The beauty industry has an ugly side, and if you’re not buying clean beauty products
, you may be unwittingly exposing yourself to unnecessary harm. The ingredients that go into some products can be harmful
, and although they’re commonly used, this doesn’t mean they’re safe.
Take talcum powder. It’s been used in body care products since the late 1800s due to its excellent moisture-absorbing properties. However, it’s come to light that this mineral may not be one you want in your cosmetics.
What is talcum powder?
Talcum powder is often used in deodorant
, feminine hygiene products and makeup, where it helps to create a silky texture for smooth application.
Talc is a natural clay mineral comprised of hydrogen, oxygen, silicon and magnesium. The powder used in beauty products is made from the talc dust the clay forms when it dries out.
What are some potential talcum powder dangers?
In its natural form, talc often occurs near deposits of asbestos – a known carcinogen
that should be avoided at all costs. When the talc is mined, there’s a chance that asbestos could get into the clay and contaminate the entire load.
Concerns about asbestos contaminating talc have been circulating for decades and have been linked to lung, ovarian, cervical, and other forms of cancer. The theory is that the asbestos particles can be inhaled and affect the lungs, or travel inside a woman’s body via her feminine hygiene products, affecting her reproductive organs.
Once the particles are in the body, they can lodge themselves in soft-tissue and cause cancerous tumors to grow. If this sounds terrifying to you, it should! And you’re not alone. Researchers around the world are studying the effects of talc
on the human body on an ongoing basis, and the results are concerning.
Contaminated talc vs. asbestos-free talc
While we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that asbestos is harmful, we don’t yet have conclusive proof that talc doesn’t contain other dangerous ingredients. After all, even in the absence of asbestos, research shows
that the powder can potentially cause pulmonary talcosis and other respiratory ailments.
Some experts say pure talc is not genotoxic
, and therefore it doesn’t lead to the cellular gene mutations that can cause cancer. This is why many brands continue to use the mineral as long as it has been certified as asbestos-free. Yet, in some cases, products have been marked safe, but after being subjected to testing processes
, they’ve proven to contain types of asbestos still.
Based on the above evidence and uncertainty, it would seem that talc is best avoided wherever possible. Fortunately, this is becoming easier as beauty brands utilize alternatives such as kaolin clay, oat flour, baking soda or corn, tapioca or rice starch.
The top ten list of talc-free brands below is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a great place to start when choosing products that avoid the ingredient.
The Talc-Free Top 10 Beauty Brands
Pacifica’s line of products
comes in a range of pleasant scents, all in gorgeous packaging. Founders Brook Harvey and Billy Taylor vowed to honor their love of the outdoors in all their products, and they’ve stayed true to their word.
All of Everyday Minerals
products are amazing, but what stands out about their powders and blushes is how long they last for and how a little goes a long way. Dust some on in the morning, and you’re good to go.
You’re going to love the entire Mineral Fusion product range
, but the absolute must-try is the pressed powder foundation. The product delivers an exceptionally natural look on all skin types, and its mineral composition is incredibly nourishing.
is known to be exceptionally long-lasting, and their concealer, bronzer and powder foundation are all lightweight and easy on the skin, while staying in place all day.
Beauty Without Cruelty
Beauty Without Cruelty
has been around since 1967 when BWC Charitable Trust trustees founded it. The Charitable Trust was committed to vegan, cruelty-free makeup, and the excellent formulations uphold those principles today.
Well known for its richly colored lip pigments, Ecco Bella
has developed a range of cruelty-free, environmentally friendly products backed by groundbreaking science. Founded in 1992, this brand is one of the pioneers of natural and organic beauty ingredients.
California Pure Naturals
California Pure Naturals
are dedicated to creating products for the whole family from sustainable sources. The brand’s serums, body washes, skincare and makeup are 70% organic and 100% vegan.
With roots in botanical skincare, Gabriel Cosmetics
has been going strong since 1992. The ultra-natural looking products will bring out your innate beauty.
is 100% natural, and just as affordable. The company’s primary aim is to supply high-quality makeup of all kinds at prices that accommodate everyone.
Burt’s Bees skin and hair care
will make you feel good as you use them in every way – they’re high-quality, 100% safe, and the company’s zero-waste policy is kinder to the earth.
Powder in the courts
While our top 10 talc-free brands have steered clear of using the ingredient in their products, others haven’t done so and have ended up in court.
In recent years, complainants who met talcum powder lawsuit criteria
have come forward across the US. This has certainly done its fair share to tarnish talcum powder’s image and damage product sales.
Increasing consumer pressure has also impacted brand’s removing talc from their products, or removing product lines altogether. Johnson & Johnson discontinued their iconic talc-based baby powder in the United States and Canada, citing changes in consumer behavior
fueled by misinformation, as the cause.
Regardless of how they came about, both the lawsuits and consumer pressure to remove talc is good news, especially since manufacturers are accused of having known about the potential risks for years without taking any corrective or preventive steps.
As our list of top 10 talc-free brands clearly shows, you can look and feel your best without this ingredient!