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Talc, or talcum powder, is found in a number of wellness and beauty products ranging from soaps and sunscreen to baby powder, deodorant, and makeup — including setting powder. However, some talc products contain asbestos fibers that are reported to be linked to ovarian cancer, per research published by the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. The controversy surrounding safety concerns associated with talc has even prompted major health and beauty brands to stop-selling talc-based products.
The Environmental Working Group warns that talc poses respiratory risks and is a known human carcinogen, so many consumers are seeking out talc-free products. If you're looking for clean makeup, numerous premium-quality setting powders are now available that are free of talc, as well as vegan and cruelty free.To help in your search, we’ve listed five of our favorite talc-free setting powders, below.
1. Saie Airset Radiant Loose Setting Powder
The Airset Radiant Loose Setting Powder from Saie ($30) comes in three shades and earns high marks from consumers for being light and airy, while blending well into skin without leaving a dry feeling. There’s a long list of ingredients it’s free from including talc, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, paraffin, and butylated hydroxyanisole — to name a few. In addition to being vegan and cruelty free, Airset’s packaging is made of 35 percent PCR (post-consumer recycled plastic). Saie is certified carbon neutral, and donates a portion of earnings to Earth-first organizations like 1% for the Planet.
2. Covergirl Clean Fresh Pressed Powder
Available in four shades, this vegan, talc-free face powder from the iconic beauty brand, CoverGirl, is one of the more affordable options out there ($8.94). It contains tapioca and aloe vera to reduce that oily-shine; plus, the included foam puff is also vegan. It’s also free of harmful ingredients like formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, or sulfates, and CoverGirl Leaping Bunny certified, ensuring it’s not tested on animals.
3. LYS Triple Fix Pressed Setting Powder
This translucent, ultra-fine powder provides a natural matte finish, and is made from LYS Beauty, the first Black-owned, clean makeup brand sold in Sephora stores. The LYS Triple Pressed Setting Powder ($19) comes in six different shades, is cruelty-free, and free from talc, fragrances, SLS, and mineral oil. The brand also uses sustainable packaging wherever possible, including 30 percent post-consumer recycled materials.
4. Kosas Cloud Set Setting Powder
With 10 sheer shades to choose from, the Cloud Set Setting Powder from Kosas ($35, or $18 for a mini) combines the benefits of a loose setting powder with that of a mess-free pressed powder. The powder utilizes plant-based ingredients like bamboo stem extract, Chinese peonies, and passionfruit leaf extract. The vegan powder is Leaping Bunny certified, and free from talc, silicone, parabens, mineral oil, and fragrance, plus a host of other harmful ingredients. Other planet positive efforts of Kosas include tree-free or FSC-certified packaging, and partnerships with manufacturers that invest in green-energy initiatives.
5. MOB Beauty Blurring Loose Setting Powder
Vegan and cruelty-free, the MOB Loose Setting Powder ($28) has some key ingredients to provide a beautiful finish, like avocado oil, hyaluronic acid, anti-inflammatories, and 2 percent niacinamide (which is great for improving dark spots). The powder comes in three shades and is packaged in a plastic-free, biodegradable container that’s made of 90 percent post-consumer recycled materials.