By: Sassy Auburn
We are sad to report that Johnson & Johnson baby powder is not ‘redhead friendly’.
Recently, Johnson & Johnson, a leader in baby products, was just sued by a family who believed the used of baby powder or talc over many years resulted in her death. Experts determined that the inhalation of the small particles of the finely ground talc over many years resulted in this Missouri female dying of cancer. They won their case, and the family of the female was awarded of $70 million dollars.
Nine years ago, I began having issues with certain cosmetics and skin care products. To my dismay, I had to throw out about 80% of everything that was in my makeup drawer.
I began doing some research about the ingredients of the products I was using on my face. After looking at the main products I used almost daily, I realized almost all of them had one common bond: talc.
Talcum powder consists of zinc stearate as well as a variety of silicates. They are finely ground into small particles that can be dusted on your face, your body and/or your baby to give the skin a soft, silky feeling. In addition, talc is a very common binder in most commercial makeup items: face powder, eye shadow, blush and others. These fine particles can be irritating to the eyes and the skin, or worse–inhaled into the lungs.
Baby powder is easily carried into the air, and quickly inhaled. Inhalation of talcum powder actually can be life-threatening, especially for babies.
My quest for talc-free products soon began. Whether they are used alone or as a base for other products, there are several other ingredients that can be used to dust your baby’s bum or to use as a binder for eye shadows, finishing powder, foundations or blush.
Here are a few safe all-natural alternatives that you can use as a replacement for talc:
1. Cornstarch: A lot of moms of small babies are already onto this one. Cornstarch absorbs sweat to avoid chafing which is why it’s awesome for the little ones. It can also be used on heat rashes and on razor burn to avoid redness. If you want a finer powder, you can put some in a coffee grinder and spin it for about 30 seconds. In that form, you can add it to a mineral foundation or loose finishing powder to absorb oil on the face on summer days. A great, inexpensive replacement.
2. Arrowroot Powder: Arrowroot is a type of root found in many areas around the world. People that are gluten sensitive probably already know about the benefits. It helps to thicken foods for those that need gluten free options. It can also be used as a natural finishing powder or to give a nice base to cosmetic. It also absorbs moisture so it can keep your face smooth but not shiny. Because of its texture, it is perfect as a footing for loose mineral eye shadows and blushes.
3. Oat Flour: This is my favorite of them all, especially with my sensitive skin. It has great health benefits. Of course, you aren’t eating it, but it does do a lot. It’s gluten free which is always a plus. It also calms irritation, helps to soften and moisturize skin naturally. It is also a fabulous natural anti-inflammatory. This is perfect for babies as well as us adults. So if your skin is having a red, itchy day, adding a bit of oat flour to your natural moisturizer can calm things down. You can also add a bit of water to create a paste and dot on acne and chickenpox scars to help fade them out too. If you find some natural, organic oat flour that’s too course for your skin, just put it in that clean coffee grinder again. Then matte away!
4. Rice Powder: Rice powder is often found as a staple in Southeast Asia, Japan and southern India cooking. Rice powder can be made from white or brown rice, but for food purposes brown rice is stronger in vitamins and protein. When used on the body or face, rice powder is a perfect powder for people with extra sensitive skin, like babies. The vitamins actually penetrate the skin helping to fight free radicals, as well as lighten, brighten and soften the skin. Use rice powder to dust onto your skin to help soften and get an all over even skin tone. As a mask, you can also mix it with a bit of water and apply it all over your face. What I like to do is mix it with things like an old mashed banana, pureed peaches or heavy cream. As a cosmetic ingredient, a rice powder mask can deep condition your skin as well as exfoliate without harsh abrasives.
5. Chickpea Powder: This one was kind of new to me. I’m not a big chickpea fan in general, so I definitely had no idea they could be reduced to a powder. But, wow… there is sure a lot of benefits to using this. Chickpea flour is also known as “besan” or “gram” flour. It has actually been around for quite some time. It is a great oil/moisture absorber so it is perfect for babies as well as people with oily skin. You can dust your face with it to keep the greasies under control. Besan flour is also a great ingredient for facial masks when mixed with drops of lemon oil to help brighten the skin or heavy cream to add moisture. Chickpea powder also be mixed with vitamin E oil (which I always have capsules of in my bathroom) to deep condition and repair damaged hair twice a week. Your auburn tresses will be shiny and healthy for a long time.
6. Dry Shampoo Alternatives: If you used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder as a dry shampoo, you are not alone. Here are safe ‘redhead friendly’ approved, talc-free options below:
7. Make your own baby powder! If you’re feeling DIY, here’s a quick recipe for making your very own baby powder.
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup arrowroot powder [can also substitute for baking powder]
Mix together + add to a container or jar. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the mix as well, depending on if you want a scented version. We love adding lavender.
Let’s say buh-bye to talc and baby powder and hello to natural, healthy replacements! What’s great about these powders is you don’t have to use them just on your babies. You can use them all in your regular beauty routine. Talc has never been a friend in my redhead beauty, skin care and body care routine. I didn’t need a lawsuit to tell me that. But I am happy to now have substitutes that are not just soft and conditioning for my skin and hair but that are also safe to mix with other natural cosmetics for a product that I know won’t cause me health issues. And that is going to keep me–and you!–rocking it like a redhead.