Buying Guide for Baby Powder
Why buy baby powder?
Baby powder is one of many items that all parents of an infant under a year old should have on hand. Aside from changing diapers, it has several other mainly cosmetic uses as well. Baby powder also acts as a freshener for shoes and prevents odor and perspiration in adults; unbeknownst to many, it can be used to remove grease stains from clothing. It can also double as a dry shampoo for humans and pets due to its oil-removing capabilities. Some people find baby powder a useful way to clean their feet of sand after a day at the beach, untangle necklace chains, and prevent chafing on people of all ages, not just babies. Therefore, even if you don’t have an infant in your house, you may still want to invest in some baby powder, thanks to its multiple uses.
What should you consider in baby powder?
- Talcum Powder vs. Talc-Free: Baby powder may be made from talcum powder or cornstarch. Both bases are equally effective at preventing rashes. However, talcum powder can have some adverse health side effects if it’s inhaled by mistake. Cornstarch particles are a lot bigger and thus harder to inhale, so many people prefer to buy talc-free baby powders since they’re considered safer. However, a cornstarch-based powder doesn’t have the same sweat-prevention capabilities. If you do buy a baby powder that has talcum powder as a base, check the labels and make sure it’s listed as purified talc, as this form of talc doesn’t carry the same health risks.
- Hypoallergenic: Depending on your intended use for the baby powder you buy, you want to make sure you invest in a brand that’s hypoallergenic. Babies have much softer and more sensitive skin than adults, which means that it’s more likely to become irritated. Preventing diaper rash won’t do them much good if the baby powder causes a different kind of reaction, so consider choosing a powder labeled as hypoallergenic to prevent this issue. If you or someone in your family has sensitive skin and you plan to use the baby powder to freshen shoes or clean grease stains, a hypoallergenic brand might also be worth the purchase.
- Scented vs. Unscented: Scented baby powders can be a pleasant way to leave behind a fresher and more appealing odor after a diaper change or in a sweaty pair of sneakers. However, scented baby powders may also contain chemicals that can irritate the skin. If you plan to use your baby powder on your infant, you may be safer opting for an unscented option or, at the very least, doing a spot check with the powder before using a larger amount.
Why is talc going off the market?
Sometimes, people can inhale talc dust and then experience wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. Therefore, it’s important to be cautious when using it. And though clean talc is considered safe, some talc can contain traces of asbestos, a cancer-causing substance. When inhaled, it can cause damage to the lungs and is not otherwise safe for consumption. This is why it’s best to look for products that do not contain talcum powder, as there are several safer alternatives. In 2023, talcum powder will be removed from the leading brands of baby powder in perpetuity.
Our Picks for the Best Baby Powder
Caldesene Medicated Protecting Powder
This talcum-free baby powder has multiple uses for the entire household, not just infant care.
Pros: With all the traditional benefits that come with baby powder, including soothing and protecting chafed skin, absorbing moisture, and preventing and treating diaper rash, this talc-free formula brings its A-game. And because it’s talc-free, you won’t have to worry about your baby’s safety if they inhale some by accident. The cornstarch base enhanced by zinc oxide works to repel moisture and absorb sweat that causes diaper rash. If your baby already has either condition, this powder can help it to heal faster. It also contains aloe and chamomile to soothe your baby’s sensitive skin and make it even softer. While originally designed for use on infants, it can be utilized for the benefit of the whole family. This powder is also great for preventing chafing in areas like the inner thighs or armpits. It’s also great for removing sand stuck to your skin, hair, towels, and clothing.
Cons: This bottle is not filled to the brim with powder.
Bottom Line: This baby powder has all the benefits of a medicated baby cream, but it won’t cause a sticky, sloppy mess the way a gel or cream might. It’s safe for regular, daily use. And it can be used all over the house and for all members of the family.
Johnson's Baby Powder, Pure Cornstarch, Aloe & Vitamin E
Made with pure cornstarch, this classic baby powder is everything you need to keep your baby clean and dry.
