Talcum Powder - No sweat over it
Talcum powder smells like childhood. For many of us, it does. Who among us does not remember a granny or an aunt, or our own mother, using one or the other fragrant talc and in turn passing it on to us? Lavender, rose, jasmine, you name it! Over the years, good old talcum lost its exclusivity with the coming in of colognes, deodorants, and perfumes, though its claim is far from over. Apart from its cooling properties, the talcum brigade will tell you that it is the sweetest and softest way to keep the skin dry and prevent rashes. They will also insist that it is far better at absorbing moisture and reducing friction, thereby effectively minimising sweat production and preventing fungal infections.Leaving this contention as it is, the test programme undertaken by Consumer Voice checks out the claims of 11 brands of talcum powder with regard to basic quality requirements as per the national standards. So, do they have enough matter insoluble in water? Incomprehensible as it may seem, it is a critical quality determinant of a talcum powder. So are aspects such as fineness, absence of asbestine and foreign particles, amount of heavy metals, and microbiological activity. This report is an encapsulation of everything that makes your talcum powder safe and worth it.
For the tests, we purchased 11 popular brands of talcum powders to assess them on key quality parameters specified in IS: 3959-2004 for skin powders. For determining the dermatological safety of a new formulation or of any raw material used in the formulation, reference may be made to IS 40II: 1997 – ‘Methods of test for safety evaluation of cosmetics’. Accordingly, it is the responsibility of the manufacturers to satisfy themselves of the dermatological safety of their formulation before releasing the product for sale.
It is necessary that all the ingredients used in the talcum powder preparations are in such concentrations that they do not have any harmful effect on the human body. Since talcum powders are used in the very sensitive parts of the human body, it is necessary to ensure their safety evaluation with respect to quality, microbial safety, metallic contaminants, skin irritation, and other toxic effects.
The test by Consumer Voice was conducted at an NABL-accredited laboratory. Please note that this test report relates only to talcum powders for body application and not medicated or face powders.
Medicated powders for which therapeutic claims are made (for example, prickly heat powders) are classified as ‘drugs’ under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of the
Government of India. Cosmetic products are covered under Schedule ‘S’ of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, and their manufacturing and quality have to be regulated
by obtaining a license from Central Drug Standards and Control Organization. Manufacturers must ensure that their products are subjected to quality control as per the relevant applicable standards through a drug control-approved laboratory.
Top Performers - Premium
Value for Money - Premium
Based on the overall test findings, Premium is the top performer followed by Yardley.
- Yardley was rated highest in the sensory panel tests, followed by Premium and Axe.
- Premium is the value-for-money brand.
- All the brands were within the specified limits for lead, arsenic, and asbestine. They are therefore safe to use.
- All the brands passed in the microbiological tests.
- For Physiochemical Parameters
- For Microbiological Activity
- For Sensory Attributes
- For General Qualities
You can see list of our CV Comparative Test Talcum Powder below, perform Side-by-Side comparison. If you need further help, do have a look at Conzumr Guides and Tips. Alternatively you can view all Talcum Powder to choose your own favourites.
The talc in talcum powder comes from the crushing, drying, and milling of mined talc rocks and contains minerals such as magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talcum powder also contains a small amount of perfume and colouring matter. Talcum powder absorbs moisture and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping the skin dry and fresh, thereby helping to prevent rashes. It also prevent unpleasant body odour. At the same time, it can travel, and is easy to inhale when one is pouring it on. And while there is no definitive word on any adverse health effect in the long run, it is advisable to avoid prolonged exposure.
Side by Side comparison
As per Indian Standard, the residue of powder should not be more than two per cent by mass when passed through a sieve of 75 microns. It should not be more than 0.5 per cent by mass when passed through a sieve of 150 microns.
- All the tested brands of talcum powder met the requirement for fineness.
- Spinz was found with the least residue when passed through 75-micron and 150-micron sieves. In terms of performance on this parameter, Spinz is followed by Premium.
- All tested brands of talcum powder were found within the limits specified for arsenic and lead.
- All brands met the minimum requirement.
- Secret Temptation had the highest percentage of matter insoluble in boiling water, followed by Axe and Wild Stone.
- Spinz had the least percentage of matter insoluble in boiling water.
- All the brands were within the specified limit.
- Nivea scored highest, followed by Z and Spinz.
- All the brands were found to be free from any visible foreign particles.
Asbestine was found absent in all the brands, making them safe for use.
- All the brands cleared this test.
- The pH of all tested brands was found to be within the specified range.
- Yardley scored highest, followed by Secret Temptation and Premium.
- Gram-negative pathogens were found absent in all the brands tested.
- Total viable count in all the brands was found within the specified limit.
- Yardley topped in the overall sensory scores, followed by Premium and Axe.
- Spinz and Cinthol were liked the least.
- Yardley and Z were packed in metal containers.
- The rest of the brands were in plastic containers.
b) batch number/lot number
c) manufacturer’s/marketer’s address and trademark, if any
d) month and year of manufacture
e) net mass when packed
f) a list of key ingredients used in the manufacture
g) maximum retail price (MRP)
h) instructions for use, if any
i) disposability instructions for the containers, if any
j) expiry date or ‘best used before’ ( month and year to be indicated)
k) manufacturing license number.
- All the tested brands provided the required information on their labels.