Choosing the best body powder depends upon a person's age, history of allergic reaction, and why the powder is being used. If it is being used due to profuse sweating, a person will generally benefit from one that is highly absorbent. Typically, a powder containing cornstarch is very effective in absorbing moisture from excessive perspiration. In addition to this, body powder that contains cornstarch can reduce or eliminate odor caused by perspiration.
If a powder is needed to counteract the effects of excessive foot sweating, an absorbent foot powder may be helpful. Some foot powder formulas also include anti-fungal properties that can reduce the risk of athlete's foot. Symptoms of athlete's foot includes redness, itching, and irritation. This condition can be contracted by walking barefoot in locker rooms, health clubs, or swimming pools. To reduce the risk, people should always wear foot coverings, such as flip-flops, when in these areas.
Sometimes, a body powder containing perfumes and other chemicals can cause an allergic reaction. To avoid this, choosing a powder that is hypoallergenic and perfume and dye free is prudent. Typically, allergic reactions to dusting powder and perfumed body powder cause rash, itching, and skin redness. Pure cornstarch can be an effective alternative to body powders, and in most cases, it is safe to use for someone who has sensitive skin or allergies.
Talcum powder can be an effective body powder, though there are some concerns about its safety. Some studies have shown a link between talcum powder and an increased risk of developing a rare type of ovarian cancer. The link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer arose from the fact that asbestos particles may have been present in talc. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and has been linked to a form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
Baby powder is typically gentle on the skin and many versions contain cornstarch as their primary ingredient. Baby powder is a good choice for those who don't want a heavy perfumed powder and who want a powder that is appropriate for sensitive skin. People who enjoy highly scented powders might prefer to use perfumed dusting powders. In addition to being highly scented, dusting powder usually is packaged with a large powder puff, making it easy to dust large areas of the body at one time.