Baby powder, also referred to as talcum powder if talc is the primary ingredient, is traditionally used to prevent diaper rash and as a deodorant for babies. Despite this, baby powder is often applied to the skin because of its naturally ability to dry out the skin and reduce natural oils from excreting out of your body. Baby powder does not clog pores, rather, it helps to reduce acne and pimples by drying them out.
Clogged pores are a common problem, most often incurred by teenagers who are going through puberty. Enlarged pores allow for dirt and bacteria to enter into the skin, causing inflammation and painful pimples that form on the surface. The primary cause of inflammation is because of excessively oily skin. Baby powder can be used to help dry out your skin, reducing the amount of oil your skin excretes and helping you to reduce your acne symptoms.
If you are currently suffering from acne that has just appeared on the surface of your face, applying baby powder directly to the acne can help to shrink the pimples, causing them to dry out and eventually flake off. The drying agent in baby powder will either be talc or corn starch, both of which naturally absorb oil when placed directly on a surface or oily substance. Because of this natural ability to remove oil from the surface of skin, baby powder does not clog pores because it does not absorb into your pores.
Although baby powder does not naturally clog your pores, many other face creams and products can inadvertently clog pores, causing outbreaks and pimples to form. To avoid this, try to not place a natural foundation or makeup onto your face for several days. Although girls often apply makeup to help hide and conceal blemishes, this makeup often ends up clogging their pores further, resulting in more pimples and a further need for additional makeup. Washing your face regularly and reducing the amount of applications of makeup on your skin will help reduce your clogged pores.
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While baby powder can help reduce pimples without clogging pores, it is important you use it with caution when applying it near your face and lungs. Talcum powder is potentially harmful if inhaled, resulting in respiratory problems and some links to cancer, found in preliminary studies with lab rats. As a result, try to avoid breathing in baby powder when applying it to your face and body. Although the powder itself is not good when inhaled regularly, it only seems to create respiratory problems when inhaled in high concentrations for long periods of time.
Jason Aberdeene has been a freelance writer since 2008. His articles have appeared in the "UCSD Guardian" and on various websites, specializing in teen health. An assistant at Kagan Physical Therapy since 2009, Aberdeene has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.