Today I’d like to talk to you about silicones in skincare, which is a lot to do. For example, there are sounds that they would not be safe, or would seal your skin. A very interesting subject! To get more clarity, I asked 4 renowned skincare brands what their vision is on silicones. Read the interesting answer from Paula’s Choice, Jetske Ultee, Alpha-H and Emergin-C here.
Silicones are another example of a two-sided ingredient. They are made from a natural raw material, silica, but are chemically processed. Silicone isn’t the worst, but it’s certainly not always the best choice. It leaves a film that is permeable and feels soft and beautiful. And besides, it’s cheap for manufacturers, so that’s why you see it a lot. Especially if your skin is injured by, for example, peel or laser, this protection is quite good for you.
When should you be careful with this?
-If your pores get clogged quickly. Silicone also locks dirt and grease into the skin. If you suffer from acne, walk backwards from the store again on this ingredient; also regarding your shampoo and make-up. The following applies to everyone: double cleanse if you use these products, preferably with an extra cleaning tool such as our Rawceuticals Cloth.
-Are you a layer girl? So do you apply multiple (skincare) layers to your skin (You SHOULD!)? Then make sure that you use the product with silicone last, because silicone hinders the absorption of active substances.
-If green and biodegradable is important to you: silicones are not really good for the environment. When you wash your face, they disappear into the water and then end up in the environment. Where it then takes hundreds of years to break them down. In so-called green creams you will therefore often find better (and more expensive) alternatives such as jojoba, avocado and coconut oil. Given the (sometimes) negative sides of silicones, we at emergin-C have chosen not to use them in our product lines Rawceuticals and scientific Organics, and only in the restorative products of emergin-C signature.
DR. JETSKE ULTEE/UNCOVER SKINCARE
The feeling that silicones give your skin is (currently) impossible to match with any other cosmetic ingredient. Not really. Silicones in creams make your skin super soft. The ingredient also works very well in make-up products: it ensures that your make-up ‘mixes’ very nicely with the skin. In addition, silicones are very effective in helping the skin to retain moisture.
And not all silicones are and do the same. For example, I use dimethicone in my Repair Cream. That is one of the most commonly used silicones in cosmetics. Dimethicone is a somewhat ‘heavier’ form and helps the skin to retain moisture well.
In my Moisturizer and Foundation I use a somewhat lighter form of silicone (cyclopentasiloxane). This substance ensures that the Moisturizer lubricates so well and that you have beautiful, smooth skin afterwards. The advantage of this ingredient is that it does not leave a heavy or oily feeling on your skin. It gives your skin a very natural glow.
So I’m a ‘fan’ of the ingredient. Yet you can also find less positive stories about silicone. Maybe you have come across it? One of the most commonly heard ‘objections’ is that silicone would seal the skin. But that’s not right. You can compare the structure of silicone with that of gauze. This allows sweat, for example, to pass through the layer of silicone. Another claim about the ingredient is that it would cause breakouts. However, silicone is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog sebaceous glands.
Silicones used in skincare have proven their safety through scientific research. They are effective ingredients that are good for the skin for various reasons. Due to their unique molecular structure, they do not close off the skin. Silicone remains on the surface of the skin and forms a permeable layer. Due to the special molecular structure, silicones will never give you a heavy or closed feeling on your skin, but they do offer good protection against moisture loss. Interestingly, silicones are proven to help with dryness and flaking. In our products we mainly use the silicone cyclosiloxanes, dimethicone and phenyl trimethicone.
Silicones have a bad name; they would be occlusive (closing and ‘choking’ the skin). But that is incorrect. It’s true that silicones put a layer over the skin, but they really don’t seal it off. They lay a net structure over the skin, like a piece of gauze; that is permeable. And it is precisely that (permeable) silicone layer that can be important for the skin that could use some help. It helps protect, heal and prevents moisture loss. It is not without reason that silicone has been used by burn specialists for years because of their healing, protective and breathable effect. This is where permeability is essential, as a wound needs oxygen to heal. Almost all silicone (films) are permeable, especially if you compare them with closing ingredients such as vaseline, beeswax and shea butter. From a chemical point of view, most silicones are even volatile substances: they evaporate before they have a chance to penetrate the pores. They do ensure that ingredients are applied evenly and the skin becomes silky smooth. In short: silicones can actually be very useful. Especially with skin that is itself vulnerable, they form a breathable, extra protective layer that helps the skin to heal and prevent moisture loss.
For this reason we work with silicone in some products. Especially with products for sensitive and/or dry skin that is unable to retain its own moisture. It is precisely they who benefit from the protective, healing and moisture-binding effect of silicone.
In addition, our new Vitamin C Paste contains silicones because the product must be free of water. This product contains 10% ascorbic acid, the naturally occurring form of vitamin C in the skin. This only remains stable as long as it does not come into contact with moisture. In our opinion, silicones are the only way to get pure ascorbic acid stably into the skin.
The silicones that Alpha-H uses are: Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane and Polysilicone-11.
Thanks, Alpha-H, Emergin-C, Uncover Skincare and Paula’s choice for this interesting contribution! Want to hear more answers from the beauty industry now? Then read these previous specials to which various skincare brands have cooperated.
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