To use or not to use: talc is the question!
The use of talc in cosmetics can be a controversial issue. However, this mineral has been an essential element in our life since antiquity. Talc (derived from the Persian: تالک tālk; Arabic: طلق ṭalq) is a mineral belonging to the silicates; its color varies from white to blue-gray. Although it is one of the most used cosmetic ingredients today, its applications are known since ancient Egypt. Also, talc was a component used by the Assyrians and Native Americans for various applications.
Although it is a product that we have used for centuries, nowadays, some brands boast about not using it in their products. This concern brings us to the question: What is wrong with talc? Is it an artificial chemical product, and therefore harmful? These types of messages could not be apparent or controversial. They can even be hidden in commercial slogans in most cases, so the effect is almost subliminal.
First, if we want to understand the true nature of talc, it is recommendable consulting some literature of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to this organization, talc is a natural mineral extracted from the earth; it is composed of other elements such as magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Briefly, talc is a hydrous magnesium silicate that comes from nature. So, a good reason to be relieved is that talc is not an artificially made component, but a natural mineral that is refined and processed to our benefit.
Controversy and FDA Conclusions
The issue of the risks of Talc dates back to some scientific literature published the 1960s that suggested a possible link between talc and the incidence of ovarian cancer. However, the same research of FDA states that these studies are inconclusive. It means, that carcinogenic effects of talc have never been proved. Also, particular concerns about the potential contamination of talc with asbestos were raised from the 1970s.
In 2010, the FDA elaborated a Talc Survey Appendix with details about samples of cosmetic products containing talc. These samples were analyzed to study the limits of asbestos detection in some of these products. (Note: “NAD” means “no asbestos detected”). Check the list once in a while, so you can be aware of the brands you can use without any safety concern.
Well, I know I’m happy after learning all this, what about you? Any other concern about talc cosmetics that you want to share? Please send them in the comments below, I’ll be happy to make research and publish my findings to share them with you and all my #TalcMates.
Talc soon! 😉😘