With all of the studies pointing to a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer and the thousands of women filing lawsuits against companies like Johnson & Johnson for their talcum powder products, many are reconsidering their routine use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene. But the question remains: What should you use instead?
Talc is a natural clay mineral composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It was popular in hygiene products because of its ability to absorb moisture and reduce friction. Talcum powder was marketed as a product that could keep skin dry and prevent rashes. It appeared safe enough to be used even for infants in the form of baby powder.
What other, safer products can absorb moisture and reduce friction similarly to talcum powder? Mother Nature Network offered five easy alternatives:
- Corn Starch: Corn starch has a similar consistency to talcum powder as well as similar absorption properties. It’s also a common product easy to find in your local grocery store, although you’ll probably find it in the baking aisle rather than the feminine hygiene section.
- Arrowroot or Tapioca Starch: Arrowroot starch is derived from tropical South American plants, while tapioca starch is derived from the South American cassava plant. Paleo diet fans use either starch in place of corn starch or flour when baking.
- Baking Soda: The many uses of baking soda are almost common knowledge these days, and you can now add “Replacing Talcum Powder” to your list. Just as people use baking soda for deodorant, you can also use it as baby powder or feminine hygiene powder.
- Oat Flour: Oat flour gets the job done as well as anything else on this list, but it’s an especially good alternative if you want a slightly coarser powder.
- Commercial Baby Powder Alternative: Commercial baby powders likely use one or more of the alternatives on this list, but they add essential oils to give the powders a nice smell.
Whichever alternative you decide to go with, it will be a step in the right direction away from the dangers of talcum powder and toward a safer hygiene routine.