Best Baby Powder (Talc-Free)
In a hurry? Here’s my hand-picked list of the best non-talc baby powders which I’ve created after more than 19 hours of research keeping your child’s health and safety in mind.
Baby Powder Buying Guide
You want the absolute best for your little angel, and when it comes to selecting the best baby powders, I’m here to help you!
When it comes to the right talcum for your infant, you need to be cautious given the adverse effects of talc and, the extensive use of diapers, the irritating rashes are unavoidable without the use of a baby powder.
But, there is no reason for anxiety as you can look for natural alternatives and Organic baby powders which are easily available and we have thoroughly discussed in this article that will not affect the safety of your growing child.
Mothers use talcum powders for their young ones but are unaware of its potential side-effects. It does more harm than good to your child, especially in the case of young infants!
Isn’t it important to know what’s in your baby’s powder?
Talcum powder is made from talc, a clay mineral composed mainly of Magnesium, Silicon, and Oxygen and chemically known as Hydrated Magnesium Silicate.
In its natural form, traces of asbestos (a group of naturally occurring minerals) is found in talc, which can cause cancer.
Asbestos-free powder decreases the risk of lung cancer.
Does that mean talc alone is safe!? Well, the answer is NO, which I’ll discuss later in the article.
Using talcum powder for your baby can be dangerous; as some powder is inhaled by your infant while applying it. That can lead to chest pain, breathing problems, lung damage, or even Mesothelioma (incurable cancer due to inhaling asbestos fibers).
There are thousands of lawsuits against the most famous J&J company for this reason!
Families of women who had died using their talcum powders for prolonged use claimed that it resulted in ovarian cancer. Also, the company had to pay huge sums in compensatory damages.
As mentioned, talc alone may not be considered safe as there is no guarantee of asbestos-free talcum powder in the market. Studies suggest that traces of asbestos remain in the end product and lead to Ovarian Cancer, so it’s better to avoid them!
Using talcum powder in the genital area increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer in women. The tiny particles can migrate up to the vaginal canal and travel to the ovaries.
According to dozens of researches, it is found that there is a link between talc and ovarian cancer. It is seen that women who used talcum powder are more likely to develop ovarian cancer!
According to IARC (International Activity for Research on Cancer), a division of WHO (World Health Organisation) considers the use of talcum powder near the genital area to be possibly carcinogenic.
However, some results suggest no such relation between talc and ovarian cancer. Like any controversy, I’d advise avoiding talc altogether. Better safe than sorry.
So, is there any good alternative for talcum powders?
Following is a list of natural resources that can act as great alternatives for talcum powder.
Cornstarch is a polymeric carbohydrate obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel. After being processed from the starchy part of the corn, we get this tasteless and odorless fine white powder, which is, of course, asbestos-free!
Organic corn starch has no side effects or any health risks associated. Also, there aren’t any inhalation risks, as its particle’s size is larger than those of talcum powder. Using conventional corn starch will also make no difference! You will easily get it near any grocery store.Cornstarch On Amazon
Its high absorbing capacity will keep your baby’s skin dry and soak up moisture quickly. Don’t resist using it, as cornstarch powder is safe for adults too.
Shifting it from your kitchen to your dressing drawer would not be a bad idea as for female hygiene uses, corn starch is an excellent alternative to talcum powder. Its smooth consistency will hardly make any difference.
Cornstarch promotes bacteria and fungal growth, so strictly avoid using if any diaper rash appears. While using corn starch, if the rash gets worse, then immediately remove any cornstarch residue off the skin. You may use it after the rash clears up.
Arrowroot, a starch extracted from growing underground stems of a tropical plant, Maranta Arundinacea, is found most commonly in parts of South America. Neither harsh chemicals nor high heat is used in the extraction of this arrowroot powder or sometimes called arrowroot flour.
You don’t need to hesitate even while using it on the most sensitive skin.
This white powder is naturally vegan and gluten-free. You don’t need to hunt anywhere online or in any supermarket, as you will find it easily in any grocery store.
If you are a sufferer of corn allergies, then don’t worry unless you have arrowroot. Arrowroot powder is also an excellent organic alternative for cornstarch as it is a non-GMO product.
I would always suggest using non-genetically modified products to be a much healthier and safer option than a GMO product. There are many harmful effects caused by GMO products like allergic reactions, loss of nutrition, etc.Arrowroot On Amazon
Tapioca is a starch extracted from the Cassava plant’s roots, a perennial woody plant whose species are native to northern and some central regions of Brazil.
Tapioca starch, also known as Tapioca flour, serves as an excellent alternative to cornstarch.
