Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


Peppermint Schnuts

When you try a new skin care product, do you read and follow the usage instructions?

If you don’t, read this and let me know if you change your mind about that. ¬†ūüėČ

Hot Feet

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine approached with a request for some foot powder.  It was for her husband.  He would have asked me himself, but was a bit shy.  He wanted something to help keep his feet nice and dry, especially during the hot, and sometimes sticky, summer months.

He had tried a few foot powders from the pharmacy, but none of them was absorbent enough for his feet.

Peppermint Foot Powder

Of course, I was more than happy to help.  I set out and made a super absorbent peppermint foot powder. Given all of the controversy about talc, I made it talc-free too.  I used some arrowrootMinty Fresh powder, baking soda to help absorb the odor and some white clay for extra moisture absorbing power.  I scented it with peppermint essential oil, thinking it would both smell good and have a cooling effect on the feet.  Honestly, it was a pretty simple assignment.

I happily made up the powder and gave it to my friend, who then passed it on to her husband.

A few days later, I got a call from my friend. ¬†She called in a fit of laughter. ¬†In fact, she was laughing so hard, it took me a while to decipher the tale she was trying to tell me. ¬†Here’s what I eventually figured out.

Peppermint Schnuts

She had given the foot powder to her husband. ¬†He was both grateful and excited. ¬†He was so excited that he decided to try it on his entire body. ¬†Yes, his ENTIRE body. ¬†He left no part of his skin uncovered. ¬†Very shortly after applying the powder, he noticed that his nether-regions were getting kind of cold! ¬†That’s right, his nuts were especially sensitive to the cooling effect of the peppermint. ¬†(Did I mention that I might have actually overdone it on the peppermint oil? ¬†If anything, it was on the strong side!) ¬†He came out of the bathroom, buck naked, hopping around in the futile effort to distract himself from the intense cooling feeling.

Unfortunately, there was nothing that he could do to help himself, except wait it out. ¬†I understand that the cooling lasted a good half hour, well into his work day. ¬†ūüôā

And the moral of the story?

Always read the labels!


Let’s Talk About Talc

There’s a lot of controversy about talc. From all of the reading I have done, there doesn’t seem to be a whole of evidence either way. ¬†Despite that, the very fact that there’s controversy has steered me away from using talc in my skin care routine. ¬†In my very simple words, here’s a very short summary on the talc controversy.

Talking about Talc…

There are some who avoid talc because it is thought that it might contain tiny fibers related to asbestos.  People are concerned because these fibers could cause talc to behave like asbestos inside your body.  For this reason, long-term use of talc is suspected to contribute to serious illness, such as lung cancer.

The use of talc has also been linked to ovarian cancer, for folks who use talc in that area of their body.

On the other hand, I have also read that there are reports that say that talc used in cosmetics have such fibers removed and therefore, there is no need to worry.

Why Do People Use Talc in the First Place?

Talcum powder is great at absorbing extra moisture and keeping your skin dry. ¬†Such a product is great as a baby powder for babies in trying to prevent diaper rash and great for adults in avoiding excess moisture during the day. ¬†It’s especially good for areas of the body that get sweaty, like underarms and feet.

Alternatives to Talc

As I was getting some skin care products ready before my son’s arrival, I endeavored to make some talc-free baby powder. ¬†I’m¬†certainly no expert on talc. ¬†However, there’s enough controversy about it for me to look for a less controversial option. ¬†Fortunately, I found a few readily available options quite easily. ¬†Powders can easily be made with cornstarch, arrowroot powder, oat flour, or baking soda. ¬†All of these would be good at keeping the skin dry. ¬†I ended up making a powder with a mix or arrowroot, cornstarch and baking soda. ¬†(Then, I ended up barely using it because he didn’t need the extra drying power of a baby powder!)

Unscented Baby Powder

Unscented Baby Powder


Want to know more about what people are saying about talc?  Check out these links:

Personal Care Truth

Dr. Weil


Cinco Vidas