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Silicone Mythbusting (with Video) – Lab Muffin Beauty Science

Silicone Mythbusting Video

This submit is sponsored by Grant Industries.

Silicones are one of many Massive Dangerous elements in skincare, make-up and haircare. They’ve been demonised by pure manufacturers, and there are extra warnings about them than you’ll be able to rely. So I used to be delighted when Grant Industries (ingredient producer, maker of Granactive Retinoid, bodily sunscreens and naturally, silicones) requested me to do a video to bust some myths about silicones.

For the video, scroll right down to the underside (or head to my YouTube channel) – in any other case, right here’s the wordy model!

Silicones in magnificence merchandise are organosiloxanes. These include alternating silicone-oxygen-silicone atoms, bonded to carbon. They’re made out of sand (silicon dioxide).

There are a couple of several types of silicones in merchandise, with various properties and makes use of. Usually, their names finish in -cone, conol or -siloxane (components that finish in -silane often don’t include sufficient silicone to be categorised as silicones and have totally different properties).

The main forms of silicones are:

  • Small silicones: these are typically very liquid, are sometimes risky (evaporate and don’t keep on hair or pores and skin), e.g. phenyl trimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane
  • Silicone polymers: lengthy chain molecules made up of repeating siloxane models, may be liquid or strong, e.g. dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS), polysilicone-11, polymethylsilsesquioxane
  • Functionalised silicones: include different atoms on their buildings which give them particular properties on prime of the standard silicone properties, e.g. amodimethicone, dimethiconol

Silicone Types

Associated submit: Amodimethicone: The Science of My Favorite Hair Ingredient

Silicones have been used and researched because the 1950s, and are tremendous widespread in magnificence merchandise, for good purpose. They’ve some actually cool properties that different components simply don’t have.

Lots of this comes from the very fact silicones are very unreactive elements with a clean glide. They’re additionally cruelty-free and vegan.

In skincare:

  • Silicones are hypoallergenic, non-irritating and non-comedogenic
  • They’re good moisturisers, and assist merchandise unfold in your pores and skin
  • They will improve the penetration of lively components, and shield them from degrading earlier than you apply them
  • Waterproofing silicones can be utilized in sunscreens to assist them keep on
  • Silicones can be utilized to coat mineral sunscreen particles to cease clumping and to scale back free radical formation in daylight
  • Silicones can be used to guard your pores and skin from wind and chafing.

In make-up:

  • Silicones glide onto your pores and skin, so make-up blends simply
  • In make-up primers, they fill in strains and pores, making pores and skin look plumper with much less wrinkles, giving a clean canvas for make-up
  • Silicones may give longwear properties to foundations and lipsticks, whereas retaining them versatile sufficient to not crack
  • Mattifying silicones can blur mild, making pores and skin look airbrushed

In hair care merchandise:

So if silicones are so nice, why are there so many myths about them?

Like with a number of different magnificence subjects on-line, you’ll see myths that haven’t any foundation in actuality, and you’ve got myths that begin with a grain of fact and shortly mutate into one thing else totally.

Silicones are artificial and never pure

That is true, and paired with the very fact they’re so in style, I feel that is the primary purpose there are such a lot of myths about silicones!

Associated submit: Are Pure Magnificence Merchandise Higher? (Video)

I’ve coated this matter earlier than in an older video. Us people have a bias in the direction of considering that pure means higher, safer, extra environmentally pleasant, and so forth.

However that’s not true. Pure doesn’t imply safer, and artificial doesn’t imply extra harmful for you or the surroundings! Probably the most poisonous substances on the earth are pure. In magnificence merchandise, pure plant extracts are a few of the components that trigger probably the most irritation and allergic reactions. Once we use pure merchandise, typically it’s extremely damaging to the setting – issues like palm oil, sandalwood, ivory, shark’s fin. You possibly can take a look at my video on whether or not pure is best if you would like extra particulars.

So if the phrase “pure” doesn’t imply a lot – let’s ignore the “pure” half, and concentrate on the precise points as an alternative: the notion that pure issues are safer in your physique when it comes to well being, and higher for the surroundings.

