THE SURPRISE ELEMENT IN TALC | HOW IT EFFECTS YOU
I have got to admit when I first started researching what talc was and how it can be harmful, I didn’t expect to find what I found. Growing up everyone used baby powder, aka talcum powder. We loved that “baby” smell. A diaper change wasn’t complete without baby powder. I mean, let’s face it. It covered up any residue smells and made the baby smell fresh again.
Baby powder didn’t just take away the smell. It also kept the baby dry, helping to decrease diaper rashes. It worked so well we used it as teenagers and adults to keep us dry. We never thought twice about whether or not it was harmful. We trusted the companies who produced it to tell us the truth.
What is Talc?
Talc is a mineral in clay mined from underground deposits. It is made up mainly of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen elements. The most common form of talc is talcum powder. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well, helps cut down on friction, keeps skin dry, and helps to prevent rashes.
Why put talc in cosmetics?
Talc creates a silky feel and absorbs moisture. This makes it ideal for cosmetics. Facial skin is delicate. No one wants to rub something hard on their face in order to look beautiful. No. They want it to go on smooth so it’s not tearing up their skin. They want to feel good while doing it. Talc gives them that feeling.
Maybe you have never seen the word talc on your makeup. Well, talc can be listed in the ingredients as talc, talcum, talcum powder, cosmetic talc or magnesium silicate.
“Baby powder, body and shower products, lotions, feminine hygiene products, eyeshadow, foundation, lipstick, deodorants and face masks”1 and many other products use talc as an ingredient.
Why is talc harmful?
Talc in and of itself is not harmful. The problem is asbestos, which is also found underground. Asbestos run along the same veins as talc and can lead to cross-contamination. This leads to several cancers, including ovarian2 and lung cancer.
In recent years, nearly 12,000 women sued Johnson & Johnson, a leader in the baby powder industry. These women mostly ended up with ovarian cancer and most had to have hysterectomies. These women won their lawsuit. 3
Maybe the solution is to mine talc without asbestos. Even if possible, pediatricians advise against using it on babies. Inhaling the fine powder causes choking and coughing. Babies can end up with respiratory illness or chronic disease or worst – lung damage.4
What can we do about talc?
I view makeup like I view food. I’m a vegetarian because my body doesn’t process protein well. Yet, I don’t believe everyone should become vegetarian. It depends on their health and how certain foods affect their bodies. For example, I tell meat lovers that if you eat meat, choose meat without extra hormones added or better yet, meat from free-range animals. You don’t have to give up meat. Just change the source.
Makeup is the same way. You don’t have to give up makeup. Just change the source. Look for products free of talc. There are a lot of choices out there like Lauren Mari Cosmetics’ lipsticks and lip glosses.
Choose wisely for your long-term health. Learn why parabens may not be your friend either.
We can be beautiful and healthy at the same time.
1 “Talc.” Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
3-4 “What Is Talc, Where Is It Used and Why Is Asbestos a Concern?” The New York Times