Silicone Skin Care: Is It Necessary or Unnecessary?
Silicone Skincare - Is It Safe For Everyday Use
Silicone has built quite a reputation for itself in the beauty and skincare industry. However, the topic of silicone skincare is the one flooded with misinformation. This is because these slippery ingredients go by dozens of different names, with new compounds being developed every now and then. More so, we have a divided opinion in the industry - while one side of the argument says that products loaded with silicones make skin look healthier without actually contributing to its overall health, and the other side strongly withholds the opinion that silicones aren’t technically harmful, so there’s no harm in using them as a part of skincare.
So, let’s start with the basics. First, what do you understand by silicones?
You will be surprised to find out that silicones are a group of semi-liquid substances derived from silica(the main component of sand.) But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they fall under the natural umbrella. They begin as a natural ingredient which then bonds strongly with oxygen to form silica and create various synthetic silicones that are further used in skincare and personal care products.
Silicones are known in the beauty industry for their occlusive properties. They form a barrier-like coat on the surface of the skin that’s resistant to air and water. In a rather fancy world, you may term it a ‘breathable film’ which prevents moisture loss. They also serve as carrier fluids to synthetically deliver an even layer of ingredients and later evaporate from the skin, leaving behind a weightless, silky finish. When used medically, silicones have proven results in accelerating the healing process of wounds and improving scarring. They have been used in burn units for a very long time for their unique healing properties which not only protects but also allows the wound to breathe.
What is the Science Behind Silicones in Skincare?
There are two primary types of silicones that are used in skincare and haircare, volatile and non-volatile. Volatile silicones are also known as cyclic silicones, they evaporate quickly from the skin’s surface and do not cause any irritation. The use of volatile silicones leave a powder-like smoothness on the skin and are a common ingredient in face serums.
On the other hand, non-volatile silicones are also known as linear silicones which are majorly used to prevent water loss and evenly deposit the key ingredients into the skin. This dimethicone skin protectant is a type of polymer which is available in a large variety of thickness, be it fluid or gel, and is commonly found in a majority of synthetic skincare to give out a water-permeable finish on the skin.
Then why is it advised to not use silicones? We are going to list a few reasons for you
The Efficacy Of Silicone - Benefits Are Only Superficial
Unless it’s an open wound that you want to treat, silicones are not helpful in providing any tangible relief or benefit to the skin. Their work in a cosmetic product is to deliver a pleasant-feeling, lightweight carrier base that films the skin’s surface. But if you think it this way, silicones work like a plastic wrap that forms a barrier on top of the skin. That barrier can lock in moisture but it also traps sweat, dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells, sebum, and debris along with it. So, while silicone-loaded moisturizers and serums might make your face feel and look nice, they don’t exactly have any long-term benefits. In fact, the prolonged exposure to oil, bacteria and dead skin underneath the semi-occlusive seal of silicones results in clogged pores, causes acne and skin congestion.
Silicones Are Difficult To Wash Off
Silicones are hydrophobic in nature, which means that their basic property is to repel water. It makes them hard to rinse off. It is only through oil cleansing or double cleansing that you can get rid of the thick layer of silicone on your skin and dislodge silicone particles from your pores.
The most commonly used silicone, dimethicone, is extremely heavy and forms a coating on the skin unless it is carefully removed - a single pass with your regular face wash is simply not enough! It is the same for silicone hair conditioners, if you don’t rinse and clean them off properly with water, they can leave behind a gunky residue which is noticed to trigger hairline and back acne.
Silicones Interfere With The Process of Cell Renewal
As dermatologists suggest, our skin renews itself every 28 days. It sheds the old cells while the new cells make their way up to the surface. Silicones interfere in this process by jamming the pores and slowing down the production of new cells. The use of silicones also keeps the dead skin cells stuck longer onto the skin, leading to congestion and dullness. Not to overlook, but the impaired cell renewal process ultimately slams down the improvement of skin conditions including redness, pigmentation, fine lines as well as scarring.
Silicones Can Eventually Make Your Skin Dull and Dehydrated
The breathable film that silicones form onto your skin can result in the clogging of pores and halt moisture from entering the surface. This manifests dryness and dullness which in return throws off your skin’s pH level and takes down the moisture barrier. The result? Your skin’s natural regulatory processes are off-balance and your skin is unable to shed dead layers and hydrate itself, typically causing fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.
Silicones Block Other Ingredients from Absorbing Into The Skin
If layering is your everyday indulgence(which most of us are proud of!), silicones can block the products from doing their jobs effectively. Consider using a silicone-based serum or micellar water, and then you layer it with your day-care moisturizer and other acne/blemish treatment. All the products that you put on after using a silicone -based product would have a limited ability to penetrate, rendering them less and less effective. We can even go as far to suggest that silicones impede the absorption of a bunch of beneficial ingredients, even those that are clubbed within the same formula.
#Environment-Alert - Silicones aren’t eco-friendly
Eco-friendly is the act of living with intent. You don’t necessarily have to be an eco-warrior to understand that it’s important to sustain the environment we are to live in. This is one such argument that is strong enough to make you say buh-bye to silicones, and for good - Silicones are bioaccumulative. They gradually accumulate in the form of compounds having an unusual combination of physical-chemical properties. So, when you rinse them off down the drainage, they indefinitely contribute to the buildup of sludge pollution in waterways and oceans and take over hundreds and hundred of years to break down.
How To Spot If Silicones Are Being Used In Your Skin Care Products?
Sadly, an industry that has such a vested interest in sourcing products that leave velvety finish and satisfies the demands of consumers, is not going to willingly accept the downside of using silicones. However, we can see more and more brands opting out of silicone usage everyday to jump on the clean beauty bandwagon. So, the easiest way to ensure that you are using products that are filler-free is to identify the ingredients used or look for a label that says “silicone-free”. There are several kinds of them, but you can recognise their names, just try to spot names which are ending in “-cone” or “-siloxane”. Look for words that end in one of these: amodimethicone, cyclomethicone, dimethicone, methicone, trimethicone, trimethylsilylamodimethicone, dimethiconol, cyclohexasiloxane, cetearyl methicone, cyclopentasiloxane.
Do you really need to avoid silicones in your skincare?
Well… whilst silicones don’t overtly hurt us, using products loaded with silicones do not add anything to your skin’s health either. We would say that it’s definitely not necessary to include silicones in your skincare and later deal with all such skin problems. But if we align with the opinions of dermatologists, it’s not totally necessary to eliminate them from your skincare routine.
Although, it’s widely acclaimed that if you are concerned about your skin and want to look after it, then it’s time you move to a green, herbal and natural skin care regime, which screams SILICONE-FREE. Just Herbs philosophy towards skin care as well as hair care is centered around using the most nutrient-rich plant oils to nourish the skin and scalp as prescribed in Ayurveda. We use no mineral-oil, silicones or sulphates in our products. Our pure, bespoke, and Ayurvedic results-driven skincare and hair care is made from certified organic and wildcrafted ingredients collected from across India. We have created our products with 98.2-100% natural ingredients, with a full ingredient disclosure on labels, so you know that we are filler-free.
We hope you'll now agree that skin care is better off without silicones and its time to take the leap with Just Herbs skin care and hair care products that will add a new life to your regime.