Silicones are dangerous for delicate pores and skin

This isn’t true – in truth it’s the other! Silicones are steadily utilized in drugs as a result of they’re so hypoallergenic, non-irritating and unreactive.

Allergic reactions to silicones are very uncommon despite the fact that they’re used a lot, and dimethicone is even listed as FDA-approved pores and skin protectant (and has been used successfully in merchandise to lower pores and skin irritation). Most individuals can put undiluted dimethicone on their pores and skin with no points.

Silicones are poisonous in your physique

That is one other a type of myths that grew from the entire “pure is best” notion. Silicones are literally very protected! They haven’t been linked to most cancers or hormone disruption or some other long-term well being results, and regulatory authorities all over the world (Well being Canada, European Union’s Scientific Committee on Shopper Security, UK Surroundings Company, Beauty Ingredient Assessment (CIR), Australia’s Stock Multi-tiered Evaluation and Prioritisation (IMAP)) have stated that they’re not a danger to people.

(Observe: I’ve linked assessments of small cyclic silicones like cyclopentasiloxane, since these are thought-about probably the most dangerous.)

Silicones are utilized in a lot of medicated remedies like ointments and lotions, and even contained in the physique in medical units, pacemakers and hydrocephalic shunts within the mind. Silicones (particularly simethicone) are additionally in anti-farting oral medicine, the place it breaks up fuel bubbles.

Silicones suffocate your pores and skin and trigger pimples

Numerous the logic for why silicones are dangerous comes from the concept they type a an occlusive, strong movie on the pores and skin. For instance, you’ll typically see that silicones are described as a “layer of rubber”, or that they lure filth and germs in your pores like plastic wrap. Supposedly, this movie interferes together with your pores and skin’s pure processes, so your pores and skin can’t exfoliate, sweat, regulate its temperature correctly, and even produce cells (although I’m unsure how that works, since cells are produced method decrease than silicones can attain).

However this isn’t the case, and it’s exhausting to work out the place it comes from different than simply hypothesis – there’s zero analysis that exhibits any of this! (And actually, there’s a research that discovered constructive results on pores and skin physiology when a dimethicone-containing product was used.)

Silicones truly type a breathable layer in your pores and skin – they’re permeable to oxygen and water vapour, and that is truly an issue when silicone rubber is utilized in gear, since it may possibly’t truly type a gas-tight seal. Oxygen and water molecules can wiggle out in between the versatile siloxane chains in a silicone layer.

Silicones even have low comedogenicity in response to normal exams – dimethicone has a score of 1, whereas cyclomethicone has a score of zero. Any ingredient may cause pimples, and silicones are the identical as another ingredient in that regard.

Associated publish: Find out how to Use Comedogenicity Scores (with Video)

Should you’ve used some merchandise up to now and also you’ve concluded that silicones are problematic for you – maintain this in thoughts:

A lot of individuals will get breakouts from merchandise and search for components widespread in components lists, and see dimethicone or different silicones and blame that. However silicones are extremely widespread, a number of the commonest components after water. And since so many merchandise have silicones – someplace round half of all skincare merchandise – the prospect of seeing them as elements in merchandise that break you out is tremendous excessive, even when they’re not truly the offender.

There’s a notion that as a result of silicones are used for longwear merchandise, they’re exhausting to take away out of your pores and skin on the finish of the day, and construct up in your pores and skin. Nevertheless it’s actually onerous to make something occlusive that stays on eternally, since you shed one layer of pores and skin cells a day. A buildup of silicone in your pores and skin simply doesn’t occur.

Silicones simply makes your pores and skin look good however don’t truly do something/makes your pores and skin worse

Generally, that is speaking about dimethicone is in skincare, and it’s an analogous accusation that will get thrown at petrolatum or petroleum jelly as properly – that it varieties an impenetrable occlusive movie in your pores and skin that dries out your pores and skin and make it dehydrated.

However aside from the truth that water can truly cross by way of silicone movies, some research additionally present that silicones can enhance your pores and skin!

