Beauty No-No: Talc

February 27, 2013By 9 Comments

The other day, I found out that talc was the main ingredient in one of my [used-to-be] favorite vegan and cruelty-free (and expensive) mineral finishing powders—I damn near had a heart attack! How did I not notice this before?!

mineral makeup

Why was/am I freaking out about this innocent-seeming ingredient that’s commonly found in things like makeup, perfumed body powders, baby powder, etc.?

Talc is closely related to asbestos… yeah, asbestos!!

From the Cancer Prevention Coalition:

Talc particles have been shown to cause tumors in the ovaries and lungs of cancer victims. For the last 30 years, scientists have closely scrutinized talc particles and found dangerous similarities to asbestos. Responding to this evidence in 1973, the FDA drafted a resolution that would limit the amount of asbestos-like fibers in cosmetic grade talc. However, no ruling has ever been made and today, cosmetic grade talc remains non-regulated by the federal government. This inaction ignores a 1993 National Toxicology Program report which found that cosmetic grade talc, without any asbestos-like fibers, caused tumors in animal subjects. Clearly with or without asbestos-like fibers, cosmetic grade talcum powder is a carcinogen.

Cancer risk aside, talc is mega-harsh on sensitive skin, makes skin appear cakey (accentuates fine lines), and it clogs pores (ZITS!)! Thank Godzilla, there are tons of talc-free, vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics (e.g. Everyday Minerals) and baby powders (e.g. Hugo Baby Powder), etc. available from companies that actually give a damn—always read labels for ingredients!

Did you already know talc was evil? Have you ditched talc for good?

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Janet Hernandez says:

    Yesss, people need to know about talc! And companies need to quit using it please!!!

  2. Amanda says:

    I did not know this either, i co-own a vegan cosmetics company as well, we are still a very small business. I am glad I made the choice to be talc free, not even know about this.

  3. Sarah S. says:

    OMG I had no idea o_0 Thanks for the heads up on this, although I’ve been a makeup junkie way longer than I’ve been vegan and I’m probably already gonna die of makeup cancer, LOL…

  4. Francis says:

    Wow, I didn’t know talc was that bad! Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Cassandra says:

    Oh my goodness! Which finishing powder is this?

  6. NicM says:

    Awww! My friend has a mineral make-up line out of NYC and I’ve been a customer for years. She uses no talc and I just love what she creates for me. Yeah, talc is bad news!

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