Do you really know what you’re putting on your face? In 2019, the documentary Toxic Beauty hit streaming services and beauty consumers instantly became nervous about the contents of their makeup bags. One significant component of the film is the examination of the link between cancer and talcum powder.
Talc, a white mineral mainly of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen typically found in nature near asbestos, has been rendered incredibly dangerous and potentially cancer-causing for decades with continued research from the FDA. The substance in question has also been commonly used in beauty products, from shadows to foundations to lipsticks. “It’s been used in beauty products for its color payoff and oil-soaking power since Victorian times,” says makeup historian and Bésame Cosmetics founder Gabriela Hernandez. “Talc has covering power and feels smooth on the skin.” Thus, only adding to the ingredient’s ability to dominate formulations for over 100 years.
Today, California-based clean beauty company Beautycounter released the first of their new talc-free makeup line, Lid Glow Cream Eyeshadow. This comes after the brand vowed to step away from the ingredient entirely in 2020, as seen in our 2021 Green Beauty Star winners. All of the color cosmetics Beautycounter had launched before this year contained talc that had been third-party tested not to include any heavy metals.
“We had been wanting to launch a talc-free, clean color cosmetics since the brand was founded,” says Lindsay Dahl, the SVP of Mission at Beautycounter. “But making sure we could make products for a broad set of skin tones has always been important to us. So we waited until we were able to release products that met that goal.”
Beautycounter’s secret to going talc-free starts with a cream formula. Coconut oil and shea butter make Lid Glow super smooth (so it spreads as a talc-laden product would), and it comes in 10 different shades so you can create all sorts of different eye looks. The brand will gradually release other cream-based products (hello, a dewy cream blush) throughout the rest of the year.
“Clean Beauty is here to stay,” Dahl says. “It’s not a flash in the pan, and we want to be leading the way. That’s why we’re cutting talc from our products.”
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