Healthy Lifestyle, Ingredients, Natural Cosmetics
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cosmetics without talc

Ere Perez powders never contain talc: here is why yours shouldn’t either…

Talc. It was once used for every nappy change, on every beauty conscious lady’s T-zone and for some, in their intimate areas. It was a solution for everything ingredient. A catch all beauty product… then came rumours of something sinister;

Talc may cause cancer.

Not just any kind of cancer.

Talc may cause lung and ovarian cancer.

That’s a serious claim if using it to powder your nose every day.

Should you be worried?

Is talcum powder a carcinogen?

Let’s take a look

Talc in Face Powders

Talc is easily spotted in clean white bottles labelled as talcum powder, what you might not realise is talc is also frequently used in pressed face powders, eye shadows, blushers and more. Talc is a type of mineral, it’s mined from the earth and it’s great at carrying colour, absorbing oil and mattifying skin. The perfect skill set for a perfecting face powder… or so it seemed, until the early 60’s brought concerns of links to cancer.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Lung Cancer?

Talcum powder is found underneath our feet, deep inside the earth. It’s mined from areas where lots of other ingredients exist. Talc comes from the same family as asbestos, technically known as silicates and because of their similarity talc and asbestos often grow in close proximity. Which means in the 1960’s most talcum powders were contaminated with asbestos – a known carcinogen.

In the 1960’s it was very possible using a talc containing face powder could cause cancer.

Do Talc Containing Beauty Products Cause Cancer?

Since the 1960’s new regulations have been put in place. They dictate all talcum powder grades used in cosmetic formulas must be asbestos free. Therefore relying on suppliers of talcum powder to fully purify their products and to regularly test they’re truly, measurably asbestos free.

Concluding in 2010 the FDA ran an analysis on a handful of talc suppliers and a slightly larger number of cosmetic products. The results showed 0% of the samples or cosmetics tested, contained measurable asbestos levels – good news, however interestingly the FDA concluded;

“they do not prove that most or all talc or talc-containing cosmetic products currently marketed in the United States are likely to be free of asbestos contamination.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

The second kind of cancer talcum powder is linked to, is ovarian and the statistics here are more serious. Although wider scale studies need to be carried out, there looks to be a 20% increase in risk of ovarian cancer when talcum powder is regularly applied to intimate areas. And this is the key. Intimate areas.

Although the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder seems more serious than the risk of lung cancer, it’s unlikely you’re using or rubbing it into your intimate areas

Bottom line: Talcum powder has a dubious past and while large scale studies are needed to help conclude whether it definitively causes cancer, why take the risk, when instead you can keep your beauty routine clean and green with talc free face powders?

To learn more about Ere Perez, click here.

Sigue aquí el blog en español.

This entry was posted in: Healthy Lifestyle, Ingredients, Natural Cosmetics


Cheryl Woodman is a scientist with a mission: to make the world of skincare and beauty understandable, empowering and human. She makes sense of ingredients lists so you don’t have to, she shares science based advice to help conquer your skin concerns, she helps advise on skincare ingredients to love and ones to avoid. Start making smart beauty decisions today, grab a cup of tea and come chat.

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