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When I saw my elder sister use baby powder paste on her face to treat acne-prone skin, my first reaction was, “Huh! I would never put cheap baby powder because I believe it could cause acne development rather than curing. Now my question is, can baby powder really cause acne development?
No, baby powder can’t cause acne directly because it doesn’t clog the pores in normal weather conditions. You can use it often on the skin because of its natural ability to dry out the skin and reduce natural oils from excreting out of your body.
With its balanced use, you can get a better result in reducing minor pimples and acne. But it is not recommended for severe acne treatment. Excessive use of baby powder can cause skin problems as well.
Composition of Baby Powder: An overview
Knowing what it is made of is essential to understand if the baby powder can cause acne. Although the ingredients list can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, most traditional baby powders have talcum powder as their main ingredient.
Talcum powder – made from talc, is a mineral containing magnesium, oxygen, silicon and calcium. These elements are responsible for giving the baby powder its water absorption quality and are key in preventing oil accumulation on the skin and clogged pores.
In addition to these elements, fragrances are added in minute amounts
Is Baby Powder Good for Acne? How Effective is it in Treating Acne?
Baby powder, especially those with talc, is good for acne treatment. Although the opinions on the matter are different, the majority agree that for minor acne, baby powder mixed with water can help dry out the pimples and reduce acne.
The main ingredient in talc is magnesium silicate which has absorbent properties and can absorb excess oil from the skin.
Some people, however, believe that using baby powder can strip the skin of its oil and trigger an overproduction of natural oils, thus making the acne worse.
In general, experts advise people with acne to use clinically proven and tried and tested products like salicylic acid and gentle exfoliants. In any case, only a small amount of baby powder should be used for minor acne.
Special concern: In a situation where acne is severe and easily aggravated, it is important to know that your best option is to consult a skincare specialist or a dermatologist to avoid worsening the situation. These remedies, after all, are not backed by research.
Is Baby Powder Good for Your Face? How Can the Excess Use of Baby Powder be Harmful?
All these different opinions beg the question: is baby powder really good for the face and can you use it? As I have said above, using baby powder in small amounts is ok, but using it consistently in large amounts can cause problems.
Dr, Nivedita, a dermatologist based in West Dehli, explains how baby powder can be harmful to the face and skin in the following ways:
Baby powder contains Talcum, which contains starch and minerals. In summers, when applied on the face, the baby powder gets mixed in with the sweat and clumps up. These caked-up clumps can cause infections by breeding bacteria.
Since the Baby powder is finely milled, it settles in the pores and clogs them. In addition, during summers, sweat gets mixed in and a layer of baby powder on the skin does not allow it to evaporate.
As a result, your skin wouldn’t be able to breathe. This can cause acne and other skin-related issues.
Reduce Natural Oil Secretion
Baby powder can reduce the appearance of oil. It turns out that if the baby powder is used to dry the skin excessively, it can trigger the skin to produce oil to normalize the oil level on the skin to keep it naturally moisturized. This disturbs the oil production and causes skin issues like eczema and acne.
Are Baby Powder and Talcum Powder Same? Are There Any Differences?
There are not many differences between baby powder and talcum powder. As it turns out, baby powder is simply talcumed powder with fragrances and perfume.
Talcum powder is simply grounded talc, which is a mineral used for its absorbent properties. Talc is the main ingredient in many cosmetic products like baby powder, foundations and body products.
Mostly, baby powders are made of talcum powder though this composition varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Since baby powder was originally made to avoid diaper rash and skin irritation for babies, using a dangerous mineral like talc could be harmful.
Some companies use cornstarch instead of talc to make their baby powder natural and beneficial for the babies.
Cornstarch has the same role as talc. It helps absorb the moisture and keep the area dry to prevent rash formation.
The grain size of the baby powder made of cornstarch is slightly bigger than the talcum powder, which might make it better for clogged pores.
Does Talcum Powder Cause Acne? Dermatologists’ Thought
I mentioned earlier that using talcum powder in small quantities does not cause acne. However, there are other disadvantages to using it on acne-prone skin, which are far more damaging.
Talcum powder contains ingredients that absorb oil, but due to its fine grains, using it for an extended period in large quantities can cause breakouts.
