The best deodorant for kids

Micayla Mead

While there's no set date for when a kid should start using deodorant, it's generally good to start when they've begun puberty, or when you've already noticed unpleasant body odor from them.

While it’s sometimes hard to imagine our little ones getting big enough to have to deal with body odor, it’s unfortunately true that some children will deal with perspiration and sweat even before puberty truly hits its stride. Early puberty, which can start as early as 8 years old, may cause your child to start to emit some odors, so it’s important to find a deodorant with a gentle formula that can help them stay clean and fresh.

Top choice Hello Fragrance-Free Deodorant is applauded by parents and children for its effective stink-smashing formula at a fair price.

What to know before you buy deodorant for kids

Deodorant vs. antiperspirant

First and foremost is distinguishing between deodorants and antiperspirants: the latter include formulas with aluminum salts that actively discourage sweating, whereas deodorants merely squash gross smells. Some products combine the effects of deodorant and antiperspirant in one. 

There is evidence that both products, but especially antiperspirants, can bother skin; as many parents know, children’s skin already tends to be quite sensitive. Antiperspirants and fragrances can exacerbate this issue. For this reason, it’s generally recommended that children use deodorants instead of antiperspirants unless their body odor becomes a clinical-level issue, especially if they’ve ever had any skin sensitivity.

How often should my child apply deodorant?

If your child is active in sports, tends to be very sweaty or has issues with body odor despite regular showers or baths, it’s likely they’ll benefit from using deodorant once or twice daily. Applying deodorant at the start of the day and then again before a sports activity can make a world of difference in muffling your child’s body odor. 

Kids’ deodorant vs. regular deodorant

Actually, there’s very little to differentiate an adult’s normal deodorant options from those of a child. The biggest things to look for in a deodorant that make it kid-friendly are aluminum-free ingredients, a sensitive formula and no fragrance if your child is sensitive to smells. 

Deodorant for kids features 

Fragrance vs. fragrance-free options

Some deodorants offer an assortment of smells to choose from. If your child has very sensitive skin, it may be wise to go fragrance-free, but if your child has never had any skin sensitivity issues, having them pick out their favorite scent may make wearing deodorant more appealing to them and easier to incorporate into their daily routine.

While having a scent may be great for some kids, children with sensitive skin should aim for fragrance-free options. Other children may dislike wearing any fragrance if they’re sensitive to certain smells and may be bothered by a deodorant’s smell, in which case a fragrance-free deodorant would be an appropriate option.


Many deodorant lines have cut the old practice of testing products on animals. If this is important to you and your family, be sure to look for labels that say vegan or cruelty-free. These labels mark products as free from animal testing.

Deodorant for kids cost

Deodorants for kids can range in price from around $5-$15, depending on if they come in a multi-pack, or if they include organic or aluminum-free ingredients.

Deodorant for kids FAQ

My child doesn’t want to wear deodorant. What should I do? 

A. Some kids who have yet to go through puberty or are only just beginning their puberty journey may buck at the idea of having to wear deodorant. They may be the only ones who just can’t smell how bad their underarms get after playing in the yard or practicing sports, but it’s important they build these good hygiene practices early on. Practice setting time aside before play or sports to apply deodorant. Building a daily routine that includes putting on deodorant normalizes it so that your child knows that it’s normal and not embarrassing to use it.

What ingredients should I avoid if my child has sensitive skin?  

A. Children’s skin does indeed tend to be softer, smoother and more sensitive than an adult’s, and picking hypoallergenic deodorant formulas to avoid any irritation can make all the difference. In general, avoid products with parabens, aluminum, dyes, artificial colors or triclosan to keep your kid away from redness and rashes.

Which deodorant for kids should I get?

Best of the best deodorant for kids

Hello Fragrance-Free Deodorant: available at Amazon and Ulta

Our take: A perfectly balanced fragrance-free option that’s great for kids.

What we like: 24-hour coverage. Easy to apply. Does not contain aluminum. Has soothing natural ingredients like shea butter and tea tree oil.

What we dislike: Has a sandy texture that may irritate certain sensitive skin types.

Best bang for your buck deodorant for kids

Native Natural Deodorant: available at Amazon

Our take: An affordable natural deodorant in an assortment of fragrances for both children and adults.

What we like: Does not contain paraben or aluminum. Available in four scents and a fragrance-free option. Cruelty-free. 

What we dislike: Some users reported that it left marks on their clothing.

Honorable mention deodorant for kids

GrowingBasics Grownish Sport A Deodorant: available at Amazon and Etsy

Our take: A sports deodorant for strong smell control that’s made specifically for children.

What we like: Available in three scents. Does not leave residue on clothing. Does not contain aluminum or parabens. Cruelty-free. Comes in packs of two or three sticks.

What we dislike: Doesn’t come in a fragrance-free option, which isn’t ideal for kids with sensitive skin.

Micayla Mead is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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