Baby powder is both enjoyable and serves a practical purpose. It smells wonderful, reduces chafing, keeps your skin dry for longer, and makes your skin so smooth. While the name-brand Johnson’s powder has the most popular and nostalgic smell, there are endless scented variations to choose from.

Baby powder comes in two types and The Internet is full of strong opinions about which kind to use. People have expressed health concerns about both types but when you look at the research, there’s nothing wrong with either kind.

Talc

The original formulation is made from talcum powder. It feels extra soft and powdery compared to its newer replacement, corn starch. Talcum powder is made from clay and it can irritate your lungs if you breathe a lot of it. So keep it in your pants. In recent years, there was a scare about it causing lung cancer because talcum contained small amounts of asbestos once upon a time. Asbestos is really dangerous for your lungs but baby powder over the past 30 years has been manufactured carefully and that’s no longer a concern.

Johnson’s Baby Powder – The original with that unforgettable scent. It’s a blend of several different flower aromas that no one can quite duplicate.

Corn starch

Corn starch is, well, made of corn. The granules seem to be a bit heavier than talc so it doesn’t get as dusty. That means it feels a little bit denser when you rub it on.  You might have to try both kinds to see whether you like the velvety feel of corn starch or the fluffy dry feel of talc. Some people have expressed concern that corn starch based powders can cause infections in the moist confines of a diaper because it is starchy. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case. For the curious, here’s a study about it from the National Institute of Health.

Johnson’s Baby Powder With Aloe Vera & Vitamin E – This one smells similar to the original talc version but with a hint of aloe. The scent isn’t quite as nostalgia-inducing for me but I still love it.

 Johnson’s Baby Powder Calming Lavender – I know some people who love this scent. It smells like lavender flowers and has a sleepy bedtime smell to it. Personally, I prefer the original scent but I can’t argue with variety!

Johnson’s Baby Powder Refreshing Magnolia Petals – Here is another flower scent.