Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Don't Fret The Sweat---and a $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

You have probably heard someone describe their son's room as "smelling like a hamster cage." And I have four sons. It has been an eye-opening and persuasive argument against acquiring actual hamsters.

The younger two are 4 and 6, and those are not the ages that contribute to the smell at our house; it is the 10.5-year-old and the 12.5-year-old, and it is only getting worse as they get older.

They're nice boys,
just a little LESS THAN ENTIRELY FRESH from time to time.

The weird thing to me is that I have to keep nagging them about taking showers and using deodorant. I'm imagining if someone pointed out to ME that the air in my general vicinity was reminding them of rodents kept in small enclosed spaces, and how few milliseconds would pass between that announcement and a new policy of showering twice-daily and spreading cakes of deodorant on a tarp so I could roll around on them after each shower.

Perhaps it's puberty that flips the cleanliness switch, or perhaps it's the feedback their peers will soon start casually flipping their way. I'd like to protect them against that sort of feedback, so for right NOW, what I do is wait until they're buckled into the car and I'm going about 60 down the highway, and then I make them listen to me discuss whether they DID or DID NOT manage to address the SCENT issue that morning, and WHAT exactly defines "addressing." (What? I'M nicer about it than a middle-schooler.)

I use Degree® Women and Dove® deodorants myself (which is why I was motivated to take this review: so easy to write honest positive reviews about things I already like and use), and I've been buying Degree® for them. I like how it doesn't have the strong cologney scent of so many men's deodorants, which I'd prefer not to smell on an oily 12-year-old.

The clearance stickers aren't pretty (except for those of us whose hearts leap at the sight of that shade of orange), and they're non-ideal for showing off the sponsor's name. But you'll notice they cover up the "Women" so the boys don't notice, which is why I can't remove them. So I put Paul's Degree® Men deodorant in the picture, too, for brand-showing purposes. (Also, please note that one of these deodorants HAS NOT EVEN BEEN OPENED. Sigh.)

Part of the point of this post is to direct you to Don't Fret The Sweat's Facebook page. Unilever (they're the ones who make Degree®, Dove®, and Suave®, so they're the sponsors of this post) is ON-BOARD with the idea of keeping tweens non-sweaty/non-smelly even in stressy/sweaty situations such as middle school, so they gathered their own assortment of experts and advice and tips. Parents can add their own ideas for helping children transition from smelly little savages into fresh and sweet-smelling little savages.

I clicked through to make sure I wasn't directing you to anything I wouldn't feel comfortable directing you to---and I found some stuff that I'm going to use with my hamsters sons (and I suppose my daughter as well, though I remember my own tweenage years as a time of near-excessive grooming/deodorizing, so perhaps I will not have to trap her in the car first). There's a Product Matchmaker (you have to click the "Like" button in order to access it), and a FAQ section that has questions like how young is too young (I was using a search engine for that very question a few years back), as well as questions about aluminum.

The Giveaway: To enter to win the $100 Visa gift card and a Don't Fret The Sweat gift pack from Unilever and BlogHer, leave a comment on this post between October 4 and November 4, 2011, saying how old you were when you started using deodorant, OR how old your kids were. (Or both if, like me, you find this discussion kind of fun.) I was twelve years old when I first made my parents buy me deodorant. Three of my kids aren't old enough, but one of my sons was 9 and the other was 10 when I first thought "...What is that AROMA? Surely it is too early for this sort of thing?"

For more chances to win, visit the BlogHer Prizes & Promotions section. For more information, visit the Official Rules. For the quick version of the rules:

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post (click on the "2 seconds ago" or "5 minutes ago" part of your tweet to get to the Twitter page with that tweet's URL)
  3. Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, the official rules contain information about an alternate form of entry
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

(Again, the Full Official Rules are available here.)