Silicone is probably better known for enhancing something other than your skin, so what’s it doing in your moisturiser, your primer, and your blow dry cream? And is it really true that it gives you spots?!
What is Silicone?
Silicones are derived from sand (a ‘silica’). This isn’t beach sand we’re talking though. It undergoes a lot of processing to turn it into something that’s suitable for use in skincare and makeup.
Silicones can show up under all sorts of different names – common ones include cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone and phenyl trimethicone. And we’re very grateful we don’t have pronounce any of them. Generally, if it ends in -cone, – conol, or -siloxane, it’s a Silicone.
How Silicone works
Silicone is usually used in skincare as a emollient. Silicones don’t penetrate the surface of your skin but allow other ingredients to sink in and work their magic. They give skincare and makeup products a smooth, silky, even luxurious feel, and help products ‘spread’ and apply more easily.
Does Silicone cause acne?
Despite what you may have read or heard, there’s absolutely no scientific evidence suggesting that Silicone causes spots, acne or breakouts of any kind.
Acne forms below the surface of the skin, when excess sebum and dead skin cells plug up pores or hair follicles. These can then become infected and that’s where spots and breakouts come from.
Silicone doesn’t penetrate below the skin’s surface, and it’s non comedogenic meaning it doesn’t block pores. In fact, Silicones are often included in acne preparations with strong ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide where they prevent the dryness and flaking that active ingredients can cause. Silicones mean that more products can be formulated without oil, benefiting those with oily and acne-prone skin.
Nowadays, Silicones are used in many different skincare and makeup preparations so avoiding them altogether could be tricky – and it’s most likely you’ve used them umpteen times without any kind of reaction.
As always, if you find a particular product causes an adverse or allergic reaction, then discontinue use. But don’t be in a rush to blame Silicones – the culprit may be something entirely different!
Use it for:
Covering imperfections: Silicone is great at hiding scars, blemishes, and skin blemishes. It acts as something as of a filler and creates a smooth, even-looking surface. We love this line-smoothing primer from AmazingCosmetics.
Smooth, shiny hair: Silicone has a similar effect on hair. Shine sprays and hair serums usually contain it and leave hair looking and feeling soft, smooth, and shiny. They also help to protect against humidity and fight the frizzies. If you use a lot of styling products, watch out for product build up – use a clarifying shampoo once a week.
Healing scars: Studies have shown that Silicone is highly effective in treating scars. It’s thought that Silicone mimics the barrier function of normal healthy skin, keeping scar tissue hydrated and helping it fade away. It works on both new and old scars. Check out Healgel Intensive for this issue.
Long-lasting makeup: In makeup formulas, Silicone helps keep the product flexible, so it clings to your skin for longer. It increases water resistance, helps avoid product transfer and makes a great base for colour pigment. This all adds up to foundation, lipstick and blush that last all day (or at least until you eat lunch, in the case of lipstick).
Good to know:
Silicone is typically hypoallergenic and skin friendly. It helps protect sensitive or damaged skin and is safe for use even around the eyes.
Find Silicone in:
FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation
FACE Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro
HealGel Intensive Advanced Skin Rescue Formula
Kardashian Beauty Smooth Styler Blow Dry Cream
Face Atelier Ultra Matte
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel