Best Deodorant for Teens and Tweens

If you are a teen or tween, you are probably starting to think about choosing a deodorant.  As a little girl or little boy, odor was not a problem. But during puberty, your body changes and you may start to be aware of some unpleasant odors that are normal but may make you feel self-conscious. While there are many options for deodorant on the market, few are formulated with teens in mind as a “caring deodorant” for those just beginning to tackle body odor. Teens are unique and have special skin care needs that adults do not. If you're trying to pick a deodorant for teen or tween skin, guidance is here and it comes with 30 years of experience in the field of dermatology.

Choosing which deodorant is right for you and one that will become your personal favorite, can be confusing, but narrowing down choices for the best deodorant for teens and tweens can be helped by knowing what young skin really needs. 

There can be a lot of pressure to choose a teen's first deodorant.  Having smelly underarms, feet or other body parts is a new problem and you may need help as you start your skin care journey into adulthood.  Teens and tweens need odor protection but also require gentle care for their delicate skin. This can be a big decision. So first, focus on what you really need. Your needs and concerns may not be the same as your friends’. Knowing a few simple facts and checking in with yourself and what makes you unique can lead you to your best deodorant choice.

For your first deodorant, start with skin friendly ingredients. 


Here's how: Read labels and know the difference between blocking sweat and blocking odor. 

Antiperspirants or deodorants, what is the difference? Which should active teen boys and girls use?

Antiperspirants are products that block sweat and keep skin dry. Aluminum ingredients are found in antiperspirants. The aluminum compound forms physical plugs in sweat pores that keep wetness from landing on the skin surface. This is something you may need if you sweat excessively. You can discuss this with your dermatologist.  Tweens and teens tend to be super active and sweat is going to happen and is necessary to cool you down. Sweat is not at all a bad thing unless it is so extreme that the wetness interferes with your daily activities.  There is a condition known as hyperhidrosis that is uncommon, but can be treated by your dermatologist. Yet, the great majority of tweens and teens just want to feel clean and smell fresh. So to manage odor but to minimize using too many chemicals, teens can look for products that are aluminum-free deodorants. These can keep you smelling great without plugging up your underarms or other body areas with lots of chemicals.

Deodorants are products that help reduce body odor without the added aluminum ingredient. So, many people choose deodorant to keep smelling nice without the chemicals that block sweat. So called “natural deodorants” are products that claim to only have ingredients that are from plants or other natural sources and do not use aluminum in their formula.


Dry underarms are accomplished with antiperspirant.
Nice smelling underarms are accomplished with deodorant


Once you choose whether you want a deodorant instead of an antiperspirant (you can always change as your needs change and as you mature), realize that your skin is undergoing changes with growing and has probably never been exposed to any type of deodorant. This is your first experience so when choosing your product keep these things in mind for happy, fresh smelling skin:

Teen and Tween— What Makes Your Skincare and Deodorant Needs Unique from Adults?

