well and has excellent green and vegan credentials.
What kind of deodorant is best for a child?
Starting out, the best advice is to embrace first principles. When your child uses a deodorant for the first time, you simply won't know how it will affect their skin or how effective the spray, roll-on or cream will be. Children with sensory issues might struggle with the feel of a product, or simply resist altogether, so take it slow.
Common sense suggests starting with a deodorant that's specifically gentle on skin – look for a product that's 0% aluminium, 0% alcohol and has a sensitive skin formulation.
And remember, you’ll need to support whatever deodorant you choose with a regime of regular bathing and daily clean clothes, preferably in natural, breathable fabrics.
Do a patch test first and within 48 hours you’ll see evidence of any allergic reaction in itches, bumpy or red skin.
Should kids use deodorant or antiperspirant?
While deodorants simply mask body odour, antiperspirants prevent sweating by blocking the sweat ducts. As such, antiperspirants can also help with body odour.
Parents will naturally be concerned about both the confronting reality of a child’s emerging maturity and also giving them a safe start by ensuring they are not needlessly pumping their bodies full of carcinogenic chemicals.
Cancer Research have created a helpful report on the controversies surrounding deodorant additives and the specific risks associated with cosmetics and toiletries.
Is it better to use aluminium-free deodorant?
Aluminium salts are typically used in antiperspirants to block your sweat glands. While there is no conclusive research that aluminium poses any health risks, aluminium-free deodorants are a great option for those leaning towards more natural antiperspirants. They may also reduce irritation and staining on clothes.
What age should a child start using deodorant?
When they start to smell. That’s about the size of it. Sure, Grandma might question the wisdom of an eight or nine-year-old wearing deodorant, but to her we’d simply repeat the words of one wise Mumsnetter. In a world of undeniable BO stigma, she simply said, “Better to wear deodorant than to be known as the smelly kid.”
How we chose our recommendations
The majority of our recommendations came from parents on the Mumsnet forums. We also visited health sites, including the NHS and Cancer Research, to check deodorant safety, and consulted consumer review sites to further round out our research.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.
Read next: The best deodorant for women.
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