Friday, February 18, 2011

Big, bad Talc. What's the real story?

For some of you this may be the first time you've ever been told Talc may be something you want to avoid in your cosmetics. For the rest of you, you're probably familiar with the concept that we should avoid Talc, but you may be unsure of why. When I was first introduced to the concept of avoiding Talc, I accepted it as probably being legitimate, but didn't know the details of why. I'm a fairly conscious consumer and I don't like putting a lot of chemicals on or in my body if I can help it (though I still have some guilty pleasures I can't shake).

Anyway, I did a little research on Talc and why we should avoid it. What I came across was actually a bit more severe than what I expected. Talc is a mineral. Doesn't seem so bad, right? Well, not all minerals are the same or good for you for that matter. Talc comes from Talc rocks, which are mined, crushed, dried and milled. Though processing can get rid of some things, fibers similar to asbestos are minute and can remain behind. Talc has been linked to negative health effects like tumors in both the ovaries and lungs. Talc easily passes through the reproductive system and sticks to the walls of your ovaries apparently. Doesn't sound so great to me :( It can also be easily inhaled--not good for your lungs!

If Talc is so bad, why hasn't it been banned by the FDA? First of all, I am not a huge fan of the FDA since they tend to approve a lot and ban things later.For example, materials like BPA, which is banned in many other countries and has proven negative effects on your health, has not yet been banned for a number of different reasons. The FDA isn't unfamiliar with the risks associated with having cosmetic-grade Talc in makeup. In fact, the FDA drafted something in '73 which would limit the amount of harmful fibers in cosmetic-grade Talc! However, nothing has come of it since. This is even more shocking since a report in 1993 by the National Toxicology Program stated that cosmetic-grade Talc (minus the asbestos-like fibers) caused tumors in animal subjects. Now I'm not a fan of animal testing, in fact it makes me really sick to think about, but it's even more infuriating that those poor animals needlessly suffered in vain

What should you do? If you don't already do it, check your cosmetics BEFORE you buy them. You may be shocked by how many products contain Talc. It's disappointing, but some of my personal favorites are full of Talc :( Do some research for yourself and see what you think. Determine whether or not you want to avoid Talc all together, limit your exposure or not change your usage and hope for the best.

What are companies doing in response to the information that has surfaced over the years regarding Talc? Some companies are doing nothing. Some companies aren't changing their original products, but have added mineral makeup lines that don't include Talc to their product lists. Some companies have been launched and are Talc-free. I launched B.Koi as a Talc-free company. I wanted to give makeup junkies fabulous shades and shimmers without having to worry about the ingredients in them. I wanted to offer fabulous products and to me that means products that don't carry known severe health risks.

I just wanted to share a little information that I found on something that is kind of important to me, considering how passionate I am and have always been about makeup. I know those of you who read this blog are just as passionate. And the bottom line for me is: Regardless of the decision you come to, do what you feel is best for you!

Be Playful. Be Colorful. B.Koi

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