  • In a single research, 2% silicone in cream led to higher pores and skin hydration and decrease TEWL than cream alone, so whereas it wasn’t completely occlusive, it did assist forestall water loss.
  • One other research discovered that TEWL was unaffected, which signifies that it wasn’t occlusive and it didn’t moisturise.
  • This research discovered constructive results on pores and skin physiology when dimethicone was utilized together with glycerin.

So silicone’s impact on the pores and skin depends on the formulation, and the silicone used. Dimethicone additionally has protectant properties on your pores and skin, and it’s included as a pores and skin protectant on the FDA’s record of drug elements.

Actives can’t get via silicones

Silicones aren’t completely occlusive, and the movie they type breaks down over time. Silicones are literally used to ship lively elements in prescription drugs, and petroleum jelly, which is far more occlusive, is used for this as nicely. So sure, lively elements can get via silicone movies, and it gained’t construct up in your pores and skin. Dimethicone additionally often isn’t in merchandise at a really excessive focus, and even when it’s meant to type a barrier, typically… it simply doesn’t work. Relying in your merchandise although, inside your skincare routine, it nonetheless may make sense to layer it over different components if you would like extra instant results.

Silicones do nothing on your hair besides coat it and make it look shiny

It’s true that silicones type a shiny coating in your hair… however this can be a good factor!

Hair is fairly fragile, and in case your hair is broken it tends to snag, which results in extra injury. Smoothing out your hair is sweet – it stops cuticle scales from snapping off (which is what occurs once you really feel friction once you pull a comb by means of your hair), and it will probably make it stronger and extra immune to snapping. Silicones additionally shield your hair from warmth once you dry or curl or straighten it. In order that they’re nice at defending your hair from injury, which is certainly doing one thing on your hair!

There’s one potential difficulty right here although. Hairdressers are likely to hate silicones as a result of they keep in your hair and stops remedies from attending to your hair, so colouring and perming won’t end up as predicted. To keep away from this difficulty, use a clarifying remedy earlier than you go to the hairdresser, and cease utilizing silicones a number of days earlier than you go to the salon.

Silicones keep in your hair and weigh it down

This may be the case for some individuals, for specific silicones. Totally different individuals have totally different hair wants, and never all silicones are the identical. This “your mileage might differ” idea applies to different hair elements too, like oils and fatty alcohols.

For instance, earlier than I bleached and dyed my hair, I discovered that dimethicone was implausible for my hair. Now it might typically really feel slightly heavy, however amodimethicone is superb. It wasn’t heavy sufficient for my hair earlier than bleaching, however now it’s good for concentrating on injury.

Associated publish: Amodimethicone: The Science of My Favorite Hair Ingredient

Silicones are non-biodegradable and poisonous for the surroundings

Technically sure, silicones aren’t actually biodegradable. However it’s necessary to notice that this isn’t essentially a nasty factor!

“Biodegradable” signifies that one thing could be damaged down by dwelling issues (e.g. micro organism). However non-biodegradable doesn’t imply that one thing is dangerous. For instance, glass is non-biodegradable, however it’s inert and non-toxic, subsequently it isn’t an enormous concern.

Silicones, however, aren’t biodegradable, however they’re degradable – they degrade within the setting, and switch again into silica (sand), carbon dioxide and water.

For instance, dimethicone is non-biodegradable, however it’s principally eliminated in wastewater remedy, and degrades in touch with clays and sediment. It’s not very water soluble, so more often than not it finally ends up touching clay or so subsequently in all probability finally ends up touching clay or sediment and degrading – simply with none intervention by dwelling organisms.

A variety of silicones additionally evaporate and degrade once they meet UV in daylight and oxygen within the air. For many cyclic silicones utilized in magnificence merchandise, half will break down in 2 weeks. In soil and sediment, they break down in lower than 2 years. That is comparatively persistent from an environmental chemistry standpoint, nevertheless it’s actually fast in comparison with the non-biodegradable issues we often consider, like plastics, which take hundreds of years to interrupt down. It’s additionally value noting that the concentrations all over the world are very low, regardless that we’ve been utilizing them for a very long time, which means that they’re not likely build up within the setting.