Pros: This three-pack of 22-ounce bottles of baby powder is sure to last you a long time and get you through a lot of diaper changes. The classic favorite of pediatricians, this powder is no longer made with talc, an ingredient that has been controversial over the last few years. The new formula is dermatologist- and pediatrician-tested for quality and safety. It’s also hypoallergenic, as it’s made from pure, moisture-absorbing cornstarch. For even healthier skin, this formula also contains skin-loving aloe and vitamin E. But this powder isn’t just for babies. It’s super versatile as it can be handy for all sorts of things like deodorizing stinky shoes or as a dry shampoo, for example.
Cons: Some people don’t enjoy the fragrance as much as the old formula.
Bottom Line: Do you need a lot of baby powder? Consider this three-pack. It’s great if you need to stock up or share with grandparents or caregivers. And it’s made by a trusted brand.
Nature's Baby Organics Baby Powder
A gentle baby powder that absorbs moisture naturally and soothes irritated skin.
Pros: The main ingredient in this organic baby powder is tapioca starch, which has a smooth, soft feel on the skin. It’s also highly absorbent and doesn’t cake, so you can feel good about using it on your baby’s bottom or in many other useful applications. It’s safe to use on a newborn as it contains no fragrances, additives, or dangerous chemicals. But it’s a great product for people of all ages to use for its many different moisture-absorbing benefits. It’s also organic, vegan, and free of GMOs and corn. Plus, this powder has moisturizing aloe and calming camomile, which helps soothe irritated skin and adds a relaxing element to your baby’s skincare routine.
Cons: You don’t get much powder in this bottle, and it’s more expensive than other brands per ounce.
Bottom Line: If you want a truly pure, fragrance-free baby powder, this may be an excellent selection. It’s particularly great for people who need baby powder but who are allergic to corn products. And it’s gentle enough to help soothe a variety of skin conditions.
Johnson's Baby Naturally Derived Cornstarch Baby Powder
This brand name, talc-free baby powder is the perfect addition to a diaper bag.
Pros: A new idea based on a classic, this bottle of baby powder has the original look but is made with pure cornstarch, aloe, and vitamin E. It doesn’t contain additives such as parabens, sulfates, dyes, or phthalates, so it’s mild, gentle, and hypoallergenic. It helps to soften and soothe irritated skin while absorbing moisture. But it won’t dry out the skin. It’s also great at absorbing oils around the hairline, so it makes an excellent dry shampoo in a pinch. You can also use it on adults with skin conditions or chafing issues.
Cons: This particular bottle is difficult to open.
Bottom Line: This little bottle of baby powder is the perfect size for a purse or diaper bag. It serves many purposes around the house as well as cosmetically. And the new formula works just as well as the old one, but with no cancer-causing ingredients.
Era Organics Talc Free Baby Powder
This gentle, moisture-absorbing dusting powder is formulated for babies, kids, and grown-ups with sensitive skin.
Pros: Gentle and nutrient-rich, this dusting powder is great for your skin! It’s perfect for a baby’s delicate folds as it doesn’t cake or chafe. And the ingredients are simple and pure: organic arrowroot powder, cornstarch, kaolin clay, calendula extract, and rosemary extract. The rosemary extract gives it a gentle herbal scent, too. Plus, this talc-free powder also has no added fragrance, it’s non-toxic, completely natural, and USDA Certified Organic. It does an excellent job of keeping skin soft and healing dry skin, redness, and irritation. On top of that, the cardboard packaging is recyclable!
Cons: The dispenser cap is a little tricky to open and close.
Bottom Line: Parents who use cloth diapers love this organic baby powder because it locks away moisture and keeps a baby’s bottom fresh. It has a silky feel and isn’t gritty or grainy. And though the package is a little small, it goes a long way.
Baby powder has been used for many years to keep a baby’s bottom fresh and dry after diaper changes. But people have found many other uses for it, including deodorizing shoes, dry shampoo, deodorizing carpets, removing sand, unwrapping chain necklaces, and more! Use these baby powders for whatever you need.