Deodorant and antiperspirant products are often found right next to each other in store aisles, but that does not mean they’re the same things. In fact, they’re dramatically different. 

Deodorant is a basic cosmetic item that helps reduce the smell of your kid’s sweat by making their skin more acidic. Antiperspirant goes a step further and straight-up blocks their underarms from sweating. 

There are some health implications here. So, let’s take a look at each and determine which one is better for your kid’s health – deodorant vs antiperspirant for kids


Sweat odor is created by bacteria; not the sweat itself. When bacteria mix with the sweat, they die, give off a scent, and make you stink as a result. In a lot of ways, It’s just the dirt accumulated from everyday life that makes your kid stink, and there really isn’t any reason to block them from sweating. 

Deodorant works by countering the production of that bacteria. Deodorant is almost always alcohol-based. That alcohol makes the skin acidic enough that bacteria can’t thrive on the skin’s surface, and thus, it can’t mix with the sweat and create an unpleasant smell. 

Then, the deodorant is mixed with aromatic ingredients that replace the smell you’d get from bacteria with something pleasant like girl’s cherry blossom deodorant or herbal deodorant for boys. That is unless the deodorant is scent-free. 

The only health problem this presents is that certain deodorants utilize harsher chemicals to produce their scents. A good, kid-friendly company won’t do this, though. If the deodorant has any scent at all, it’ll be one that is made from high-quality, hypo-allergenic ingredients that don’t affect your child’s skin. 

Another drawback of deodorant is since it doesn’t prevent sweating, moisture can get trapped within the armpits and produce discomfort or chaffing. That’s easily resolved by just wiping the sweat away periodically and wearing moisture-wicking clothing, though. 


On the other hand, antiperspirant does the opposite. Instead of killing the bacteria to prevent unpleasant odors, it tries to prevent you from sweating. So, rather than getting rid of the actual negative cause of bad odor, antiperspirant blocks a perfectly natural, scent-free, bodily function. 

Immediately, you can see how that’s a problem. 

Typically, that’s not too big of a problem. However, this is an aluminum-based product, and it can easily clog the pores in your child’s armpits in unexpected ways; causing unpleasant skin conditions, blemishes, and discomfort. 

There were concerns about breast cancer developing, but the American Cancer Society has debunked those concerns. The main issue is that you’re blocking a natural process that isn’t even the problem, and in the process, you might actually make your kid’s skin worse. 

Deodorant is the better option for kids.

Which is Better? 

The winner of this debate between deodorant vs antiperspirant for kids is pretty clear. Antiperspirant isn’t necessary. It works by blocking the natural bodily process of sweating; not actually getting rid of the problem that causes the stink. 

On the other hand, deodorant that is made naturally and with gentle scents does the opposite. It gets rid of bacteria and odor without blocking the body’s natural ability to sweat. 

For a natural, kid-friendly deodorant your kids will love, check out Grownish.

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