Don't Sweat It. Know What To Look For In A Baby Powder

There are quite a few safe options to choose from

V. Kumara Swamy Updated: Oct 11, 2020 18:04:55 IST
Don't Sweat It. Know What To Look For In A Baby Powder Photo: Shutterstock

Baby powder is one of the ubiquitous companions of our childhood. They are considered essential too as they absorb moisture, provide a refreshing feeling and make babies feel comfortable.

Since it is applied on the delicate skin of a baby, choosing the right powder is of utmost importance. But worry not. Since it involves children, regulatory authorities are very careful when it comes to approving products for babies and the ingredients used in them. But, reasonable caution should still be exercised.

What It Contains

Most baby powders consist of talc, a mineral comprising magnesium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen

It is also used in cosmetics such as eye shadow, blush, and foundation, where they are used for their moisture-absorbing properties and the ability to turn makeup opaque.  

Cornstarch is another ingredient that may be used to make baby powder and is generally considered safe. Talc-based baby powders, on the other hand, have been linked to ailments such as pneumococcis.

Is it really needed for babies?

This is a question that is often asked. Baby powders are generally used to treat diaper rashes, but paediatricians warn against using the powder too much. In case the powder needs to be used, paediatricians advise parents to keep their children away from the powder as much as possible.

Are they safe?

There’s considerable doubt and uncertainty concerning the safety factor of these powders, despite the absence of a conclusive study. A study of 2,50,000 women led by the U.S. government and published early this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found no strong evidence of a link between baby powder and ovarian cancer.

At the same time, a leading baby product company has faced thousands of lawsuits from patients claiming that its powder caused ovarian cancer. This was after small quantities of asbestos, a carcinogen and adulterant found in close proximity to talc mines, were discovered in its powder bottles. The company decided to stop sales of talc-based baby powder in the US in May this year, keeping only the cornstarch variant on the shelves.

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