I got a bottle of it from my Dad; it had probably been in his medicine cabinet for 30 years. I remembered trying it - probably from the exact same bottle - when I was a kid. I had the same reaction: it made my face feel nice and smooth; covered up the rough patches; and kept things dry. Unfortunately, Old Spice Shave Talc is no longer made (there is an "Old Spice Talc" product from India that some B&B members have ordered. Good reviews, but there's a key difference: genuine Old Spice shave talc was flesh-toned (at least if you have caucasian flesh.) The India stuff is white, indicating to me that it's a body powder. The only currently, readily available shave talc I know if is Clubman's, the kind in the white bottle. Not a bad product, if you like the scent. It, too, has a "flesh" tint - but that tint (see pictures) is a pink that no human being, other than a four-month old, is likely to have.
So, with my bottle of Old Spice dwindling, I searched around and found numerous recipes for home-made facial talc. Most of them used cornstarch or arrowroot, along with various other powders - including french green clay, which is supposed to be really good for damaged skin - and scented essences. My goals:
- Make a powder that provided similar qualities on my face to the Old Spice.
- Get a tint that either mimicked the Old Spice tint, or blending in with my flesh tone.
- Not use Talc, since there are possibly health issues with that substance.
- As a bonus, see if I could get the classic Old Spice aroma (that final challenge was tough...)
Ready for the recipe? Here we go.
I decided to use the most basic ingredients, both for low cost and easy availability.
So, I bought:
- One jar of Trader Joe's cornstarch (about $3.00)
- One tub of Trader's Joe's unsweetened cocoa powder (this was recommended, repeatedly, as a tone enhancer for the white corn starch.)
- One small tin of Pontoise brand French Green Clay ($9.00)
- One bottle 99 cent store "Spice" cologne or aftershave. Comes in various names - you're looking for one made by Blue Cross Labs.
As far as scent, I knew that Old Spice had long since abandoned the classic scent used in my Dad's old kit. But I'd read that you can get something pretty close to that by purchasing dollar store-brand "spice" colognes, especially those manufactured by Blue Cross Labs. I went with "Regatta Yacht Club Spice Scent." I got a bottle of genuine Old Spice Classic scent (the new stuff) for comparison. The scent verdict: The Regatta wins. Very close to the aroma of the Old Spice Talc, though way more concentrated, as one would expect. The new classic Old Spice? Much sweeter smelling.
Steps - there was a lot of trial and error here to get the right tone for me. So start with a small batch and adjust.
1) Make a small batch first. Be ready for messy powder.
2) Put four heaping teaspoons of corn starch into a small tupperware container.
3) Add one heaping teaspoon green clay.
4) Add one heaping teaspoon cocoa powder.
Close the container and shake like hell. I'd started with a 2:1:1 ration of starch/clay/cocoa, and had to add quite a bit of cocoa to get to a tannish color that blends well with my skin. The old spice is quite a bit more yellow, and I'm not sure how I'd get that. Here's a web page that lists all kinds of possible ingredients, has recipes, and sells the more exotic stuff.
I was fairly happy with the color. I've attached a photo; for those who care to guess, I've put the actual list at the very bottom of the message. The items are (not in order, that's below) Old Spice talc, Clubman talc, green clay, my recipe, plain corn starch, pain cocoa.
Let's mark the samples 1 through 6, starting at the top right and moving clockwise.)
The next step was scent. Getting a liquid scent into a powder and keeping it a powder is tough. There are various ways to do it, but the method that worked best for me was to saturate a make-up applying puff with about a half-teaspoon Regatta, then leave it in the sealed tupperware container for about 48 hours. After removing the puff, shake the container well, let it sit another day, and then sniff. I got pretty close, though the aroma of cocoa was slightly present.
How does it work? Really well. I'm pleased with the color and the all-natural ingredients feel really good. The green clay's properties of drawing out oil are really nice.
As far as the scent, well, the cocoa aroma - subtle as it was - didn't do much for me. I'd like to make my next batch unscented, but I need something to provide the dark skin tint...something natural, smooth. That way I can use my favorite post-shave product for scent. I'm on the hunt...
I welcome feedback, questions, suggestions! Scroll down more to find out which powder was which in the color chart.
COLORS, clockwise from top left:
1) Pure cornstarch
2) Organic, Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3) Green clay (blending in at at top right.)
4) Clubman shave talk (pink)
5) My formula (bottom middle)
6) Old Spice vintage shave talc