If you have teenage boys, you might be looking for SOMETHING to help teach them about personal grooming and hygiene. Something that will stem the growing stench, something that isn’t too sissy and won’t give them man-boobs. (Yep, there are serious links between parabens in deodorant and man boobs!!)
Co-founder of the 808 Dude range, Carolyn Palliardi, says the inspiration for her new grooming products for teen boys stemmed from her desire to give her kids toiletries that were good for their health and not packed with damaging chemicals. Co-author of the book ‘The Best Beauty Products Tried and Tested’, this journalist and TV presenter really knows what she’s talking about. Carolyn is also the former fashion and beauty editor at the Sunday Herald Sun.
The first name for the range was originally plain old ‘Dude’, because, as Carolyn says, it’s a word that’s used by teen boys all the time and one they can relate to. ‘Of course we wanted to trademark it and we couldn’t, so we had to think outside the box. I couldn’t think of another word to link it to, so started looking at numbers. 808 came up and it means disturbing the peace in America, so it has a rebellious feel to it. It’s also the name of a drum machine, so we thought it was cool enough for the boys to relate to.’
Mum to Emmanuel, aged 14 and 10-year-old Chloe, Carolyn initially came across a gap in the market for teen boys when her son was preparing for his first school camp. ‘He needed a deodorant and wanted me to buy him a well-known brand that’s particularly stinky and is marketed towards young men. Having a passion for fashion and beauty writing, plus a curiosity about products, I found it really hard giving my son – at his young age – products that were so chemically related.’
Carolyn is a firm believer in the theory that what we put ON our bodies and skin, really does affect our health. ‘There was absolutely nothing on the market for him that was suitable. Especially in that growing phase when there’s changes in the body. There were some natural products – tea-tree oil based – but they stank so much you couldn’t get kids to wear that. So one day I suggested to a girlfriend we make our own and she agreed and that’s how it all started.’
After two and a half years of hard work, Carolyn’s product was born and is now on the market. There’s a deodorant, a shampoo and body wash, plus a skincare product called ’808 Dude Zit Wash’. All very teen friendly names on these babies! There are more products in the pipeline, including products for teen girls, plus a ‘Camp Pack’ for parents to give kids to take on school trips.
The stand-out bonus about 808 Dude products is that they’re completely free of petrochemicals, parabens and sulphates. Parabens in particular are a cause for concern, having proven to be linked to hormonal and carcinogenic side-effects. ‘The whole idea is to come up with a range that gives a healthy alternative to everything else on the market,’ said Carolyn.
‘There are studies that show links between parabens and oestrogen which lead to breast cancer in girls and cause boy-boobs in young men. So that’s causing hormonal changes and I think it’s better to be safe than sorry,’ she warned.
Makes you wonder why the major pharmaceutical companies aren’t making changes to their products, I ask? ‘Well, there’s so much money being made by these brands and they don’t really care,’ said Carolyn. ‘We are actually a really expensive brand to produce because ours contain active essential oils and our packaging is made here in Australia. But I don’t want to compromise on quality.’
808 Dude deodorant is top-grade organic, although surprisingly, that’s one factor that doesn’t rate on the packaging. Carolyn says that’s because ‘organic’ doesn’t appeal to teen males. (i.e. – boys reckon all that organic stuff is WAY too daggy and hippie) That also explains why the graphics pack a punch with graffiti style artwork rather than a peace-love-and-harmony theme.
‘The face wash and shampoo contain essential oils and there’s also organic guarana and ginseng. The ginseng in the face wash actually balances oil production and it smells amazing. And there’s sandalwood and patchouli in the shampoo, which is lovely.’ Carolyn says she’s delighted that Emmanuel now uses the products regularly and hoards them in his room so no one else can use them.
‘It makes such a difference when he walks into the room after a shower,’ she said, smiling. ‘Chloe and I can really smell the difference. If he’s used a big-name brand, Chloe says, “Oh God, you stink!” So the positive reinforcement we’ve given him about 808 Dude has really boosted his confidence.’
The reason the shampoo and body wash are an all-in-one product comes down to the teen boys mentality about personal grooming. ‘When teen boys shower, they don’t want to think. They don’t want to have to choose between a shampoo and a body wash, they just grab anything. The essential oils are also good for lifting the spirits and energy, so they have a positive effect without them even knowing.’ Clever!
Great to hear that 808 Dude is taking off already. The deodorant is selling out on the website ‘Nourished Life’ http://www.nourishedlife.com.au/brand/808+dude.html
and it’s just been listed on-line at Chemists Direct http://www.chemistdirect.com.au
and at Pharmacy On-Line. http://www.pharmacyonline.com.au
Plus there’s plenty of smaller health stores and pharmacies stocking the brand, supported by parents wanting to give their teen kids a healthy option to the big-name brands in supermarkets. ‘It’s a no brainer of a choice really,’ said Carolyn. ‘It’s between something with chemicals or something that works with natural and organic ingredients. I want to spread the word to parents of boys in particular, that this is really important.’
‘There isn’t a teen range for boys anywhere else in the world. Boys have now grown up with their dads using products, so it’s a natural step for them, but there hasn’t been anything before now they can use.’
And while Carolyn still works as a freelance corporate editor and takes on personal styling jobs, she may have to let those gigs slide in the near future with 808 Dude going from strength to strength. Which is to be expected, really. I mean, what parent doesn’t want the best for their kids? Now, if only someone could come up with a product that will make boys pick up socks from their floor…
P.S. Just for the record, my teen son, Tom, has also road-tested the range and is now a convert. It really does smell fantastic!