  1. Young skin can often be sensitive skin. So, for your tween and teen skin care goals, you may choose to avoid synthetic fragrance which can lead to rashes and allergies. Product manufacturers that target tweens and teens often load their products with heavy scents. You may see "juicy scent" or "fruit scent" on the label of deo’s. These may smell enticing. But with lots of fragrance can come lots of potential for skin allergies. Start with products that are fragrance free or not too heavily scented. Dermatologists know that perfumes and fragrance used on delicate underarm skin can cause rashes, (known as allergic contact dermatitis), in some people.
  2. Teens and tweens like you want brands that are kind, skin friendly and earth friendly. Natural deodorants are a good choice because they usually do not contain aluminum and rely on ingredients like tapioca starch, charcoal or arrowroot powder to keep skin as dry as possible without blocking sweat all together. Be aware that even products which are considered “natural” may still contain ingredients like baking soda and essential oils which are good for some, but for others may cause skin irritation. So start by using the product with the fewest ingredients that still works for you and be aware you may have to try different brands and open doors into which product suits you best. Like your future career goals, it takes time to know what you want and you are just starting out. No rush.
  3. New deodorant customers like you, must check labels. Many brands contain sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to keep skin dry. However, baking soda can cause skin irritation and lead to other bothersome skin conditions. Young active people like you can get chafing, which is when skin rubbing leads to discomfort and skin looks red. Baking soda on thin skin like underarms along with lots of arm movement and friction from uniforms can cause a rash in some people. Try a brand without baking soda when you choose your first product, if you are prone to chafing or dry sensitive skin. Also if you have dry skin, the aluminum found in antiperspirants can be especially problematic for your skin. Choose a deodorant instead of antiperspirant and look for soothing ingredients included, like shea butter, aloe or coconut oil.
  4. Teens and tweens have long days with school, sports and tons of activities. So you need deodorant that lasts all day or one that is easy to carry in a backpack and can be reapplied if necessary before or after gym, sports or a hot classroom day. Some deodorants conveniently come as wipes or pads or small containers that you can carry with you in your backpack.
  5. Young customers are kind and want products that are too. Teenage boys and teenage girls want to use something that keeps them odor free but also look for cruelty-free deodorant that controls body odor. Check your brand label. You will find some are certified cruelty free, like Leaping Bunny certified.
  6. Teens and tweens are savvy customers. You love skin care products and check out different brands on your social media. When starting your deodorant  (something you will probably use your whole life… like toothpaste) journey, Choose a brand that works with your very own skin type and offers choices in different formats like wipes, deodorant stick or spray mist. Don’t be convinced just because one influencer says they like a brand. Try it and decide for yourself. Also, finding a brand that is dermatologist approved is a great way to pick the best deodorant. 
  7. Youthful skin is also acne prone skin. Deodorants that are waxy, sticky or leave thick residue on your skin may tend to block pores and exacerbate pimples where you use it. Choose a deodorant that also contains ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid or salicylic acid that will help prevent odors but also may also help prevent some types of acne or pimples on the skin you're applying it to.
  8. At a young age you may want to “fit in” “or just “not stand out”. As a teen you may struggle with wanting to be you, someone different than anyone else in the world but you also want to “fit it” with your friends. How does this relate to deodorant? Well, you may choose a signature scent that stands out but you may just want to smell like you without feeling stinky. So check out different fragrances you might like but remember those scents can be cause for irritation. I recommend my patients choose deodorant with little or no fragrance that allows them to be odor - free without being doused with perfume. You can always apply scent after you are dressed so the potentially irritating perfume ingredients are not in direct contact with your delicate skin.

For your best day
You have a choice of a beauty product that prevents odor and meets your unique needs.
A perfect choice is Surface Deep Anti-Odorant for your daily natural deodorant.



Why Surface Deep Anti-Odorant for Teens?

  1. Consumer tested and found no irritation when Surface Deep is used as directed. Great for young skin first being exposed to using deodorant for the first time.
  2. Aluminum-free and plant based formula that blocks odors not sweat. Sweat is your body’s reward to you to keep you cool after hard work. You can smell clean without aluminum.
  3. Contains no baking soda but does contain soothing ingredients like aloe and post biotic ferment that maintains the skin’s optimal pH gently and in a skin friendly way.
  4. Surface Deep Anti-Odorant wipes fit easily into a pocket, and our mini spray slides effortlessly into a backpack.
  5. Surface Deep Brand is cruelty free and is proudly Leaping Bunny Certified.
  6. Board Certified Dermatologist is the inventor and founder of the Surface Deep brand that does not contain phthalates, sulfates, alcohol, artificial fragrance, or PABA.
  7. Glycolic based formula may help prevent ingrown hairs and acne-like pimples and also help keep skin bright with its gently exfoliating action.
  8. No added artificial fragrance or perfume that can cause allergies. Smell like the best version of YOU!


*The above is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your own health care provider.