What is it?Talc is a powdered mineral (hydrated magnesium silicate) with a uniquely slippery feel that is sometimes described as soapy. This unique sensory profile accounts for the name “soapstone”, the common name for the rock that talc is mined from.
What does it do?Talc is resistant to moisture and can absorb oils in the formula, making it feel dry and less greasy. It also has a smooth slippery feel to help the product glide on easily.
What are the alternatives?Other materials that can be used for this purpose in the product include silicas, starches, and finely ground plastics/resins.
What are the risks?Talc has a long history of safe use in food and personal care products. FDA has recognized its use in foods as well as topical products. In foods it can be used as an anti-caking agent in powdered food applications (i.e. like salt - 21 CFR 182.2437).
While it has a long history of safe use, there have been some safety concerns raised about particular applications that have come up and been investigated over the years. These safety concerns stemmed from potential inhalation and/or impurities in the talc powder. These concerns were investigated by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services; and subsequently, FDA has maintained talc’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for use in antiperspirants.
The talc being used in this product is incorporated into the matrix and coated with oils and therefore will not be present in the air we breathe and is free from impurities, meeting the United States Pharmacopeia standards of purity for use in cosmetic/drug products.
Tom’s of Maine recognizes that no two people are alike, and even with pure and natural ingredients, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction that is unique to them. As with any product, be sure to discontinue use if you experience discomfort or other indications that the product may not be appropriate for your individual body chemistry.
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