Cool Teen - NZ DadsTeenage boys think they are too cool for school.  They live to torment their younger siblings, think their parents are the most uncool thing ever on the face of the Earth.  They believe we parents only live to embarrass our teens in front of their friends (actually, that is one of the perks of having a teenager).  Teenage boys eat constantly, inhaling food faster than can be shovelled into a fridge and are domestically blind to the mess they create.  And the most obvious thing about teenage boys is that they stink!


So he’s still a little “on the nose” even though you‘ve confirmed your teen is washing regularly, maybe using a mild antiperspirant might help, but it may be overkill.  Antiperspirants are designed stop the sweat itself — but sweat is a good thing, helping to regulate body temperature.  Unfortunately, puberty means the chemical composition of the sweat changes, causing it to smell stronger. The smell is from bacteria breeding.

Deodorants are different. Usually used instead of antiperspirants, deodorants are mostly scent, not designed for stopping sweat. Teens don’t really need that – neither do most adults. Before you start shouting at your screen with phrases like “Dirty smelly hairy arm-pitted hippy;” there’s a few really good reasons not to use them they never mention in the ads and it can seriously affect your health.

Phthalates are found in many scented cosmetic products including deodorants. They stabilize the fragrance, increase spreading properties and enhance absorption. Products like the all ready mentioned deodorants, most nail polishes, most perfumes, lotions, creams and powders (including baby creams and powders) and in hair sprays have Phthalates in them.  These chemicals, which have been around since the 1950’s, are used to soften plastics that would otherwise be brittle and crack when bent but are absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream and can be harmful to growing bodies; (hey, and us adults too!)

Then there’s the issue of some perfumes causing allergic reactions, setting off asthma, eczema and other itches. Not to freak you out, but there might be other dangerous chemicals found in practically every beauty and cleaning  product you use, that could seep into your bloodstream and build up toxicity over time  causing hormone disruption and damage at a cellular level. For example, aluminium powder used in deodorants allegedly shows strong linkage to neurotoxicity and cancer. Be careful what you’re putting on, not just for teens, but for you too.

Maybe your son is refusing to use deodorant; or wears the same clothes for days on end and rarely shampoos? You are not alone and contrary to your deepest fear, YOU ARE NOT THE WORLD’S WORST PARENT. It is very frustrating to deal with a teen who is refusing to take care of themselves You might think your adolescent’s hygiene is a reflection on your parenting; but breathe a sigh of relief – it’s not YOU!

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