7 Talcum Powder Alternatives and Their Safety

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​


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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco


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Editor: Daniela Polo


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7 Talcum Powder Alternatives and Their Safety

Consumers are looking for alternatives to baby powder after studies and experts discovered the relationship between talc-based products and the development of ovarian cancer.

This has led to thousands of  Talcum lawsuits made by women who were affected by the nondisclosure of the dangerous consequences of using talcum powder products.

Consumers are looking for safer talcum powder alternatives with moisture-reduction factor and odor eradication as the main features in baby powder substitutes.

What to Use as a Substitute for Talcum Powder?

Fortunately, a wide variety of talc-free powders are already available in the market, including those made by small businesses. The main ingredient in these powders is starch. So, here is a list of the commonly used starches and other ingredients found in talc-free powders.


Is a powdery substance made from corn that is highly absorbent and effective in treating and preventing skin rashes and is commonly used as an alternative to talcum powder.

Cornstarch is known for its absorbent properties, which are comparable to that of talc but without any of the associated risks.

Different brands of cornstarch may have varying chemical compositions; however, some cornstarch brands contain fewer chemicals compared to certain baby powder brands.


Arrowroot powder is a natural starch derived from various plants in South America and can be used as a substitute for cornstarch by individuals with corn allergies.

It has healing properties when applied to the skin. Furthermore, it helps soften the skin and remove toxins. It is also often considered a viable alternative to talcum powder due to its safety features.

Arrowroot is commonly found in grocery stores, although it is typically purchased from natural or health food stores, as well as online.

Kaolin (or Kaolin Clay)

Kaolin clay, also known as cosmetic clay, is commonly used in various cosmetics, deodorants, scrubs, and soaps due to its oil-absorbing and skin-soothing properties. It can be purchased online or in select health and general merchandise stores.

Kaolin clay is known for its ability to absorb moisture without causing dryness, making it suitable for sensitive areas.

Baking Soda

Baking soda can be used as a substitute for baby powder as it effectively absorbs odors. It is commonly suggested to apply to the feet for keeping them dry and minimizing unpleasant odors.

Although baking soda has its benefits, individuals with sensitive skin may want to evaluate its use due to its potentially abrasive nature and gritty texture.

Tapioca Starch

Tapioca starch, also known as tapioca flour, shares properties similar to talcum powder and can be used to absorb moisture and oil.

Tapioca is made from the cassava plant, a shrub native to South America. It does not contain gluten and is a safe option for individuals with corn allergies. It can be easily found in grocery stores.

Oat Flour

Oat flour is affordable and commonly available in regular supermarkets or can be easily made at home by grinding regular oats.

It has the ability to reduce friction on the skin and act as a drying agent, although its texture is slightly rougher than talc and may not adhere as well.

Talc-Free Baby Powder

Many businesses have eliminated talcum from their baby powders, and perhaps, the simplest solution for freshness and dryness is to find a high-quality, talc-free body powder. When choosing a powder, the quality of the ingredients should be carefully considered to avoid any potential skin irritation.

Cornstarch, rice starch, tapioca starch, arrowroot starch, and kaolin clay are the main ingredients in many of these products, which are all very good alternatives to talcum powder.

Choosing the Best Alternative to Talc

Whatever product the person chooses, it is important to consider the side effects. As every type of skin is different, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider. This should be a requirement before you start using any of these alternative powders.