The opposite situation is environmental toxicity. Most authorities around the globe (Japan, Canada, Australia, US) assume silicones are of little concern, given the low concentrations within the surroundings and their low solubility in water. The one area which has limits on silicones in the intervening time is the EU (ECHA), which limits D4 (cyclotetrasiloxane) and D5 (cyclopentasiloxane). The distinction within the regulation between areas comes from Europe’s use of the precautionary precept, which suggests they give attention to laboratory research and the potential for hurt over environmental proof when making security assessments.

In the mean time with what we all know, it doesn’t appear to be silicones are more likely to be an environmental drawback – though in fact if new proof comes up, it’ll have to be revisited.

Chosen References

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Aliyar H & Schalau G II, Current developments in silicones for topical and transdermal drug supply (open entry), Ther Deliv 2015, 6, 827-839. DOI: 10.4155/tde.15.39

SCCS (Scientific Committee on Shopper Security), Opinion on cyclomethicone D4/D5, 22 June 2010

Mojsiewicz-Pieńkowska Okay et al., Direct human contact with siloxanes (silicones) – security or danger half 1. Traits of siloxanes (silicones) (open entry), Entrance Pharmacol 2016, 7, 132. DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2016.00132

Draelos ZD et al., The impact of auto formulation on pimples medicine tolerability, Cutis 2008, 82, 281-284.

De Paepe Okay, Silicones as nonocclusive topical brokers, Pores and skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014, 27, 164-171. DOI: 10.1159/000354914

Kwon SB et al., The impact of glycerin, hyaluronic acid and silicone oil on the hydration, moisturization and transepidermal water loss in human pores and skin (open entry), Kor J Aesthet Cosmetol 2013, 11, 761-768.

Hoggarth A et al., A managed, three-part trial to research the barrier perform and pores and skin hydration properties of six pores and skin protectants (open entry), Ostomy Wound Handle 2005, 51, 30-42.

Zhai H et al., A bioengineering research on the efficacy of a pores and skin protectant lotion in stopping SLS-induced dermatitis, Pores and skin Res Technol. 2000, 6, 77-80.

Fowler JF Jr, Efficacy of a skin-protective foam within the remedy of persistent hand dermatitis, Am J Contact Dermat 2000, 11, 165-9. DOI: 10.1053/ajcd.2000.7184

Yahagi Okay, Silicones as conditioning brokers in shampoos, J Soc Cosmet Chem 1992, 43, 275-284.

Rücker C & Kümmerer Okay, Environmental chemistry of organosiloxanes, Chem Rev 2015, 115, 466-524. DOI: 10.1021/cr500319v

Nendza M, Hazard evaluation of silicone oils (polydimethylsiloxanes, PDMS) utilized in antifouling-/foul-release-products within the marine setting, Mar Pollut Bull 2007, 54, 1190-1196. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.04.009

Bridges J & Solomon KR, Quantitative weight-of-evidence evaluation of the persistence, bioaccumulation, toxicity, and potential for long-range transport of the cyclic risky methyl siloxanes (open entry), J Toxicol Environ Well being B Crit Rev 2016, 19, 345-379. DOI: 10.1080/10937404.2016.1200505

Gobas FA et al., Fugacity and exercise evaluation of the bioaccumulation and environmental dangers of decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) (open entry), Environ Toxicol Chem. 2015, 34, 2723-2731. DOI: 10.1002/and so forth.2942

Australia Division of Well being, Cyclic risky methyl siloxanes: Setting tier II evaluation, 2 March 2018 (accessed 30 Might 2019).

Lamb H, Scared sili: is harder regulation required for silicone? E&T Journal, 13 March 2019 (accessed 30 Might 2019).

This video was sponsored by Grant Industries; nevertheless, the content material is all my unbiased analysis and trustworthy expertise. For extra info, see Disclosure Coverage.


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