Why Experts Advise Against Using Baby Powder or Cornstarch on the Diaper Area

Baby powder used to be a household staple for many families. Since the moist environment in a little one’s diaper can cause diaper rash, parents used baby powder to soak up excess moisture, keep the area dry, and reduce chafing. However, we now know that baby powder isn’t the best option for babies.

The dangers of talcum powder

Traditional baby powders contain talcum powder. Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral that is formed by magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Some talc contains asbestos, since many talc mines are located in areas where asbestos naturally occurs. Studies have linked asbestos to lung and ovarian cancer. Inhaling talc can also irritate the lungs and respiratory system. A baby’s lungs are even more vulnerable to irritation, making talcum powder a particularly dangerous choice for a little one’s diaper area. Even if carefully applied, particles in the air can reach their nose and mouth. Johnson & Johnson has faced several lawsuits regarding the link between their baby powder, cancer, and other side effects.

Is cornstarch a safer alternative to baby powder?

Unlike baby power, cornstarch does not contain talc. Cornstarch is a mineral-free food substance that’s commonly found in kitchens. Like baby powder, cornstarch helps dry out the skin and provides some slip to reduce the possibility of chafing. However, cornstarch also spreads through the air and can irritate a child’s lungs if inhaled. Plus, cornstarch may potentially worsen yeast infections and yeast-related diaper rash. With that being said, while some claim that cornstarch is a safer alternative to baby powder, it still poses a risk to your child’s health.

Do you need to use baby powder when changing a diaper?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents not to use cornstarch or talc-based baby powders when changing a diaper. Keeping the area clean and moisturized with simple, natural products is best. Also, change your little one’s diaper as soon as possible after noticing it is soiled. This will negate the need for extra products to keep the area dry. Not only does this save your child’s bottom from irritation, but it also saves you time and money. Less products means quicker diaper changes and fewer items to purchase. It’s also important to note that you should absolutely never use baby powder on skin that is already affected by diaper rash, as it is sure to further irritate the skin.

Moisturized skin = healthy skin

Sitting in a moist, dirty diaper is the most common cause of diaper rash. However, moisturized skin differs from “moist” skin. The belief that the diaper area must stay dry is actually detrimental to the health of a child’s skin. In fact, dry skin is more prone to chafing and irritation, which in itself leads to rashes. Plus, the more products you apply to your little one’s skin, the more likely you are to damage their skin microbiome. Their skin microbiome is made up of a balancing act of good and bad bacteria. Every product that goes onto their skin can affect that balance. Even baby powders that claim to be organic can irritate their sensitive skin.

What should you do instead of using baby powder?

There should be three steps in your diaper changing routine: cleansing, moisturizing, and treating/preventing diaper rash. NOLEO 3-in-1 handles all three of these steps with the power of 5 non toxic ingredients. After wiping their diaper area with a pump of NOLEO 3-in-1 on a soft cotton pad, simply apply a fresh diaper — no need to rinse, apply baby powder, or use a combination of several diaper care products. NOLEO® is the best way to keep your diaper changing routine simple and healthy for your little one.


Although talc-based baby powder has been used for years to keep the diaper area dry, we’re now aware of several harmful side effects associated with its use. While cornstarch is relatively safer than talc-based powders, babies’ lungs can still get irritated if the powder is inhaled. Luckily, you don’t need baby powder to change a diaper. Just use NOLEO 3-in-1 to clean, moisturize, and treat/prevent diaper rash. It’s the safe alternative to products that can irritate your little one’s sensitive skin!

1 comment

  • April Scott

    This has totally SAVED my littlest skin! We went from open bleeding sores on her diaper area and had tried EVERY cream and remedy on the market and then some. Within less then 2 days of using Noleo it was completely healed. I just wish I would have found it sooner!!!

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