In light of the recent news about Johnson & Johnson's baby powder and its apparent risks, many mamas are in search of something clean they can use that doesn't contain ingredients like talc. Despite Johnson & Johnson changing the type of talc they were using about 30 years ago, there are still concerns that asbestos (a known carcinogen) naturally occurs in talc. The worry that talc causes cancer is still a concern today.
Paul Demers of Cancer Care Ontario says "we do have some evidence to be concerned about, but that it is not definitive enough to say that it is a probable carcinogen".
Talc is rated a 3 for toxicity according to the Environmental Working Group, meaning it's relatively low on the toxicity scale. That being said, I would personally avoid it.
The other ingredient in baby powder that I'm concerned about is "parfum". This is an ingredient that should always be avoided in personal care products -here's why: This can mean hundreds of different chemicals that make up the chemical mixture of a fragrance even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some are even linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Now I should tell you I've never used a powder on Vienna because I haven't needed to (she's just not sweaty down in her lady bits) but I did take a class when I was pregnant with Vienna and learned how to make my own natural baby powder. This wonderful recipe I'm sharing with you today is from Kathrin at For Love Of Body.
I do caution you though. You need to be very careful using a powder with your baby. Make sure that NO powder becomes airborne because this is a danger to your baby. It can cause asphyxiation, meaning if your babe breathes it into his/her lungs it can stop them from breathing properly.
The nice thing is this powder that I made in Kathrin's class is thicker than most commercial brands of baby powder so it's less likely to get in the air, but you still need to exercise caution using it.
1/4 cup ground calendula (or chamomile or a blend of the two) 1/4 cup ground oats
Optional: 20 drops lavender essential oil
Grind dried flowers into powder. A high powered blender works well or a coffee grinder. If necessary, use a sieve to stain out larger pieces, leaving just the powder.
Mix together with other ingredients.
Store in a spice jar or other reusable container.
A mason jar with holes punched into the lid works well for at home, while a spice jar is great for taking with you in your diaper bag.
You can simply use arrowroot powder on its own if you want an ultra cheap version of this recipe. The flowers add healing properties, the oats soothe the skin, while the kaolin clay draws out impurities.
*You can easily find this clay on amazon.ca
Some women also use powder as a feminine product, for which this would be a great substitute.