What is a dusting powder?
A dusting powder is a fine powder that’s commonly spread, or dusted, all over your body. The powder may be unscented or may be perfumed. Historically, dusting powders were used by both men and women to absorb perspiration and help prevent body odour (they weren’t very good at washing in the olden days!) Many people still use dusting powder as a way of enjoying a favorite fragrance, to absorb perspiration and skin oils, and to prevent skin chafing.
If you want to behave like your wig wearing regency ancestors, you can also powder your hair with a dusting powder – a bit like a dry shampoo, if you’re in a rush.
In the 18th century, men's wigs were powdered in order to give them their distinctive white or off-white color, whereas women mainly powdered their hair grey, or blue-ish grey. Wig powder was made from finely ground starch that was scented with orange flower, lavender, or orris root. By the 1780s, young men had given up wearing wigs and were setting a new trend of simply lightly powdering their natural hair, as women had been doing for all those years. In 1795, the British government imposed a tax on hair powder of one guinea per year. This tax effectively put an end to the fashion for both wigs and powder.
Body powder in this millennium is a normal part of personal care. Unfortunately some talcum powders are contaminated with asbestos fiber and aluminum. It makes me shudder to think that we put that on our bodies and our babies. Nevertheless, who can resist breathing in the sweet scent of a freshly bathed, powdered baby? A safe solution is to make your own baby powder. What I found is it's very easy and not expensive to make your own body powder.
Body powders can be made from simple things you have at home. Plain cornstarch, arrowroot, oat flour, white clay, rice starch, baking soda, orris root, and zinc oxide powder, are just a few of the things you can use. You can add dried herbs as much as you find pleasing and any kind you find pleasant, powdered cinnamon (like you cook with) to herbs like lavender, rose blossoms, thyme leaves, peppermint leaves, whatever you want.
need to get refreshed?
Here’s a stimulating, refreshing powder to keep you cool and dry and start your day off on an energized note. The chilling effects of the powdered peppermint and the concentrated menthol send signals to your brain that energy is abundant. Powdered ginger root revitalized circulation as well, but it is a warming-stimulant. Your body and senses are being bombarded by herbal re-chargers that say… “get up and go forth- a new day has arrived!”
1/4 c. dried peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon menthol crystals *
1/2 c. baking soda
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. white cosmetic clay *
3 tablespoons ground ginger
Grind the dried peppermint leaves and menthol crystals into a fine powder using a spice grinder, or my choice a mortar and pestle. Sift out the larger, grainy particles using a super-fine mesh or flour sifter, if needed. Combine the ground peppermint and menthol crystals with the baking soda, cornstarch, clay and ground ginger in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended. Avoid deeply breathing in the dust, though there is no real danger of irritation.
Store the powder in an airtight storage container in a cool dark place for 3 days to allow the herbal scents to permeate the mixture. Then package the powder in smaller containers, if desired. use within a year.
Application- apply as you would a body powder, sprinkling or using a “puff” where needed.
This powder can double as a simple underarm deodorant for those who want to avoid the chemicals in commercial deodorants or as a foot powder for odoriferous tootsies.
*(the links above are only for information about the ingredient; although when needing to purchase my products online I do use the Mountain Rose Herbs site most often.)