Let’s Talk About Talc: Safe or Not?


It’s not a secret that the cosmetic industry is seriously under regulated. Only recently have we realized the risks additives like parabens and phthalates pose. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Another controversial ingredient? Talc. A widely popular ingredient in the beauty world, you’ll find talc in many top-selling setting powders. So, when we began working on Come Closer Perfecting Setting Powder, we committed early on to create a talc-free formula – and we want to be transparent with our community about the reasons behind that decision.
First off, let’s talk about what talc is, and why it’s considered to be a potentially harmful ingredient in makeup products. Talc is a natural mineral that’s mined all over the word, and is used to dilute pigment in paint, textiles, drugs, and of course, cosmetics. It’s super water absorbent, which is why it’s been used for ages to help absorb excess moisture and oil. And as mattifying is one of the main benefits of a setting powder, it’s become a mainstay ingredient in the category.
While it’s true that talc is a “natural” ingredient, it’s important to realize natural doesn’t always equal safe. There’s no definitive answer as to whether talc can be harmful in cosmetics, and the FDA recognizes it as “generally safe” so many brands continue to use it. However, talc is mined in close proximity to asbestos, which can lead to contamination. Sensitive skin types can see irritation from the ingredient – especially around the eyes. If inhaled, it can cause respiratory problems and lung disease. There are also unconfirmed studies linking the ingredient to ovarian cancer.
So, while there’s no hard evidence proving that talc is harmful, our point of view is: why take the risk? Especially when there’s a safe alternative that works even better. Setting powders that are formulated with talc tend to be thicker and more cakey than those without it. That’s because the ingredient can’t be blended away – instead, it almost enhances imperfections due to the thick, dry layer it creates. So, it’s not surprising that talc is a comedogenic ingredient. This means it has a propensity to clog pores, and can lead to acne and other types of irritation. 

To keep your skin safe, healthy, and natural-looking, silky, finely milled powders are the best option. That’s why we opted to formulate Come Closer Perfecting Setting Powder with ultra-fine ethically-sourced mica, also a naturally-occurring mineral. It’s similar to talc, but it breaks down in a way that talc doesn’t, so you don’t get that cakey layer. Instead, it creates a glowy, pearly sheen. Because of this, it’s a popular ingredient in highlighters and eyeshadows.
In addition to mica, we made sure to formulate Come Closer Perfecting Setting Powder with the same trio of skincare ingredients you know and love from our foundation. Hyaluronic acid hydrates and plumps the skin, while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. Tahitian pearl extract targets hyperpigmentation, brightens your complexion, and stimulates collagen production. Evodia Rutaecarpa, a powerful antioxidant, boosts radiance and improves texture while protecting skin from environmental stressors. This formulation allows you to get the benefits of skincare and makeup every time you use our products. So when you choose Come Closer, know that not only are you making the best choice for your skin – you’re also making the best choice for your health.