Like arrowroot starch, Tapioca starch is also gluten-free. It is also considered a great thickening agent superior to arrowroot starch and can be a safe option if you are allergic to corn.
Consuming poorly processed cassava root may cause some allergic reactions. Though not many allergic cases from Tapioca or Cassava have been noticed.Tapioca On Amazon
Kaolin clay or China clay is the softest clay amongst all used in skincare. Its primary component is Kaolinite, a clay mineral formed by chemical weathering of minerals like feldspar.
Though it is primarily white, it is sometimes found in pink/red color by iron oxide and yellow/light orange in lighter concentrations.
This white, odorless powder is rich in silica dioxide and contains zinc, which helps heal damaged skin cells and soothing inflammation.
You can consider this a great natural alternative for talcum powder, which suits all skin types.
Your skin won’t soak kaolin clay; instead, the clay will hold the impurities on its surface, making it one of the best exfoliators.
It is an excellent option, especially if your baby has dry or sensitive skin. It doesn’t have a substantial absorption property so that it won’t make the skin over-dry! It won’t be readily available in grocery stores, so you will need to hunt a bit online.
Acting as a natural detoxifier also tones your skin when you apply it on your skin as a mask. Choose yellow Kaolin clay over others if you want pore cleansing for your sensitive skin as red Kaolin is suggested for people with normal to oily skin.
Switch to this healthier and safer alternative to prevent your baby’s diaper rashes.Kaolin Clay On Amazon
Sodium Bicarbonate, commonly known as Baking Soda, is not only used in the kitchen for baking or cleaning but also for baby care.
It’s absorbing moisture capacity can also act as a useful alternative for talcum powder. You can apply it on your baby’s underarm or feet, and yours too.
Do check whether it suits your baby’s skin or not by initially applying a little amount of baking soda on their skin. If any allergic reaction occurs, then try mixing it with cornstarch and using it.
Using baking soda in your baby’s bath also has numerous benefits like removing lousy odor, reducing diaper rashes, detoxifying the skin, etc.
Baking soda fights with germ too. Soak your baby’s feeding bottle and its nipples and rings by mixing baking soda(4 tablespoons) with warm water(1 quart) overnight. Wash it the next morning as you do regularly. You can freshen your baby’s toys also by the same procedure.
You can also remove odors from your stroller’s dirty cloth or car’s seat by sprinkling baking soda on its fabric. You may do the same for diaper pails to keep it fresh.
You can use it to exfoliate your skin by mixing baking soda with water and creating a paste. Apply it on your face, skin, or tooth. I use it, and it works perfectly!
It is a very common household item, and you may get it easily in any grocery store near you.
Note: Don’t get confused between baking soda and baking powder as both are used for baking, but they both have differences! Baking soda is alkaline in nature, while baking powder is a mixture of dry acid and baking soda.Baking Soda On Amazon
Yes, you read it correctly!
A popular saying in Ayurveda is, “Don’t put it on your skin if you wouldn’t eat it.”
I use this as a checkpoint before buying any skincare product.
Flour is also a competent alternative for talcum powders. Unlike other starches, as mentioned above, its texture is slightly coarser. Still, it can be used without having any side effects but with a little caution. Below are the various variety of flours :
- Oat Flour
The common oat is a family of cereal grain, which has a variety of uses, commonly available in rolled oats and oat flour.
Besides its suitability for human consumption, it can also be a considerable alternative for talcum powder. However, it wouldn’t be as soft as corn starch or baking soda, as mentioned above.
People assuming oats and oatmeal the same is as good as saying corn and corn flakes the same thing.
- Rice Flour
When rice is finely ground, rice flour is obtained. It is made from both brown rice and white rice.
It isn’t used only in eating but also to protect your baby’s skin.
It may feel a little awkward to use, but it’s a considerable alternative for talcum powder.
You can also use it as an exfoliating agent for your baby’s skin. My mother used it for skin whitening purposes by combining it with other natural ingredients. Better you don’t try these hacks if your baby is less than 4-6 months old.
- Chickpea Flour
There are various ground chickpeas available in the market like brown chickpeas, green chickpeas, split chickpeas, etc.
Here I am referring to the flour of white chickpeas classified as garbanzo flour or chickpea flour. So don’t assume it to be gram flour, also called Besan, which is the flour of brown chickpeas.
You can also use this as a considerable alternative for talcum powder, but don’t expect it to be as smooth as other starches.
- Corn Flour
Corn flour, also sometimes called cornmeal, is made from dried whole corn kernels when finely ground.
Its excellent absorbing moisture capacity makes it a useful alternative for talcum powder.
