Silicones have been used in beauty products for many years. Silicone is an element found in silica which is the most common constituent of sand but it undergoes extensive chemical processing before it is suitable for adding to beauty products.
Why is it Used?
Silicones are used by the personal care industry because they make products easier to spread and their use is especially popular in make-up primers because they can help to fill in fine lines and wrinkles on the face. Silicones are also found in hair products because they coat the hair to make it appear sleeker and frizz free.
What you Should be Aware of?
Although studies show that silicones are safe for use on the skin recent concerns have risen about the possibility of silicones building up in the environment over time. Silicone isn’t biodegradable which means it doesn’t decompose. Once it is washed down your plughole and out into the environment it stays there.
Although silicones have been found to be safe in skincare my own personal experience with a hair serum which contained silicone prompted me to investigate the silicone subject further.
There is so much information out there on the internet on this subject and there is a clear divide between those that love silicones and those who are not so keen.
Many people may be unaware that silicones could be one of the ingredients in their daily use products. You may have spotted the silicone free claims on labels here and there and have been curious as to why beauty products are silicone free or why this could even be a potential benefit for your skin.
The silicone that I experienced an issue with is called Dimethicone which is the most common and least expensive silicone used in skin and hair care products. It can be difficult to remove from the hair and feels like a heavy coating – imagine a pair of heavy curtains framing your face and you get the picture! Silicones in hair products have been maligned for their drying effects but this may be more to do with an increased use of heated styling appliances.
After developing a reaction around my hairline I stopped using the product immediately and luckily within a few days the reaction had subsided. Although I am pinning the blame on the silicone ingredient in the product I can't be certain that this ingredient caused my reaction.
However, my skin was very unhappy with the product for some reason and I developed tiny itchy pimples around my hairline. This reaction was a clear signal that something was wrong.
After being lured into the promise of sleek hair I returned to my usual combination of silicone free serum and pure argan oil to give my hair a smooth and natural shine after washing. The price of perfectly sleek hair definitely wasn’t worth it for me.
Could your breakouts be the result of silicones? Do you avoid silicones in your skin and hair products? If so why do you choose to avoid silicones?