Baby powder is a very useful infant product that many people are reluctant to stop using. It has been proven that there are some residues of toxic particles in talc, such as asbestos. Prolonged exposure to these particles has been linked to serious pathologies such as ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. In fact, today the famous company Johnson & Johnson faces collective demands for its iconic baby powder.
By Helly Bartolome Hernandez Marin, MD
Talc is a product with great utility; some women use it to avoid friction between the thighs, to refresh various areas of the body and even to put on makeup. Men often use it to provide a fresh scent to their shoes and underwear. Moms have used it for many years to brush the sand more quickly on their children's feet. It can even soothe squeaky floorboards. It is also a fine shampoo for pets.
While it is true that baking powder or corn starch can also be used for many of these things, they do not provide the refreshing aroma and after-bath feeling of being clean that baby powder offers.
If you are one of those people who cannot stop using baby powder, there is a solution for you. It is possible to get talc without odor and free of asbestos in online stores or well-stocked aromatherapy stores.
However, keep in mind that some of the health effects associated with the use of baby powder are due to the inhalation of talc particles. If you want to continue with the powder, use it gently and avoid breathing deeply until it settles. Also, avoid applying talcum powder in the perianal area due to its connection with the development of ovarian and testicular cancer.
If you want to get a replacement for talc, the best option will depend on the feeling you wish to and the purpose you have in mind.
Baking soda: excellent to eliminate odors, control rashes and absorb moisture. The main drawback of baking soda is that it does not provide the silky and refreshing sensation of the powder, but it is safe and natural. To increase the smoothness, you can mix the baking soda with arrowroot or rice powder.
Corn starch: provides a feeling very similar to baby powder, it is ideal for absorbing moisture, relieving itching and also prevents chafing on the body, such as inner thighs. It is fragrance-free. One of the negative aspects of corn starch is that it is very light and tends to spread in the air. If you want to use it as a deodorant, it should be mixed with baking soda.
Rice powder: it is an alternative that many people do not think immediately. However, it has multiple properties; it can even be mixed in a paste and used as a sunscreen. It also allows clearing the skin spots and eliminating dark circles. As a powder for the face, it is a bit coarse, so it needs to be mixed with the cornstarch.
Arrowroot Powder: provides a silky sensation even greater than corn powder, you can also buy it knowing that it is not a genetically modified product, unlike the corn products that usually are. Arrowroot deodorizes and absorbs moisture well.
To provide a pleasant smell to these powders, you can pour several drops of aromatic oils or perfume into some cotton balls. Place them in the bottom of a glass container that can close hermetically. Pour the powder mixture on the top, screw the lid and shake. Fill the container only halfway, so there is enough room to shake. Let your new powder mixture sit for a few days, and it will have the aroma and the sensation you want, without unhealthy consequences.