What Are Safe Alternatives To Johnson & Johnson Talcum Baby Powder?

Consumer Goods

Now that Johnson & Johnson will no longer be selling talcum baby powder, how can you keep yourself (or baby) feeling dry and fresh? 

For starters, don’t use the product Morning Fresh by Shower & Shower’s. It’s one of the most popular alternatives to J & J Baby Powder.  Morning Fresh contains talc, the same ingredient that has been linked to ovarian cancer since the 1960s

The problem with talcum baby powder isn’t the talcum itself. Rather, when talc, which is a mineral, is mined, it may contain trace amounts of asbestos, which is a cancer-causing substance. When you buy a baby powder with talc (talcum baby powder), it’s virtually impossible to know if that specific batch of powder you purchased was properly tested for asbestos. 

Another reason to avoid Morning Fresh is that it contains artificial fragrance. Fragrances are found in many dangerous household products. Although they may have a pleasing scent, these unregulated synthetic chemicals have also been linked to cancer. 

So keep rule #1 in mind when selecting a safe alternative to Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder: Don’t buy another brand of baby powder that lists talc or fragrance in the ingredients. 

Is Cornstarch A Safe Alternative To Talcum Powder?

On the surface (no pun intended), cornstarch might not seem like a viable alternative to baby powder. After all, it’s far more common in the kitchen than in the bathroom. Chefs and food scientists use it to thicken sauces and soups. It’s also used to make corn syrup and other sweeteners.

Nutritiously speaking, cornstarch is not healthy. It doesn’t have many nutrients and it’s mostly simple sugar, which causes blood sugar spikes and crashes. If you’re trying to manage diabetes, it’s an ingredient to avoid. 

However, cornstarch powder seems to be safe when applying it to your skin. As this article in a peer-reviewed gynecology journal says, “The application of powder containing cornstarch exclusively is not predicted to be a risk factor for ovarian cancer.”

Although J & J is facing thousands of lawsuits over its talc baby powder, you can still purchase the consumer goods and pharmaceutical giant’s cornstarch-derived baby powder. 

(Whether or not you wish to support a company that knew since the early 1970s that batches of its baby powder contained asbestos … that, of course, is up to you.) 

Cornstarch is no silver medal consolation prize in comparison to talcum. This natural alternative to baby powder is equally absorbing, drying and soothing. 

Tip: If you have a particular brand of cornstarch powder at home, use the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database to research whether it’s safe. You simply enter the name of the product in the search bar and the database breaks down the safety and concerns of each ingredient.

To reduce the chances of purchasing a baby powder with potentially-harmful ingredients, purchase an organic cornstarch powder. Although it may cost more, isn’t your health worth a few extra dollars? 

Alternative to Baby Powder #2: Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch comes from the root of the cassava plant.

Here’s another ingredient that’s more well known as a food-stuff than a cosmetic. Tapioca powder is made from the same starch that’s used to make tapioca pudding. Some baby powder products contain a mixture of cornstarch and tapioca. 

According to EWG’s Skin Deep database, tapioca seems like a very safe ingredient to use because of the following reasons:

  • It’s not suspected to be an environmental toxin
  • It’s classified as not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful
  • Has an extremely low cancer risk
  • Developmental and reproductive toxicity risk is also very low
  • Low concern for allergies and immune-lowering properties

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Alternative #3: Clay

Kaolin clay, aka white clay or China clay, comes from the mineral kaolinite.

Clays are usually associated with beauty treatments like masks. But certain clays, specifically, kaolin, are added to many cosmetics, including soap and powders. Kaolin removes dead skin cells. Plus, it’s highly absorbent.  

Clays are derived from natural minerals that won’t harm your health. (Bentonite is another clay that can be used in a moisture-absorbing powder.)

Other Safe Alternatives To Talcum Powder

Baking soda, arrowroot starch, rice starch, and oat flour are also safe and effective alternatives to talc. 

How To Make Your Own Baby Powder Without Talc

To save money and have full control over the ingredients in your baby powder, use this simple homemade recipe:

  • Cornstarch (1 TBSP)
  • Baking soda (1 TSP)

Just these two ingredients are all you’ll need. To make a small batch, simply add the cornstarch to the bowl. Then, sprinkle in some baking soda. Next, stir with a spoon. Pinch a small amount with your fingers and apply to the skin. 

This recipe takes only a few minutes and should yield enough for at least a few weeks.

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