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No Stinky Business! Safe, Natural And Effective Deodorants For Your Tweens And Teens

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Mamas, have you recently reached out to hug your adorable kids and found yourself wrinkling up your nose instead? Welcome to the tween and teen phase of parenting. Luckily for you, we have rounded up safe, effective and polite options to teach kids personal hygiene and the important use of deodorants!

It’s tough being a teenager. We’ve all been there – sometimes shocked and downright embarrassed by the array of smells that our bodies are capable of emitting! Blame it on the hormones, the changes in skin, hair, activity and even diet. However, armed with more self-awareness than we had in our teens, and empathy and honest conversations by their parents (aka, us!), our tweens and teens have a lot more safe and effective options to combat body odour than we had in our hey (maybe hay smelt more like it?!) days. These are the best, safest and most effective deodorants that you can offer your children.

Read More: Practical Period Advice To Share With Your Teenage Daughters


Talking To Teens About Deodorants, Grooming And Personal Hygiene

Talking to your teenager about body odour can be uncomfortable. No one likes to believe that they smell! But the first and most important thing would be to assure your child that it’s completely normal. Body hair, odour, acne, oily skin and sweat are all a part of puberty and growing up, and you are always open to discussing these topics with them. It isn’t an infringement of their personal space – just an offer to help. And just because they have passed the age when we watch them carefully and supervise their bathing, brushing and other body care routines, it’s no reason for them not to do a good job themselves and keep clean.

Remind them to bathe daily, sometimes even more than that, if they have been playing a sport. Follow it up with moisturising, if they have a tendency towards dry skin. In some cases, that might be enough to keep the B.O. away, but if it’s not, you should have enough knowledge about what deodorants they could and should use.

Read More: Beyond “Beautiful” – 3 Practical Ways To Start Meaningful Conversations About Body Image

talking to teens about personal hygiene and deodorants

Are Deodorants, Antiperspirants And Personal Hygiene Products Safe For Children?

The debate about what are natural, safe and effective methods to combat body odour rages on, especially when it comes to antiperspirants versus deodorants. Most antiperspirants work by attempting to plug your sweat glands and some articles suggest that these can be cancer-causing. Counter-research has questioned whether these claims can be scientifically proven. Deodorants work differently. They mask body odour by affecting the bacteria that thrive on moisture, or sweat. Many deos use an alcohol base which makes the area acidic (deterring bacteria) while some deodorants and talcs use aluminium, parabens, chemical-laden fragrances and triclosan work by killing the bacteria (even helpful bacteria) present on your skin. There are many deodorants in the market that claim to have the same effect but promote good bacteria (look for microbiome-friendly labels on products) and use natural ingredients instead of the chemical ones. Once again, this is a topic of hot debate.

If you are worried about whether antiperspirants and deodorants could harm your child, do read some of the latest research to set your mind at ease. However, as this topic is constantly being studied, it’s best to avoid those with known nasties, until definitely proved to have no long-lasting ill effects. If you’re not sure, a good rule of thumb is to always run your personal care products and their ingredients through EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic’s Database to determine their safety.

Read More: The Great “Sephora Kids” Debate – When And Why Should We Allow Kids Skincare And Makeup Products?

Choosing Safe, Natural And Effective Deodorants For Teens

So when it comes to deodorants, does natural mean better? Unfortunately not. For one, there is no clear definition of what constitutes a “natural deodorant”.

Secondly, the biggest fear while using deodorants is not cancer (as no direct link has been established yet), but dermatitis or skin infection. And this can happen with any sort of product or ingredient (depending on your skin), including completely “safe and natural” products too. I can vouch for this myself as I recently picked one of the highest-rated microbiome-friendly deodorants and got a rash and skin irritation within two days that lasted two weeks after I had stopped using the product!

It’s always recommended that you do a little patch test on your skin first, but you must remember that skin in your armpits is more sensitive and prone to infection than your elbow or wherever else you choose to do a patch test. So when it comes to choosing the right deo for your child (or even yourself), it is best to follow a trial and error method. What we have done is asked some of the sassiest and savviest mamas we know to compile this list of safe deodorants that get our vote.

