Teaching good teen hygiene is more often gentle nagging and subtle reminders than ACTUAL teaching. More often than not, these kids know how to do it, they’re just not following through. Ahhhh fun times!
As kids hit puberty, more than just their mood changes. Those hormones are responsible for quite a bit. The changing hormones stimulate kids’ glands and increase oil production as well as perspiration, which then mixes with the bacteria that live on the skin and before you know it… phwoar, it smells like teen spirit. Which is completely normal, albeit not very pleasant.
Let’s be honest, puberty can stink
The smell, oh the smell. And while it’s just body odour and completely natural, kids can be mean and will cause a literal stink about it. School bullying can really give your child’s confidence a knock and cause embarrassment – so let’s try to keep on top of it with these clever teen hygiene hacks!
10 proven teen hygiene tips to keep your kids smelling fresh
1. A daily shower is a given
Daily showering is EASY, right? Wrong. The thing with tweens and teens is that the time has passed for mum to hang off the shower screen and encourage kids to pick up the soap. And herein lies the problem, many tweens and teens are JUST GETTING WET. Standing in a shower to shut mum up pretty much. Soap? No. Shampoo? Definitely not. So remind your kid that while they’re in the shower giving their skin a daily reset, pick up the soap! #FRESH
2. Antibacterial soap helps with body odour
On the off chance that your teen DOES touch the soap and uses it to wash their pits in the shower, make it an antibacterial one for added protection of bacteria and body odour. TIP: Tea tree soaps are naturally antibacterial, so look for one of them!
3. Use an antiperspirant deodorant
Pretty body sprays aren’t going to cut it for teenage body odour. You need a workhorse to combat teenage body odour so look for an antibacterial antiperspirant deodorant. Let them choose one they like the smell of and encourage your tween or teen to use it every morning before school and throughout the day when they think they need it. NOTE: Lots of schools have a ban on aerosol sprays, so grab a roll-on to keep in the school bag – it’s better for their body anyway!
4. Change your clothes!
This is one that might annoy you a bit if you’re the one who does the washing but more often than not, a t-shirt is a single-wear only option at the moment. Once sweat and body oils come in contact with the fibres of their clothes, they’re there to stay until it hits the washing machine. Choose breathable fabrics so the body can breathe and invest in extra school uniform shirts so your teen always has a clean one to wear through the wash/wear rotation.
5. Teeth brushing
Twice a day and flossing is what’s required for good oral hygiene and to keep bad breath at bay. If you can get your teen to do it, ALL THE POWER TO YOU! An electric toothbrush can sometimes help convince more toothbrushing action, but otherwise, these kids seem weirdly content with a mouth of tooth fuzz. Eww.
6. Face washing and spots
It’s not unusual for teens to have pimples. Skin breakouts are just par for the course as the body copes with fluctuating hormones. A good skin routine can help though, using a face wash or gentle cleanser and light moisturiser morning and night. It takes just two minutes to nourish skin, but that might be two minutes too long for a teen who has a Spotify playlist to make.
7. Foot hygiene
Yep, even the feet can stink! Teenagers ALWAYS have something better to do so will whack a pair of socks onto damp feet without a second thought. UGH, bacteria city. Let them know the only way to stop their favourite kicks from stinking up a room is to wear clean socks on dry feet.
8. Hair washing
Your teen’s once glorious looking locks will likely become oilier than a pizza box as they make their way through puberty. My number one tip is to make hair washing as painless as possible with a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner pump pack in the shower. That and yelling DON’T FORGET TO WASH YOUR HAIR as they disappear into the bathroom can also sometimes help.
9. Period hygiene
It’s really important to express to girls just how essential personal hygiene is when they start their period. Be really clear in how often they should change sanitary pads and tampons or even their period underwear and make sure they have everything they need to get into a routine at home and at school. Toxic Shock Syndrome is something every girl beginning her menstrual cycle needs to know about!
10. Air out their bedroom when they’re at school
My last tip for helping your tween, teen (and yourself) through this tricky time is to air out their bedroom while they’re at school. Adolescents love their caves but their environment can benefit immensely from flinging some windows open, letting some sunlight in and a weekly change of the bedsheets (before those sheets walk off themselves).
As a mum who’s in the grips of her raising her third teenager, I can tell you this doesn’t last forever. From time to time it will feel like it but you’ll soon come out the other side of puberty. Mark my words – it will maybe even come with your teen creating habits to tip the scale completely. All the self-preening, grooming and MORE is yet to come! In the meantime, load up the soap and perhaps text them a link to this post! 😉