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BABIES & TODDLERS

The Single Best Baby Powder Alternative

Traditional baby powder containing talc (talcum powder) has been scrutinized in recent years due to growing concerns about its potential harmful health effects. If you’re wondering what to use instead of baby powder, I have great news: there is an excellent, effective, safe, SIMPLE talc-free baby powder alternative that works exactly the same!

Health risks of using talcum powder

One issue with talcum powder is that it’s composed of very fine particles which can cause breathing issues, lung damage, and even death when inhaled.

Another reason to avoid baby powder based on talc is that talcum powder can contain traces of asbestos. Not only can asbestos cause cancer if inhaled, talcum powder has been identified as a possible risk factor for ovarian cancer.

The reason for asbestos presence in talcum powder is that both of these minerals often naturally occur in close proximity. When talc mines aren’t screened carefully and talc ore isn’t sufficiently purified during processing, traces of asbestos can remain and contaminate talcum powder, the end product.

Talc comes in many grades which are categorized by purity (presence of other minerals). While cosmetic-grade (the highest graded) talc has been declared asbestos-free since the 1970s when stricter measures have been adapted in the U.S. to achieve talc purity, there is currently no guarantee that any talcum powder on the market is truly free from asbestos.

Talc mined in the United States is screened for the presence of asbestos fibers, but the same can’t be said about imported talc. Still, regardless of robust state-of-the-art screening methods implemented domestically by talc producers, the FDA admits that there are shortcomings in the current methods of testing for asbestos in talc. Some go as far as saying that talc can never be completely purified and entirely free of asbestos.

Using a baby powder alternative

Many parents are keen on using baby powder because of its ability to absorb moisture from the skin which can help prevent diaper rash. Luckily, there are several baby powder alternatives that can be used just the same that don’t expose you and your baby to the harmful effects of talc. Among the many baby powder substitutes, I have a clear favorite.

This single-ingredient baby powder alternative does exactly what any conventional baby powder does but without the health risks. Best of all, you probably already have it at home!

It’s corn starch.

Simple enough, right? Read below why corn starch works so well as a baby powder substitute and also when NOT to use corn starch as a baby powder replacement.

What makes corn starch the best baby powder alternative???

Corn starch makes an excellent baby powder alternative because it is:

— Effective: corn starch is similar to talcum powder in consistency and accomplishes the exact same effects as well. It’s highly absorbent which helps keep the skin dry, and it’s a great soothing agent for skin irritation.

— Easy to get: corn starch isn’t some odd product you’ll need to hunt down in your town or online. Every grocery store carries corn starch (you’ll find it in the baking section).

— Natural: while highly processed, corn starch is derived from a natural ingredient – corn kernels. If you prefer to avoid genetically modified ingredients, choose organic corn starch.

— Safe: unlike baby powder, there are no known health risks or side effects associated with using corn starch as a baby powder alternative when used sensibly. Any powder in general is starting to get frowned upon these days by the medical community due to inhalation risks, but corn starch isn’t as concerning because the particles of corn starch are larger than those of talcum powder and are less airborne.

— Fragrance-free: many commercial baby powders contain synthetic fragrance which is best avoided in baby care products. By using corn starch you’re avoiding exposing your baby to potentially harmful chemicals.

When NOT to use corn starch as a baby powder substitute

DO NOT use corn starch on diaper rash caused by a yeast infection.

Corn starch can make diaper rash caused by a fungal (yeast) infection worse as it can promote bacterial and fungal growth.

If diaper rash appears to get worse when using corn starch in place of baby powder, rinse any corn starch residue off the skin immediately and discontinue use until the rash clears up.

Final words:

As with any type of powder, be careful when using corn starch around your baby. Instead of shaking corn starch powder directly on baby’s skin, sprinkle a small amount in your hand instead and apply carefully. Even small amounts of airborne powder can irritate baby’s lungs.

Always keep all types of baby powder including any baby powder substitutes away from your baby at all times!

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