Most adults use deodorant every morning without giving it much thought. It has become ingrained in our society that deodorant is essential to keeping up with our personal hygiene. But at what age did we actually start wearing deodorant? Many parents try to remember their beginnings with deodorant as they watch their children grow up.
What age is appropriate to start using deodorant?
The answer is that there is no clear answer to this question. Many children first start developing body odor as they enter puberty but that happens at different ages and is individual to each child. Most boys start puberty sometime between 10 and 15 years old, while girls do it between 9 and 13 years old. It is not unusual, however, for body odor to start developing even earlier. Apocrine sweat glands start secreting sweat that is then digested by bacteria living on our skin. This process, rather than the sweat itself, is what causes body odor to appear.
And while there is no specific age your child should start using deodorant, it is recommended to introduce them to this cosmetic when you first start noticing body odor. It not only helps with your child’s hygiene, but it will also protect them from being ostracized by their peers due to the foul smell. Being bullied can be severely damaging to your child’s mental health so it is best to not give potential bullies any ammunition.
How to talk to your child about body odor?
Pointing out to your child that they smell should be done by the parent but carefully and gently. You don’t want to ignore the problem because children might not even notice it by themselves, and even if they do they will not know how to deal with it. You should gently explain to your child that their body is developing and sweating is a normal part of that process.
Make sure that your child knows how to care for their personal hygiene. Teach them to wash their body daily, especially the areas that tend to get dirtier than others, like underarms. Teach about the importance of using soap.
Then introduce your child to deodorant and explain how to use it. However, children’s skin is delicate and you should not use harsh cosmetics on it. It can be difficult to know which is the best deodorant for kids but it is often said to first go with a plain one that doesn’t use heavy scents. Antiperspirants are generally not recommended as they use irritating chemicals. Use the Internet to search for reviews for the best deodorant for girls and for boys. Take your child with you to the store and let them pick a scent they like – they will be more likely to use a deodorant that smells nice to them.
Puberty is a difficult stage in your child’s development and as a parent, you should do what you can to make that process easier on your child. For some parents, it might be difficult to accept that their precious child is growing up but you should overcome those feelings and do what you can for your child’s sake.