This ingredient may not feel as soft as corn starch, so avoid using it if your baby has sensitive skin! Though it is a little harsher, it is an excellent material for absorbing moisture and soothing baby diaper rash.
Don’t get confused between cornstarch and cornflour, as in some countries; many refer to cornstarch as cornflour.
You can identify the two by their tastes, as corn flour has a little sweet corny taste, while corn starch has no flavor.
Corn starch is a fine white powder while corn flour is yellow in color, though it may change to blue or white depending on the corn varieties.
So be careful while making recipes as their different nutritional values might ruin your dish!
Commercial Talc-free Baby Powders
If you are searching for non-talc baby powders, don’t worry as several companies make talc-free baby powders. You can put your trust in these brands as they too think of our health and safety.
You have to be very careful while choosing any baby powder for your child. Here some of the top picks you can consider:
- The Moms Co. Talc-free powder
- Himalaya Herbal Baby Powder
- Mother Sparsh Talc-Free Natural Dusting Powder
No matter what healthier alternative you use, it’ll be useless if not applied properly! You just need to keep these few things in your mind:
- Never shake any baby powder in front of your baby before using it.
- Always sprinkle some amount of powder in your hands instead of directly applying it to the skin.
- Keep your child far from these alternatives, avoiding inhalation, which may cause respiratory issues.
- While using cornstarch, if any diaper rash appears, discontinue using it until the rash clears up.
Home-made Baby Powders
Making a baby powder for the new guest of your house yourself, isn’t it such an exciting thing to do as a responsible parent?
If you aren’t convinced with the talcum powders available in the market and heading to make baby powder, you can do it yourself solely with your hands at home!
Just simply follow the procedure mentioned below :
- Arrowroot: 4 tablespoons
- Kaolin Clay: ½ cup
- Lavender Essential Oil: 8-10 drops
- Collect all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir lightly.
- After mixing, drip essential oils on top and stir carefully to combine.
- Store it in a bottle with a shaker-top or any air-tight container.
- Your DIY baby powder is now ready to use!
- Make sure that lumps are not formed while mixing all the ingredients.
- Don’t try this if your baby’s age is less than three months.
- Avoid using it on your baby’s nappy rash or broken skin.
- If your skin is allergic to essential oils, then your child may have acquired such sensitive skin. Do consult a doctor before using any essential oil.
Baby Powder For Adults
This homemade baby powder will also work fine for adults too. You may add some more essential oils(10-15 drops) as your skin won’t be as sensitive as your child’s skin. You may also try other essential oils like sandalwood, tea tree, geranium, lemongrass, etc. Experiment adding other alternatives like oat flour or cornflour, etc.
You can also try this recipe exchanging arrowroot with either cornstarch(non-GMO) or rice flour or mix both as the primary ingredient and rose essence instead of lavender oil.
I prefer Lavender as, besides its calming fragrance, it also soothes dry skin, heals acne, and lightens your skin. You may find it easily online, if not in any grocery store.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is baby powder safe to use?
Most commercial baby powders include talc, which potentially causes cancer on prolonged use. Brands like The Moms Co., Himalaya Herbals, Mother Sparsh and Mamaearth make talc-free baby powders.
What is baby powder made of?
Baby powders are made of talc, a clay mineral containing Magnesium, Silicon, and Oxygen. Talcum powder potentially causes Mesothelioma cancer. Natural baby powders include Cornstarch, Arrowroot, Tapioca Starch, etc.- which has no side-effects on the skin, unlike talc.
Talcum powder vs. baby powder?
Talcum powder is known to cause Mesothelioma cancer.
Thankfully, not all baby powders contain Talc. A common natural ingredient is cornstarch, which has no harmful effects on the skin. Other natural baby powder ingredients include Arrowroot, Tapioca Starch, etc.
Is Johnson’s baby powder talc free?
After the lawsuit on Johnson and Johnson and the proven side-effects of talc, the company finally produced a baby powder that is talc-free and has no harmful effect on the skin.
Though there are many cases regarding ovarian cancer or Mesothelioma caused due to the prolonged use of talcum powder containing asbestos, experts still debate that there’s no link between Talc and Cancer. Therefore it is advised, better switch to healthier alternatives for our safety.
There are numerous healthier alternatives that you may easily find in the baking aisle of your local grocery store like cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca, baking soda, flour, etc. You can also make a homemade baby powder yourself by mixing some of the mentioned alternatives.
DISCLAIMER: Each person’s skin condition is unique. The researched information on this page or any other website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used to treat/diagnose a medical condition. Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.