Read More: How To Talk To Your Teen – 9 Effective Communication Tips

coconut matter natural deodorant hk

Coconut Matter – All-natural and vegan deodorant

Coconut Matter carefully selects ingredients derived from 100% natural sources for its personal care products, including deodorants, sunscreens, body lotions, etc. With coconut as its main ingredient, these products are allergy-safe and biodegradable. We like that Coconut Matter is upfront about mentioning that the FDA has not evaluated the statements on its website.

Sassy Mama Tip: This is a great deodorant but not all of the variants are equally effective. We find the Bliss and Spring variants far more effective than the unscented Coconut one.

Coconut Matter, 12B, 12/F, Block 2, Kingley Industrial Building, 33 Yip Kan Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong,

Drunk Elephant – Deodorant cream that really works

The Sweet Pitti deodorant cream has been getting rave reviews and for good reason! It uses a blend of mandelic acid and absorbent arrowroot to eliminate stubborn odour-causing bacteria and a mix of plant oils to support your skin’s moisture barrier. It’s available on Sephora, along with Kopari natural deodorants that you might want to try.

Drunk Elephant, available on Sephora,

zero yet 100 deodorant hk

Zero Yet 100 – 100% natural deodorant

The name Zero Yet 100 indicates that it has zero nasties and 100% efficacy. It’s undoubtedly effective even after a whole day out in the Hong Kong sun (personally tested by this Sassy Mama!). The deodorant in the aluminium pot has maximum strength. Choose the roll-on or spray for lighter versions of the same. The light gray deo could leave a dark patch on the skin and clothes, so watch out for that.

Zero Yet 100, 702 Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, 2524 4948,

QB – Medicated deodorant cream

This Japanese product is easily available in your local Mannings. It’s easy to apply and can be used anywhere where your child might be a bit extra sweaty, including the feet (no more stinky socks? Yes, please!). It’s aluminium-free and uses a plant formula.

QB, available at Mannings,

Toms natural deodorant

Tom’s of Maine – Natural deodorant and antiperspirant options for the whole family

This is a very well-reputed personal care brand that offers both completely natural and regular options of antiperspirants and deodorants for men and women. Pick the one that suits your child the best after sampling a few. They are readily available in online sites like iHerb and uBuy, as well as select stores in the city.

Tom’s of Maine,

aesop deodorants hk

Aesop – Aluminium-free deodorant roll-on and spray

This deodorant is a staple for many Hong Kong mums. A little spray or dab of this goes a long way in keeping the stink away! Made with a blend of essential oils, this is a unisex formula without aluminium salts. The Aesop product range is not exclusively organic or natural, but uses a combination of high-quality botanical and synthetic ingredients.

Aesop, various locations across Hong Kong, WhatsApp: 9865 2812, 3001 6734,

Arm & Hammer – Natural deodorant with essential oils

This deodorant always shows up as one of the top options for men and sweaty teens! It contains baking soda and natural plant extracts to absorb and fight odour and is aluminium, paraben and phthalate-free.

Arm & Hammer, available on iHerb,

Salt of the Earth – Cruelty-free natural deodorant that’s approved by Vegetarian and Vegan societies

This UK-made deodorant doesn’t leave white marks on your skin, which is a big plus for those who want to go sleeveless this summer. It doesn’t contain aluminium chlorohydrate, parabens, triclosan, alcohol or CFCs and also promises not to suffocate your pores. It comes in a range of scents and sizes, and is available in zero-waste stores and sites in Hong Kong.

Salt of the Earth, available on oGreen,

Read More: Eco-Friendly Beauty – The Best Local Skincare Brands For Mums & Tots

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2017 by

  Main image courtesy of Getty, image 1 courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels, image 2 courtesy of William Fortunato via Pexels, image 3 courtesy of Coconut Matter, image 4 courtesy of Zero yet 100, image 5 courtesy of Tom's of Maine via Instagram, image 6 courtesy of Aesop via Instagram.

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