Powders that have talc as a constituent have been used for body odor control since the days of yore. Like the perfumes used by many ancient civilizations, these powders were engrained with scents and used freely around the body. So it is necessary for us to know what talc is.
Talc is a clay type mineral, composed of hydrated magnesium silicate. In powdered form, it is smooth, fluffy and lightweight. Talc is quite astringent which means that body tissues that come into contact with it tend to shrink. While that may sound a little intimidating, the contraction of tissues is very minimal. It functions by sucking out additional moisture from the skin, thereby reducing the occurrence and severity of rashes. This is the reason why talc has been popular for ages, not just for reducing the stinky and itchy mess that is the human crotch, but also for controlling the rash on babies from diapers, fungal infections and so on.
The modern body powder
The advanced body powder available from certain companies, instead of being a talcum base, uses medical-grade corn starch and grounded rice hulls – two benign and all-natural carrying agents. Instead of talc as an astringent, it incorporates witch hazel, which is also an astringent but without talc’s negative aspects. Moreover, hops are used in these powders for their anti-microbial effect which reduces the number of malodor-producing bacteria without blocking your sweat glands. Also, this men’s body powder is hydrophobic, which means that it does not combine with moisture and create a doughy mess in your private parts.
Avoid talcum powder
Though talcum powder is still quite common, its use has declined recently because of its link with cancer. A mineral that is mined from the ground can be contaminated by other naturally occurring minerals that are not healthy, like asbestos. Also, talcum powders incorporate antiperspirants in the form of aluminum chloride, which can cause skin irritation by blocking the functioning of at least 20% of your sweat glands.
Thus, although body powder is effective at keeping body odor under control, we need to make sure that they are free from harmful chemicals like talc and aluminum.