Today I found an interesting question on one of list serves I am a member of.  A mother stated that her daughter (who has a disability) was going through precocious (early) puberty, and the mom had started using deodorant on her at age 7. The mom was concerned about the possible health affects of deodorant, especially starting to use it at such a young age.

Many children with various disorders and disabilities start puberty at an early age. Concern over the safety of certain deodorants is valid, since there are studies that suggest the chemicals that make up antiperspirants can possibly be harmful to your health when used long term. I am not a scientist, so I will leave it up to you to do your own research and form your own opinion on this topic. However, I am all for using “natural” products whenever possible.  Here is my email response to this concerned mother:


You should use deodorant and not antiperspirant. It’s the antiperspirant part that’s harmful. There are some mainstream brands, such as Tom’s of Maine, that you can buy at Target that are deodorant only. She will still sweat, but it will cut down on smell.

You can also make your own (and this works REALLY well for the smell).
1 part baking soda (you may want to use a little bit less than 1 part baking soda)
1 part corn starch or arrowroot powder
1 part coconut oil (may need to be heated to blend)

If you want a scent, add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice. Put in a container and use as a cream deodorant, or while still soft from blending, pour into an empty stick deodorant tube (if you happen to have one).

I use that myself, and as far as smell goes, it works better than any deodorant I’ve ever purchased.

This homemade deodorant would get my highest recommendation for any child that is starting to experience precocious puberty. Since the skin is an organ and it does allow chemicals to permeate, I try not to put anything on my body that has ingredients I wouldn’t eat.

Except for my soap.

It’s all natural, but I don’t think it would taste very good.  😉


Annie Beth Donahue is the founder of Signposts Ministries and the mother of four children, and each of them have special health needs. Annie Beth is a specialist in musical therapy and a talented singer. She and her husband, Brad, live near Charlotte, North Carolina.

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