Talc is a mineral made up mainly of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talc absorbs moisture well, which is why it’s been widely used to keep skin dry and to prevent rashes (Talcum powder), and in cosmetics such as facial powders.
Most people have used talcum powder at some stage of their lives, but not many are aware that Talc is in a large number of makeup products, including loose and pressed powders.
The biggest issue with Talc is that it has been found through testing that it can contain asbestos, which is one of the most harmful substances to human health. Asbestos is a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled. Given that Talc is found in many powdered products it can easily be inhaled, and Mesothelioma (caused by Asbestos) is thought be be able to develop from just small exposures for some people. A 2020 US analysis found one in seven makeup products that had talk had varying amounts of asbestos, and this included some childrens makeup kits.
Talc is also an irritant, and is now thought to increase the risk of ovarian cancer for women and girls who had the powder applied to their bottoms as babies.
Steps You Can Take…
- Ensure that none of your makeupproducts have Talc and therefore potentially asbestos. Or alternatively only purchase powdered makeup that you can confirm has been tested and confirmed not to have asbestos.
- Contact the manufacturer if you need to check the ingredients.
- Under no circumstances use Talcum powder on babies bottoms, instead use creams for nappy rash. Whilst there is still some debate around whether Talcm powder can cause ovarian cancer, it is not worth the risk.