Talc is the main component of talcum powder. It is composed of hydrated magnesium silicate, and has the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. This powder has a clear or dusty appearance, and it can be translucent or opaque. It renders the skin a smooth and glossy appearance. It also has other ingredients that make its composition perfect for application over skin.
Excluding its beautifying properties, talc also serves many other purposes. It is used in many industries like pharmaceutical, paper making, plastic, rubber, food, electric cables, etc. Greenish or grayish talc is known as soapstone or steatite. This variant finds applications in construction of sinks, electrical switch boards, stoves, etc. Talc has a glazing sheen and due to this property, it is widely used in the ceramic industries. It is also used as a food additive by pharmaceutical companies.
Composition of talcum powder depends on the company manufacturing the product. Different brands have different compositions and qualities. Here is the list of chemical compounds that constitute talcum powder.
- Silicon dioxide
- Magnesium oxide
- Calcium oxide
- Iron(III) oxide
- Aluminum oxide
- Zinc oxide
- Calcium carbonate
Talcum powder can pose a considerable threat if accidentally inhaled in larger excess. Talc is the most deleterious ingredient, and its inhalation by babies might lead to chocking and asphyxiation. It is also a potent carcinogen and causes inflammation to lungs. It may cause cancer if applied heavily on armpits and in the genital areas. In women, it can also cause ovarian cancer if there is a slow deposition of talc particles. Silicate, which is one of the key ingredients, is also harmful to the lungs.
If your skin is very sensitive to chemical products, you can prepare talcum powder at home. It is easy to make and gentle on skin.
- At first, you need to decide the quantity of product that you are going to need. Then, mix equal proportions of tapioca starch, cornstarch, and arrowroot powder in a bowl. Mix them thoroughly.
- For fragrance, add essential oils like lavender, rosemary, etc., in an absorbent cotton pad.
- Place the perfumed cotton ball inside the container, and shake it well. Let it stay in the mixture for 24 hours.
- Remove the cotton ball from the powder and once again mix it. The powder is now perfumed.
- Store this powder in a bottle.