Talcum Powder Alternatives

By - June 13, 2019
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With the recent dangerous health implications involving talcum powder and cancer, many consumers are clearing their shelves of these products. This, combined with the rising popularity of greener, safer products for homes and families, has opened up the market to a host of talcum and traditional baby powder alternatives. For those who enjoy the moisture-absorbing, skin softening, and freshening effects of talcum powder products, all is not lost. Try a few of these safe substitutes, some of which you may already have around the house.

Pantry Alternatives

Cornstarch – Commonly used as a thickening agent for cooking and baking, cornstarch’s powdery texture and absorbency is a quick and easy dupe for talcum powder products. Sprinkle cornstarch around the underarm area after a shower for a quick deodorant, into hair as a dry shampoo, or simply use as-is wherever there is sweat or excess moisture irritation. Cornstarch can also be combined with other ingredients, like kaolin clay, arrowroot powder, and more to maximize the benefits of anti-chafing, moisture absorption, and skin softening. This pantry staple can be found inexpensively at any grocery store and is made from one simple and natural ingredient – corn. Those who wish to stay away from GMOs may wish to seek out non-GMO cornstarch.

Arrowroot Powder – Arrowroot powder is similar to cornstarch, and in fact is often used as a substitute for cornstarch by those with corn allergies or sensitivities. Arrowroot powder comes from a tropical plant and is extracted without the use of chemicals or high heat. Its deodorizing, wetness-fighting properties make it a popular all-natural alternative to talcum powder. It can be used alone or combined with other ingredients, such as coconut oil to make a solid deodorant, or essential oils to make a lightly scented skin softener when sprinkled over the body.

Baking Soda – You may already know that baking soda is great at deodorizing your fridge, but it’s effective at freshening up your body, too. It’s also popular as a dry shampoo, as it absorbs oils on the hair and scalp quickly and efficiently. Baking soda mixed with a little water even makes a simple, DIY toothpaste that gently whitens teeth. Those with sensitive skin may wish to mix baking soda with other ingredients, such as cornstarch, as its natural abrasiveness can cause irritation on its own.

Safe Commercial Substitutes

Burt’s Bees Baby Dusting Powder – This 100% natural powder is formulated without talc, phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS, and utilizes the moisture-wicking, freshening power of cornstarch, sodium bicarbonate, and other safe ingredients. Use to keep baby bottoms dry, to soften skin for all ages, or to prevent chafing. At under $10 and widely available at mass retailers, it’s an affordable alternative that will keep both infants and adults smooth, fresh, and happy.

California Baby Calming Organic Powder – If organic products are your jam, California Baby’s talc-free, vegan offering is an excellent choice. It uses tapioca starch (which comes from the Cassava plant) as well as kaolin clay to replicate talc’s absorbent, anti-chafing properties. It is also cruelty-free, and does not contain gluten, oats, soy, dairy, or nuts. A light dusting on the body will keep skin dry, or comb through hair to refresh and revive.

Ora’s Amazing Herbal Unscented All Natural Body Powder – Those searching for a sophisticated product that they can proudly display on their bathroom vanity may gravitate toward this talc-free, gluten-free, and grain-free powder. In fact, Ora’s Amazing Herbal does not use any synthetics, and is never tested on animals. The unscented version is perfect for those looking to cut back on fragrances in their beauty and health products, though the company does offer options scented with essential oils. Keep skin and hair dry and soft by applying as needed, use as a gentle antifungal powder on feet, even sprinkle into shoes to keep them dry and odor-free.

Noodle & Boo Delicate Baby Powder – Cornstarch and oat flour are the star ingredients of this gentle, talc-free powder, which has anti-inflammatory properties. The formulation also utilizes aloe vera and allantoin to help soothe skin and eliminate irritation. Those looking for a hypoallergenic powder that is dermatologist and pediatrician tested may find that Noodle & Boo’s product hits all the marks and can be used safely on skin of all ages.

Melinda J.
Melinda J.

Editor-in-Chief of TalcumPowderSafety. Since 1999, she's worked across a multitude of areas of consumer protection including defective products, environmental issues, identity theft, predatory lending and more.

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