How is cornstarch a safer alternative to talc?

How is cornstarch a safer alternative to talc?

Baby powder has been used instinctively by mothers since forever, because of its exceptional moisture-absorbing qualities and ability to reduce friction. But have you ever paid attention to the ingredients of baby powder? Talcum is an ingredient widely used in baby powder, which has been proven to be toxic and carcinogenic. Number of studies are pointing out that talc-based powder is not safe to use for anyone. Wondering what is the alternative to talc and what kind of baby powder is safe? A cornstarch baby powder is the best and safest alternative to talcum powder for babies and also for adults, as talc is a harmful substance. Let’s get into the details.

Why is talc-based powder not safe?

Talcum, the main ingredient in most of the available baby powders in the market, is a mineral composed of silicon, magnesium and oxygen. Talc is naturally found in geographical areas where asbestos – a substance known to cause cancer – typically develops. Many companies source their talc from asbestos-contaminated mines resulting in talc tainted with asbestos in the market that could be a trigger for cancer. Even asbestos-free talc is also dangerous near pelvic areas. It may cause irritation and systemic organ toxicity.

Fine talc particles have been known to be inhaled by babies, causing choking, coughing, respiratory illness or chronic diseases and lung damage. Pediatricians discouraged the use of talcum powders due to their health risks on babies. Talcum powder applied for diaper change may enter inside the body and reach distant organs.

Scary, right? So do we stop using baby powders or is there a healthier and natural alternative to keep the baby dry and rash-free? Off late, cornstarch powder– found in the baking aisle of your local grocery store – has emerged as a great safer alternative to talcum. Let’s find out why cornstarch baby powder works as an excellent alternative.

How is cornstarch a safer alternative than talc?

Cornstarch powder is a safer alternative to talc when it comes to usage for babies, as:

  1. Cornstarch powder is a natural, eco-friendly and edible ingredient making it safe to use baby powder.
  2. Being a food-based ingredient, cornstarch powder is easier for the baby’s body to absorb.
  3. Cornstarch baby powder is made from corn, and cornstarch powder has larger particles as compared to talc. This prevents cornstarch powder particles from entering the respiratory system, reducing the risk of irritation, inflammation and chronic respiratory ailments.
  4. As baby powder with cornstarch gets absorbed quickly into the skin it reduces the chances of it being inhaled.

What is the difference between Talcum powder and Cornstarch powder?

There are some major differences between cornstarch powder and talcum powder which you should be aware of when choosing a baby powder:

Talcum powder Cornstarch powder
Contains asbestos Is asbestos-free
Is carcinogenic (likely to cause cancer) Non-carcinogenic 
Unsafe for babies Safe for babies
Has large particles Has smaller and finer particles
Does not absorb fast in the skin Absorbs quickly in the skin
Non-eco friendly Eco-friendly
Made from mineral Made from corn
Non edible Edible

How to pick the right baby powder for your little one?

There are a number of baby powder brands to choose from and to get the best one for your baby, it is best to carry out a bit of research on your own. Baby powders that have talcum as its base should be avoided for babies. Highly recommended by pediatricians, cornstarch-based baby powders with natural and soothing ingredients, must be used for the babies. Using a trusted brand that has cornstarch powder for babies is important to protect the baby from any skin or health hazard. A cornstarch baby powder can be used for skin drying, diapers changes and diaper rash.

The Moms Co. recommends using talc-free, completely natural, cornstarch powder based baby powder:


It has a fine texture that excellently absorbs perspiration, to keep the baby’s chubby folds dry without the use of harmful talc. It has the goodness of organic Chamomile, Calendula and Jojoba Oil.  It works gently, to keep the baby’s skin smooth and dry without taking away the natural skin moisture.

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How to apply baby powder with cornstarch?

There are certain steps to follow for applying cornstarch baby powder or any baby powder to minimize risks of inhalation:

  1. Sprinkle some cornstarch baby powder on your hands and smooth onto the baby’s skin.
  2. Baby powder with cornstarch powder can be used daily or as needed to absorb moisture, humidity and sweat.
  3. Don’t sprinkle the cornstarch powder for babies directly on the baby but get some in your hands and then apply to the babies.
  4. Do not apply the cornstarch baby powder to the baby’s face.

Stay informed and choose wisely, with special attention to the products that concern the safety and future of your precious little ones. Always choose skin friendly and edible ingredients like cornstarch powder for babies.