It is one of the most questioned ingredient families, but are silicones in cosmetics really bad for the skin or hair?
We are going to analyze what they are and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using silicones in cosmetics.
What are silicones?
Silicones are a polymer formed by silicon and oxygen. They are odorless, colorless, resistant to extreme temperatures and other environmental factors, and are easily spreadable. These properties make them a compound present in many areas of our daily life (home, medicine, etc.) and, of course, in personal care products.
You can identify whether a product contains silicones by looking at the ingredient list, as most of them end in -cone, -conol or -xane. Some of the most frequent ones that can be found are:
- Di- or Trimethicone
- Vinyl Dimethicone
What are the advantages?
Silicones are used in many cosmetic products, especially make-up, as they have many advantages:
- They fill wrinkles, fine lines and pores, leaving skin looking smoother, softer and free of imperfections.
- They provide a silky and non-greasy feel, allowing the product to be evenly distributed.
- They retain the skin’s moisture, which gives us a hydrated skin effect for a longer time.
- In deodorants they prevent “white spots” due to salts, and soften the skin.
- In hair products, they soften the cuticles, making the hair silky and shiny. It also protects it from external aggressions, such as cold, heat, the use of hairdryers, irons, etc.
What are the disadvantages of silicones in cosmetics?
The main drawback attributed to silicones is that they are considered to be occlusive to the skin, i.e. they prevent it from transpiring by clogging the pores. When they become clogged, they stop performing their secretory function correctly, and fat accumulates in them, making them dirtier and therefore more dilated.
Although silicones are not absorbed and do not penetrate the skin, they do remain on the surface. This is why the so-called “new generation silicones“, which are water-soluble silicones and therefore easier to remove with a good facial cleansing than traditional silicones, are emerging strongly.
To use them or not…
Most cosmetic products on the market contain silicones, but it is also true that there are already many brands that are launching products without this ingredient or with new generation silicones.
What is clear is that, although we already knew that facial cleansing is very important in abeauty routine, if you choose to use cosmetic products with silicones, it is even more so.
The choice is yours!