There are lots of different body powders out there, and each one offers its own unique benefits: You’ve got formulas that can reduce chafing, absorb moisture, or simply envelop your skin with a refreshing fragrance. In other words: When you’re shopping for the best body powders for women, you’ve got options — and you’ll find a handful of the very best powders to choose from, just ahead.
But first, a quick note about a certain ingredient that’s commonly associated with body powders: talc. To find out more, Bustle spoke with board-certified OB/GYN Dr. Jeffrey Marcus. He says, “There has been no direct causative link established between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. There have been some small studies that have demonstrated the chance of an association. Regardless, the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) does not recommend the use of talcum powder because of potential discomfort or pain associated with them.” So there you have it, folks: Try and steer clear of powders that contain talc, just to err on the side of caution. Dr. Marcus also suggests not using powders and sprays internally in the genital area, but if you really want to use a body powder down there, the expert recommends a cornstarch-based powder, not talc.
To shop the best talc-free body powders, keep scrolling.
1. A Multi-Use Powder Made With Naturally Derived Ingredients
Palm Beach Naturals’ talc-free Butt + Body Rescue Powder is made of naturally derived ingredients like fine arrowroot, zinc oxide, baking soda, lemon peel, and lavender essential oil, so it’s safe to use just about anywhere. This multitasking powder can be used to soothe skin, absorb sweat, and reduce unwanted odors, so it’s a great, versatile choice for preventing chafing, itching, blisters, and other uncomfortable symptoms associated with an athletic lifestyle. One Amazon reviewer called it “A Runner's Secret Weapon.”
Relevant review: “Nice mild scent. I don’t like when body powder makes me smell like a baby. Works great, keeps me dry all day in areas that don’t get much exposure to oxygen.”
2. Another Versatile Body Powder — & It’s Gentle Enough For Babies
Burt’s Bees Natural Dusting Powder is a cornstarch-based, talc-free powder that has a silky, lightweight feel and delicate scent. The all-natural formula contains baking soda and bentonite clay, and can be used on people of all ages, including infants, so it’s an especially safe choice for sensitive skin. It makes a great diaper powder if you have a baby (that’s technically what it was intended for), but it’s also a nice product for comforting your own, adult skin.
Relevant review: “I used this after radiation treatments to my breast. I used it under the breast to keep it from chafing. It was perfect for that. My treatments are over and I still use it daily. I [also] love the fragrance and the texture.”
3. A Fragrance-Free Powder Gel That’s Ideal For Preventing Chafing
If chafing is causing you discomfort, try this talc-free Chafing Relief Powder Gel from Monistat. To prevent chafing, rubbing, and chapping, you rub a small dot of the fragrance-free, silicone-based gel onto your skin, and it dries quickly — no stickiness or tackiness left behind. A total winner to wear with shorts and skirts in the warm weather to keep your thighs from becoming irritated, though it’s equally great for applying on your armpits and/or under your breasts.
Relevant review: “10/10 - total game changer! Wish I had discovered this years ago. I have suffered from thigh rubbing for as long as I can remember and just avoided shorts at all costs. This stuff is magic and works better than anything else I have tried, and I’ve tried a lot of products. The best part is that it’s super soft, it does not leave any residue and does not smell at all.”
4. This Best-Selling Powder Made With Soothing Calamine
Made with a cornstarch base — and made without talc — the best-selling Lady Anti Monkey Butt Anti-Friction Powder is particularly helpful for reducing heat rash and sweating, thanks to the the soothing calamine powder in the formula. Despite its funny name, this has been awarded over 13,000 five-star reviews and boasts number-one best-seller status on Amazon.
Relevant review: “When it is hot and sticky outside, powder can help make life bearable. The calamine helps with heat rash and irritation, particularly under bras where there might be rubbing. It has a slight scent to it, but nothing strong or annoying, and while some cornstarch products can be a little bit gritty, this is smooth and nice.”
5. An Elegant, Silky Powder For Your Body & Face
German beauty brand Dr. Hauschka manages to make body powder feel extremely elegant with their Top-Shelf worthy Silk Body Powder. Made with rice starch and silk powder, this talc-free powder can be dusted onto your face to soak up oil, applied under your arms like deodorant, sprinkled on your scalp in lieu of dry shampoo... basically, it can be used however you want (including for more traditional purposes, like to help prevent blisters). Safe for use on babies and adults with very sensitive skin, this powder has a lovely, fresh scent courtesy of natural essential oils, and has been certified by NATRUE for meeting the company’s rigorous standards.
Relevant review: “This powder smells lovely - fresh and not too sweet. I use it on my body, and also sprinkle a little in my hair if it needs some refreshing. A little goes a long way, and once it's on your skin it feels so silky. Even though it's a bit expensive - it's worth it!”
Nice To Have:
Rather than shaking your powder onto your hands straight from the bottle, you can place your loose powder into this convenient case (which comes with a soft puff) for easier, less messy application. It’ll give a glamorous, Old Hollywood vibe to your bathroom counter, though note that the lid isn’t meant for travel, so don’t plan on taking it with you when you’re on the go.
Jeffrey Marcus, M.S., M.D., board-certified OB/GYN and Chief Medical Advisor, Femasys