Feel like it’s too soon to talk about your child wearing deodorant?

As you well know, kids grow up fast. One minute they’re babies and the next it seems like they’re well on their way into entering that tumultuous time of life otherwise known as puberty! As a parent, understanding what your child needs and providing them the best and safest solution is always a top priority.

But what happens if your child is expressing a need for deodorant at an earlier age than you were expecting?

If you’re waiting until your child hits the teenage years to broach the topic of deodorant, you might be surprised to learn that kids can develop body odor as young as eight years old – and it seems that children are entering into the puberty stage much earlier than previous generations. Why? The answer isn’t so clear-cut.

Depending who you ask, answers vary. Some believe that constant interaction and exposure to synthetic chemicals in every facet of life are causing the body to react in a way that induces an earlier onset of puberty. Studies done examining the issue note that American girls exposed to common synthetic chemicals started menstruation an average of seven months earlier than girls with limited exposure. A similar study found data that supported the theory that American boys are entering puberty anywhere between six months and two years earlier than in previous decades.

Because of the potential hormone disruptors in household products, kids now need to explore the topic of deodorant at an earlier age – which is why it’s a good idea to be aware of options and why natural deodorant is recommended. 

While the terms deodorant and antiperspirant are typically used interchangeably, there’s actually a big difference between the two.

Antiperspirant contains a number of ingredients which actively cover sweat glands to prevent sweat, while deodorant covers the odor created by sweat and bacteria in the underarm. You might be thinking isn’t it a good idea to eliminate sweat– after all, it would seem that by reducing odor-causing sweat you take care of body odor, right?

By covering and plugging sweat glands, antiperspirant makes it that much harder for the body to effectively cool itself down and go through the natural detoxification process – potentially causing a buildup in the sweat glands and lymph nodes found in the underarm region.

Ingredients found within traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, such as aluminum, triclosan, phthalates (synthetic fragrances) and parabens are known as endocrine disruptors – in other words, they mimic hormones made within the body leading to either hormonal imbalances or an interference with hormone signals and increase the production of estrogen. 

When it’s time to choose a natural deodorant, there are some key things to keep in mind:

Test the deodorant on a small part of their body to determine if they’re sensitive to any ingredients. Natural deodorants are made with essential oils and plant-based ingredients without the questionable additives found in traditional products, but that doesn’t mean sensitivities or allergies don’t exist. After application, check the area for any signs of irritation or redness. 

Give it some time. It’s important to keep in mind that natural deodorant doesn’t prohibit sweating and it might take a few days for your child’s body to grow accustomed to the ingredients in order to balance out odor-causing bacteria.

Reapply throughout the day. Controlling body odor might also mean re-application during the day – especially during hot weather and after physical activity.

Though it’s important at any age to limit exposure to products that potentially cause disruption of hormones, it’s even more crucial to provide natural and botanical-based products for children going through the already turbulent but common hormonal swings as they enter puberty.


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