Most of us are familiar with the silky soft, fresh smelling, good old baby powder that mothers have been dusting their babies with since the dawn of time, right? Once a very common household staple, baby powder still holds its very own spot on many changing tables these days. You might have one, too.
Have you ever read the label on your baby powder container?
If it says TALC, you should probably ditch it.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH TALC?
Due to its very fine particles, talc can cause breathing issues, lung damage, or even death when inhaled. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics now advises against using talc-based baby powder.
But that’s not all.
Fears have grown over whether talcum powder could be carcinogenic. Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson has been hit yet again when the company was ordered to pay a substantial amount of money to a 62-year-old woman from Virginia for allegedly failing to disclose the cancer risk associated with its talc-containing products. The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence, and conspiracy.
Does that mean that talc-containing products cause cancer?
Well, no. I mean, maybe. The evidence isn’t clear.
Some talc in its natural form contains asbestos which is known to cause cancer if inhaled, but this type of talk has not been used since the 1970s. However, the American Cancer Society admits that the evidence of carcinogenicity of asbestos-free talk is “less than clear.” Furthermore, some animal studies have shown that talc can cause tumors, but others have not.
TALC ISN’T THE ONLY PROBLEMATIC INGREDIENT IN BABY POWDER THOUGH.
Since the news about dangers of talc-containing products first came out, some manufacturers have decided to replace talc with corn starch. Great, right? But if you pay attention to the labels, you might notice that there is yet another ingredient to worry about – fragrance (a synthetic blend of chemicals, many of which are of high concern).
You WILL be able to find more natural versions of baby powder out there. But you know what? You don’t really have to. You can use a baby powder substitute that you may already have at home. That’s right!
THERE IS A VERY SIMPLE ALTERNATIVE TO BABY POWDER.
Look, I’m positive that there is a whole bunch of natural baby powder recipes floating on Pinterest. And I’m sure they work, too, and smell like a lavish lavender field or baby cuteness with a drop of morning dew. If you want to make homemade baby powder, more power to you! And if you feel a little, well, lazy, the following single ingredient baby powder substitute involves no measuring or mixing. Just sayin’.
Simple enough, right? It works, too, and feels no different from baby powder, I promise. If you can, I’d suggest using organic corn starch, but conventional will do the job as well. If you don’t already have corn starch at home, you can find it at the baking section of your grocery store, probably right next to baking powder.
To be honest, any type of powder is now starting to get frowned upon by the medical community. However, corn starch powder isn’t as concerning as talc because its particles are larger and less airborne.
☞ IMPORTANT: Corn starch may make diaper rash caused by a fungal (yeast) infection worse as it can promote bacterial and fungal growth – something to keep in mind.
APPLY ANY KIND OF POWDER CAREFULLY…
You may have vivid memories of babies and moms appearing out of white clouds of this powdery goodness like I do. Times have changed though, and creating a powder mushroom cloud is now a big no-no.
Don’t shake any type of powder directly on the skin. Carefully sprinkle a small amount in your hand, and apply gently where needed. ALWAYS keep powders away from kids.