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Beauty Without Compromise: 5 Talc Free Makeup Alternatives

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

It has been several months since the release of the controversial docu-series “Not So Pretty,” which shed light on the dangers of talc in beauty products. The makeup episode of the show explored how talc and asbestos are often found together in nature, making it challenging to distinguish between the two. According to this episode, asbestos can sometimes appear in products containing talc, such as foundation, bronzer, and blush. This poses a considerable threat, as asbestos is known to cause lung cancer when inhaled.

This episode generated an uproar from viewers who believed that the beauty industry was negligent in protecting its customers from harmful ingredients. Many people even took to social media to share videos of themselves throwing away their makeup products in protest. Many have advocated for greater transparency and accountability in the beauty industry. 

However, critics of this docuseries claimed that it used highly biased sources and was fear-mongering. Regardless, I have spent the past few months trying to be more mindful of the ingredients in the products I use. I have cultivated a list of talc-free makeup products that I think are good alternatives.


Laura Mercier: Ultra-Blur Talc-Free Translucent Loose Setting Powder

The Laura Mercier translucent powder is a best seller in the makeup industry. This talc-free version is fragrance-free and infused with hyaluronic acid. This powder is a great way to add a light protective layer to your makeup looks for extra-long wear. It is a bit of a splurge, as it retails for $48.


Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Pressed Powder (Talc-Free)

This drugstore powder is a great option for sensitive and acne-prone skin. It is fragrance-free and retails for $11.99 at Target, making it a more affordable alternative.


Ilia NightLite Bronzing Powder

This non-comedogenic and talc-free bronzer is an excellent substitute for other bronzers like the Benefit Hula Bronzer. It retails for $34 at Sephora.


Heatwave Luminous Bronzer

This matte bronzer costs only $9 and is an excellent drugstore alternative that can be found at Ulta. It provides a warm, sun-kissed glow and is gentle on college students’ wallets.


bareMinerals GEN NUDE BLONZER Blush + Bronzer

This product retails for $26 and combines a blush and bronzer. It is super convenient and is formulated with nourishing minerals to hydrate and protect your skin.

Anjali Schatzer

Washington '25

Anjali is a sophomore at University of Washington studying informatics. She is passionate about healthcare and sciences, but enjoys writing as a hobby.