Introduction to the topic
Skin care elements that were formerly taken for granted are now being called into question as the fight for safer cosmetics continues.
As an example, parabens can be found in many personal care products. Once-popular preservatives are being phased out because of concerns that they may be carcinogenic endocrine disruptors and are being replaced by “paraben-free” tags on cosmetics and personal care products. For phthalates, formaldehydes, sulphates, and a plethora of other potentially harmful substances, the same holds true.
When it comes to skin care, most experts advocate removing parabens and other phthalate-like chemicals, but one group of compounds that has been included on “free from” lists is still up for debate: silicones.
On the other hand, there are many who argue that silicones make the skin appear healthier, but do not genuinely improve its health.
While some argue that silicones don’t actually cause harm, others argue that retaining them in skin care products isn’t a bad idea.
What is silicone and what does it do exactly?
It’s a substance with a plethora of ramifications. There are many people who associate the word “chemical” with anything strange, chemical, and possibly even hazardous when they see it on an ingredient list. According to a quick survey of friends and fellow beauty enthusiasts, so far so good (very scientific, i know). Why are so many skincare products and businesses using it if it’s so bad?
We must begin at the beginning. Silica is the starting point for a family of compounds known as silicones. Dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and phenyl trimethicone are the most well-known. As a general rule, anything ending in -cone can be assumed to be a silicone.
There are various reasons why they are included in skincare products:
They help a product distribute on your skin more easily.
To the touch, they leave skin feeling silky and supple.
They reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by filling them in (the effect is temporary).
Protects the skin by forming an impermeable barrier to water.
Because of this last point, silicones are widely regarded as undesirable. The word barrier conjures up pictures of reinforced concrete walls that tower above the surrounding area. This barrier is impenetrable.
Silicones don’t manufacture things like this. The molecular structure of silicones is characterised by bigger molecules with broader gaps between them.
Dr. Joshua zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist at zeichner dermatology in new york city, tells healthline that silicones are a category of semi-liquid compounds produced from silica.
Sand contains silica, but it doesn’t mean that silicones are considered “natural.” silica must undergo a considerable chemical transformation before it can be transformed into silicone.
A barrier-like layer is formed on the skin, which is resistant to both water and air, thanks to the occlusive properties of silicon. “breathable film” is how zeichner describes it.
Dr. Deanne mrazrobinson, a board-certified dermatologist and member of the healthline advisory board, says silicones have been proventrusted source to help heal wounds and improve scarring when used therapeutically.
In burn units, they’ve long been used due to their unique ability to heal and protect while still enabling the wound to “breathe.”
It’s basically because of their occlusive character that lacerations are prevented from interacting with the outside world, keeping the wound in its own healing “bubble.”
Skin care products with this ingredient have a “slick” feel, according to zeichner. Silicones have an important role in serums and moisturisers in this way: applying them is a cinch, because they have a velvety feel and a filmy layer that makes skin appear full and smooth.
In order to understand dimethicone, what is it?
Waldorf describes dimethicone or polydimethylsiloxane (pdms) as a synthetic silicon polymer (a naturally occurring element of the earth) and an emollient that improves skin smoothness by filling the crevices between the stratum corneum’s superficial dead cells (the top layer of the epidermis).
When it comes to cosmetics for the face, weinstein says dimethicone doesn’t combine with sebum (the oily stuff on your skin) and is used in creams, lotions, moisturisers, and primers.
What’s the purpose of using silicone-based moisturisers?
Even though there has been a lot of debate regarding silicones, firms continue to use them. Take a closer look at this:
1. Silicones add a pleasant touch to all kinds of cosmetics
Silicones are commonly used in skincare because they help to create a smooth and silky feel to a product. Moisturizers and serums, for example, benefit from their inclusion because they are more easily dispersed.
When it comes to cosmetics, they can be used to fill in wrinkles and pores for a short period of time. They can also be found in hair care products to add a luxurious sheen and smoothness to your locks.
2. They’re non-reactive, hypoallergenic, and comedogenic
The fda has given the go-ahead for the topical application of silicones. It’s worth noticing, even if it doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. Because immune cells cannot directly interact with silicone, skin reactions to this material are relatively rare.
Non-comedogenic means that silicone will not clog pores, and this is true even for silicone-only formulations. Why do you notice it more frequently in acne-prone products? Because they don’t leave a greasy residue or make your skin more susceptible to outbreaks.
Silicones, especially dimethicone, are used in skincare products because of their sensory qualities, according to waldorf. Creams and lotions with a silky finish and a light, non-greasy sensation that spreads fast and easily can be made using these ingredients.
3. Seals hydration
Dimethicone, according to waldorf, has occlusive properties, which means it can seal in hydration and keep out external moisture and irritants by producing a water-resistant film on the skin, thus protecting the skin from the elements.
Tewl (transepidermal water loss), which can cause inflammation, is protected by the barrier it creates on the skin.
4. No extra chemicals
In contrast to other synthetics, silicone does not necessitate the addition of additional chemicals to keep its molecules stable. Silicone has no ‘active’ qualities (such as an antioxidant or glycolic acid) and hence is considered stable and does not react with other components or break down when exposed to light or air,” adds svendsen. Preservatives and stabilisers aren’t necessary for this substance, unlike other ingredients (such as peptides and essential oils).
It’s not so horrible after all, is it? A neutral substance that doesn’t hurt the skin or require additional chemicals to maintain its quality, that’s what it appears to be to me.
