In the following article Wendyl Nissen offers us insight into the hazards of commercial talcum powders along with DIY inspiration to make your own natural and safe geranium and rose scented talcum powders. This is another of the many informative and useful articles from Wendyl’s collection in her book ‘A Natural Year: Living Simply through the Seasons‘.

You’ll probably be well aware that recently Johnson & Johnson were successfully sued for US$29 million by a woman who claimed their baby powder contained asbestos, causing ovarian cancer. They now face thousands more lawsuits.

Talcum powder shouldn’t be put anywhere near your ovaries or vagina. But it is useful between the legs to stop chaffing or just all over on a hot day to make you feel soft and cool. These are my two favourite and safe talcum powder recipes. Wendyl.

Geranium talcum powder

Scented geraniums were very popular in the Victorian era, and you can still find them growing in gardens now, even if they are no longer appreciated in the same way. This is a very old recipe that takes the wonderful fragrance and turns it into a lovely powder.

1 cup cornflour

6-8 fresh scented geranium leaves, dried in a warm place

1-2 drops essential oil of geranium

Place the cornflour in a glass jar with a well-fitting lid. Add the geranium leaves and essential oil and seal. Let it sit for about a week, gently shaking once or twice a day to mix everything together. I leave mine in my bathroom on a sunny windowsill to remind me.

After a week, take out the leaves or sift to remove them and pour into a nice wide-mouthed jar. Find yourself a lovely powder puff and away you go.

Rose talcum powder

If you have an Indian grocer near you, visit them and look for a box of very cheap rose powder. It has really good cooling and soothing properties. Simply mix half and half with cornflour and you have a great talcum powder for hot days. The rose petal powder also makes a great face mask mixed with a bit of water and left on the face for 15 minutes.