Is Talc in Beauty Products Safe?

Do you know what makes up each of your beauty products? Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t, which is why the lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson shook so many. Plaintiffs claim that the talc used in J&J’s Baby Powder formula may have been contaminated by asbestos, causing serious medical issues and cancer. In 2020, Johnson & Johnson removed the talc from its formula in the U.S. and Canada. Despite multiple lawsuits and settlements, the company maintains the safety of its formula.

Where Is Talc Hiding?

According to, talcum powder (talc) is a common ingredient in blush, eyeshadow, foundation, and numerous other makeup products. The mineral is so common because of its textural benefits, making cosmetics silky and easy to apply while absorbing oils and preventing caking. In addition to your makeup, talc is commonly used in moisturizers, lotions, deodorants, and face masks.

Is Talc Dangerous?

This is up for debate, but most would say that talc in makeup is not dangerous. When applied to the skin in moderation, it’s safe and non-irritating. However, some talc may contain the known carcinogen asbestos. In fact, the American Cancer Society has questioned whether people who have long-term exposure to talc particles at work (such as talc miners) have a higher risk of developing lung cancer from breathing them in – and whether women who apply talcum powder regularly near their genitals are at greater risk of getting ovarian cancer. Some studies suggest that both answers could potentially be yes.

Non-Talc Brands

It is important to note that talcum powder in cosmetics has not been linked to increased risks of developing lung cancer, and the FDA continues to label talc usage in cosmetic products “generally safe.” However, some brands think it’s best to be overly cautious and avoid the use of talc altogether. They include:


Saie is all about safe, inclusive makeup featuring clean ingredients, high-performance formulas, sustainable packaging and practices, and inspired design. Its experts make C.L.E.A.N. products – Conscious, luxurious, Earth-minded, award-winning, and new. You can read all about Saie’s standards, certifications, safe ingredients, and cosmetic offerings on its website.


This well-loved brand is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It regularly donates to organizations that fight for human rights and always maintains a focus on sustainability. Pacifica has a strict “no” list to ensure it only uses ingredients that have less impact on the planet, animals, and humans. Talc is included on that list.


ILIA is another award-winning clean beauty brand that has sworn off potentially harmful talc products. Its mission is to use conscious, carefully selected ingredients while pushing innovation and the industry forward. Visit the website to learn more about ILIA beauty products that double as skincare.

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