5. They reduce water evaporation and give moisture that is devoid of oil
Many oil serums, despite their hydrating properties, are pore-clogging. If you’re looking for an oil-free moisturiser, go no further than a silicone-based gel moisturiser.
In other words, silicones can behave as occlusives, preventing the skin from losing water. The emollient properties of some silicones can also be used to smooth and moisturise the surface of the skin.
Is silicone dangerous for our body?
However, vargas maintains that it isn’t damaging to the skin in and of itself, but she still restricts her exposure. “because it has been demonstrated to be safe, independent watchdogs like paula’s choice believe it to be such.
This substance has so many beneficial qualities. I try to avoid using a lot of items that include silicone because i believe it can clog my pores. The science does have its place, however, in the eyes of this esthetician.
Self-proclaimed “silicone-free queen” svendsen for the sake of her skin and hair, she completely avoids the substance” as a certified health coach and celebrity facialist, i tell my clients to stop using it, just as i would tell them to stop using plastic in their daily life.
The natural ability of the skin to breathe is suffocated when silicone forms an occlusive seal, resulting in clogged pores.” people with rosacea, acne, sensitive skin, or milia are more susceptible to the smothering effects of these products. Consider removing silicone from your product range” if you have any of these skin conditions, according to svendsen.
Why silicone based moisturizers should not be used?
My skin has improved greatly since i stopped using silicones in my beauty routine a few years ago. Reasons for doing so include the following:
1. Debris gets trapped in your pores because of silicones
Moisturizers containing silicone generate a thin layer on the skin’s surface.
You can think of silicones as a plastic-wrapped layer on top of your body. In addition to retaining moisture, that barrier can also hold onto other undesirables such as grime, perspiration, bacteria, keratin, dead skin cells, and more!
2. Acne and congestion can result from the use of silicones
Silicone-based makeup primers are to blame for clogged pores.
Oil, dead skin, and germs can accumulate under silicone’s semi-occlusive seal if exposed for long periods of time. Silicones are one of the most critical components to avoid if you have acne—if not the most important—if you have acne.
Even if you don’t get acne, silicones can clog your pores deep beneath the skin (a condition known as congestion).
These substances are more difficult to remove from the skin and can become trapped in pores.
Mraz robinson concludes that “silicones are hydrophobic.” they’re water-repellent, to put it simply.
As a result, silicone-based products are difficult to remove with water.
Oil or double cleansing before going to sleep is a great way to keep your skin clear and free of silicones.
3. They are really simply filler
Silicones have been found safe for topical use, but they’ve also been found to be a lot of fluff, according to the results of this study
Overall, “filler” or inert components are something mrazrobinson tries to avoid. If possible, avoid them for general use, but don’t be hesitant to utilise them in specialised circumstances.
4. Silicones have the potential to dehydrate and dull the skin
Aside from acne, silicones may be clogging your pores and making your skin appear dry and drab. Silicones not only prevent moisture from entering, but they can also dehydrate your pores and disrupt your skin’s natural regulatory processes.
What happened? Your skin’s ability to shed dead cells and rehydrate itself declines as you age.
5. Non-renewable resource: silicones
Finally, here’s one more reason to say goodbye to silicones, even if the others weren’t persuasive enough:
A trusted source explains that silicones are bioaccumulative once they’re rinsed down the drain, they contribute to the buildup of sludge pollution in oceans and waterways and may not break down for hundreds of years.
What happens if you apply a silicone-based product to your skin?
Silicones and active substances can both be found in the same product. Layering them on top of one other might be an option.
Consider using a serum containing silicones, followed by a moisturiser. Is your moisturizer’s active ingredient going to be able to penetrate silicones now that it’s been applied to your skin?
After receiving a reader’s question about why her hair colour doesn’t stain her skin when she uses silicone-based moisturiser before applying it, the beauty brains came up with an informed guess:
As soon as you apply a cream combining silicones and “goodies,” the silicones create up an occlusive film on your skin, and the ingredients that are meant to enter have no chance to sink in.
Applying silicone cream first and another product (such as hair colour) later allows the silicones to form a film and better keep unwanted substances out of your skin. Because of this, there will be no spotting.”
According to dermatologist cynthia bailey, the effectiveness of this barrier is dependent on the amount of dimethicone in the lotion. If used first, products with a high concentration of dimethicone could potentially interfere with the absorption of tretinoin.
Not all silicones are the same, so be aware of this fact. However, some silicones (such cyclomethicone) are more volatile and evaporate from the skin faster than dimethicone, making it difficult for retinol to pass through.
As usual, the answer is a little hazy. There is a lot to consider when it comes to the amount of silicones in your products. Apply your actives first if you’re concerned. The issue has been resolved.
Watch Busting silicone myths | Video
Top 5 FAQs and answers related to Silicone based moisturizer
Does using cosmetics containing silicones benefit the skin?
To keep moisture locked in, the barrier catches dirt and bacteria as well as sebum and dead skin cells. If you’re looking for a quick fix to help your face feel and look better, you might want to explore elsewhere.
Is there silicone in ceravemoisturiser?
For the face, what does silicone do?
Is silicone bad for the skin?
Acne can develop as a result of silicone buildup on the skin. It’s extremely irritating to those with sensitive skin, and it might make your skin increasingly more vulnerable to irritations in the future.
Is it better to stay away from silicones?
Silicones create a skin barrier that is both breathable and water-resistant. They have no effect on the ability of active ingredients in other products to reach your skin. However, whatever you apply after that may have difficulty passing. Dimethicone-heavy skin care products should be applied last. That’s all!