The fine powder settles into the pores on the skin and causes oil and dead skin accumulation. The pores may get clogged and become a home for bacteria to fester, causing inflammation.
Dr Hitesh Aggarwal, a dermatologist, writes: “[using talcum powder] can cause Contact Dermatitis and blockade of pores and glands leading to pimple formation.”
For people who are battling acne, using talcum powder can worsen their situation further. Acne-prone skin has pores larger than normal, thus making it easier for the powder to clog them.
Also, talcum powder can dry out the skin excessively, which triggers the skin to produce more oil in a regulatory mechanism, thus causing more acne.
Does talcum powder darken skin?
No, talcum powder does not darken your skin. By its nature, it is simply a powdered, off-white form. Putting this powder on your skin, if anything, will make it appear more white.
Also, if a significant amount of powder is put in larger areas on the body, it might act as a barrier between your skin and the sun.
It can potentially protect from the sun, reducing the tan and thus preventing any darkening due to exposure to the sun.
Does Talcum Powder Clog Pores?
Talcum powder does not necessarily clog the pores, but the opinion is contested. Talc has been used in the cosmetic industry for many years.
As a mattifying agent and absorbent, this powder is used in foundation powders, setting powders, etc.
The upside of using this powder on the face is that it does not, for the most part, cake up on the face if applied professionally.
The downside of the same user is that it can settle in the pores due to its fine nature. It has easy access to the pore opening since it is applied directly to the skin and can enter the pores.
Inside the pores, it mixes in with the sweat, oil and bacteria and sticks, if not properly washed out, therefore clogging the pores.
How to Use Baby Talcum Powder to Treat Acne?
To use baby powder for your acne treatment, you must follow several steps below.
In any case, ensure that the baby powder is safe since some unsafe powders have been associated with ovarian and skin cancer.
1. Mix 1 tablespoon of baby powder with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir the mixture until smooth. The 1:2 ratio of baby powder to water is important and should be followed if you need more.
2. Wash your face with water and check for any acne and open wounds on the face.
3. Apply the mixture in a thin layer directly onto the skin with the help of a brush or your hands, avoiding pimples and wounds on the face.
4. Gently massage the mixture into your skin for 5 minutes.
5. Wash the mixture with lukewarm water and gently pat the area dry with a soft fabric or paper towel.
6. Glide a small ice cube wrapped in a towel on the face to shrink the pores.
7. Finish off by applying your favorite moisturizer.
Special Note: This process can be repeated every day, but you must be careful with keeping your skin moisturized since baby talcum powder can dry out your skin.
Best Johnson Baby Powder for Acne
Best Johnson’s baby powder for acne is a cornstarch-based one. My favorite is 22 ounces of Johnson’s baby powder derived from vitamin E, aloe and cornstarch.
Ever since Johnson’s Baby discontinued its production of baby powder in the United States of America and Canada, the company has been facing a lot of pressure all around the world to be more mindful of its health standards.
If you are using the traditional Johnson’s baby powder which does contain talc, make sure not to inhale it and not to keep it on your skin for a longer period.
Also, do not apply the baby powder mixture to open wounds on the face to not aggravate them.
Can You Use Baby Powder for Deodorant?
If you struggle with sweaty armpits, you might be tempted to use baby powder instead of deodorants as a cheaper solution.
As it is, you can use baby powder as a deodorant because it is gentle enough for babies, as opposed to conventional deodorants and is powerful enough to avoid the rash.
Traditional deodorants are antiperspirants made of harsh chemicals, including parabens, which can dry the skin.
You might be tempted to use baby powder as a deodorant replacement if you have sensitive skin. Baby powder can help prevent sweat stains, keep your odour-free, and keep your skin cool and fresh.
The added fragrance in the baby powder helps keep the smell of bodily fluids away and keeps you smelling lovely.
Using baby powder for acne treatment has been a home remedy for many decades now. Yes, it dries out the acne, absorbs the oil on the skin, and helps prevent and treat acne, but it only works for minor acne.
Due to its drying nature, the baby powder should be used only once every two or three days. Daily use might lead to dry skin, which might make acne worse.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.
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