As your child makes the transition from child to teen, you'll probably notice differences in things like body development, mood and even voice. One of the most noticeable differences, unfortunately, can be body odor. The teen years are an ideal time to start wearing underarm protection from sweating and odor, but the discussion might require sensitivity toward your teen's changing body. In the end, the best deodorant is one that your teen can wear confidently.
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Age and Puberty
Each teen is different, so you won't be able to pinpoint exactly when your teen enters puberty and begins to experience all that comes with those changes. Still, body odor can be difficult to miss -- it's one of the first signs of puberty and it's often noticeable, note child development experts at the Kids Health website. Your teen's sweat glands are triggered by an influx of hormones and begin producing more moisture, which can lead to a sour underarm smell.
Deodorant Versus Antiperspirant
When it comes to underarm options, your teen can choose from two very different types of products. Deodorants cover up scent and won't stop sweat. They might be better for the teen who doesn't sweat much but is still self-conscious about underarm odor. If your teen is also concerned about sweat, look for a deodorant that also contains antiperspirant, a product that actually stops the sweat glands from producing moisture, advises Selene Yeager, author of the book, "What's with My Body?: The Girls' Book of Answers to Growing Up, Looking Good, and Feeling Great."
Brands, Formulas and Scents
Head to the deodorant aisle of any drugstore and you and your teen might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. Because body chemistry varies from person to person, a scent that works well on one teen might not be as potent on another. In the end, trial and error might be the best way to experiment with different scents and formulas. Try buying trial and sample sizes of the various products your teen wants to test and then purchase full-size amounts of the one your teen likes the best.
Of course, the best type of deodorant is one that helps your teen feel more confident. This means actually wearing the product. Talking to your teen about body odor can be embarrassing, so approach it casually. Let him know that it's probably time to start wearing deodorant and offer to take him shopping before instructing him on how to use it. Antiperspirant, for instance, should be applied at night, notes the Mayo Clinic website. Deodorant can be applied and reapplied as needed. You may need to remind him to use it every so often, but it should be an improvement that helps your teen feel less self-conscious about his changing body.
- Kids Health: Hygiene Basics
- "What's with My Body?: The Girls' Book of Answers to Growing Up, Looking Good, and Feeling Great"; Selene Yeager