Silicones are still a topic of controversy among those who carefully read the composition of cosmetics. It seems that they really do make-up better, but with their useful properties, everything is not so simple

" Cosmetics without silicones and parabens" - such a query is becoming more and more popular in a variety of search engines. These substances are looked for in the composition in order to avoid buying products with these chemicals. At the same time, not everyone is well aware of exactly what function silicones perform in cosmetic formulas and whether they really cause harm.

We have already explained how to check the composition of cosmetics. What to do if, among other ingredients, you find silicones? In this material, we propose to deal with what silicones are used for in cosmetics for the face, what are their pros and cons, and most importantly, what “outweighs”.

Silicones in cosmetics: what is it?

Silicones are often referred to as "synthetic fats" - this is a group of polymers, many of which are biologically compatible with the tissues of our body, which makes them suitable for use in medicine and in the production of cosmetics.

So, silicones are among those substances that are used in the creation of coatings for medical instruments, prostheses, in the preparation of healing ointments. In aesthetic medicine, silicone implants for breast augmentation have been common for a long time. In cosmetics, silicones also found a place - all because they do an excellent job of softening.Firstly, they make the texture of creams and other similar products more pleasant to the touch.

Secondly, thanks to silicones, the products “lay” better on the skin, are evenly distributed, forming a coating that fills in uneven skin texture, including wrinkles and enlarged pores. It makes skin look smoother and more perfect.

Silicones are also added to shampoos and conditioners, as well as styling products. By smoothing the keratin scales on the surface of the hair, these products make them smoother and shinier, as well as thicker, as they increase the volume of the hairs.

Types of silicone

Silicones are a group of substances. Inside it, several types of silicones are distinguished, which differ from each other in properties and therefore have different applications in cosmetics.

So, there are water-soluble silicones that can be recognized in the ingredients list by the end -onol (dimethiconol is one possible example). They are easy to wash off and for this reason they are considered the best option for cosmetics, because biocompatibility and biodegradability are not the same thing. If a substance is not “absorbed” and is not excreted from the body naturally, this calls into question its safety. But most often, water-soluble silicones end up in shampoos and conditioners.

Water-insoluble silicones are found mostly in color cosmetics. Thanks to them, the funds acquire the very enveloping texture for which they love products with silicones; a protective film is formed on the skin, through which pollution and harmful substances do not penetrate. In addition, water-insoluble silicones prolong the durability of cosmetics and, accordingly, make-up. But these substances tend to accumulate, which ultimately is not very beneficial for the skin.

In the category of silicones, volatile ones can be distinguished - with a small molecular weight; they are also relatively safe. They are used, for example, in thermal protection for hair. Another thing is silicones with high molecular weight (they are called "high polymer silicones" ). The effect of weighting and, again, the accumulation of a substance are arguments against such silicones. They are present, as a rule, in products that “heal” split ends - but in fact they simply “seal” them, solving the problem only externally.

It is worth noting that the most popular "light" silicone - dimethicone - is used with the same consequences as "heavy" high-molecular silicones.

The benefits and harms of silicones

It is no coincidence that silicones have become so widespread in the beauty industry. They have a lot of advantages.

Pros of silicones

  1. Texture

    As we have already noted, one of the main reasons why silicones are added to the composition is that these substances make the texture of cosmetics more comfortable for the skin when applied.

    A pleasant feeling of softness lasts throughout the day.

  2. Covering

    The most obvious example demonstrating the advantages of cosmetics with silicones is primers with a blur effect: they fill the pores and other skin irregularities, creating the impression of “out of focus”, due to which imperfections are visually leveled. Skin looks perfect.

    Thus, products with silicones allow you to achieve flawless makeup, as they visually improve the quality of the skin.

  3. Protection

    Enveloping the skin, products with silicones form a protective film on its surface. Pollution and harmful substances such as free radicals do not penetrate through it. The same property retains moisture in the skin, preventing it from evaporating.

    Some manufacturers pass this off as a deep and long-lasting moisturizing effect (up to 24 or even 48 hours), but this is not entirely true.

  4. Resilience

    The presence of silicones in cosmetics (considering that when talking about decorative products we are talking primarily about water-insoluble silicones) ensures the durability of the make-up.

This, it would seem, is enough for such cosmetics to be in demand. But some of these pluses turn into minuses. What kind?

Cons of silicones

  1. Temporary effect

    After applying the cream with silicones, you can really notice that the pores are literally “erased” from the face, and wrinkles become less noticeable. It turns out that such cosmetics work great? Yes, if we talk about the external effect. But one has only to wash off the makeup, as the skin returns to its original state: products with silicones do not affect the processes that occur at the cellular level in any way, they do not positively affect the functioning of the skin.So the result is rather optical - the effect lasts exactly as long as the product remains on the skin.

  2. Impervious

    While protecting the skin, the layer of product with silicones at the same time prevents the intake of nutrients. A dense silicone layer completely clogs the pores, making it difficult for the skin to “breathe”. Under such a coating, sebum accumulates, favorable conditions are created for the reproduction of bacteria, which leads to the appearance of inflammation.

  3. Delete

    The water-insoluble silicones used in make-up are not easy to wash off without residue. In case you are not accustomed to a thorough multi-stage cleansing, this residue will accumulate; under such a film, the skin will not be fully updated. The thick silicone barrier can only be removed with intensive cleansers, such as two-phase make-up removers (read more about the types of make-up removers here).

It is widely believed that silicones are carcinogenic substances, and this could be another significant disadvantage, if not for the study on silicone implants, which was conducted by Danish scientist Soren Friis and his team. It turned out that the proximity of silicone did not affect the development of breast cancer. So it's not worth sounding the alarm about silicone. It should also be taken into account that the concentration of silicones in the composition of cosmetics is limited: their share does not exceed 8% of the composition, which allows you to maintain a positive effect, minimizing possible harm.

What makeup products contain silicones?

  1. Primer

    In makeup preparations, silicones are needed in order for the formula to better cope with leveling the relief - filling wrinkles and enlarged pores.Thanks to silicones, such primers give the effect of Photoshop. In addition, makeup created over such a base is characterized by increased durability.

  2. Foundation

    Here, silicones play the most familiar role for themselves - they make the texture of the product, and with it the coating that remains on the skin, silky, soft and pleasant to the touch.

  3. Lipstick

    Easy application and even distribution of color, beautiful and smooth "finish" - that's what you can achieve by adding silicones to the lipstick.

  4. Macara

    It's the same story with this tool: formulas with silicones gently envelop the cilia, adding volume to them and protecting them from external influences. You can read more about the features of silicone mascara here.

    Since the coverage is quite thick, it is very important to carefully remove eye makeup afterwards. You will find everything about the make-up removal of this delicate zone in the video below.

How silicones are designated in the composition of cosmetics for the face: inscriptions on the label

The most common silicone on packaging is dimethicone: it is perhaps the most widely used in the production of cosmetics. Other substances with the ending -cone in the name will also be silicones: methicone, trimethicone, cyclomethicone - these are all varieties of silicones. In addition, silicones include substances with names that end in -onol. For example, dimethiconol.

The ending -siloxane is another pointer to the silicones in the composition. An example here is cyclopentasiloxane. Remembering how all the silicones in cosmetics are labeled is difficult, but it’s useful to know a couple of the most common names (especially if you always check the list of ingredients before buying).

Does it make sense to choose cosmetics without silicones and parabens?

Silicones have a mixed reputation in the scientific community. On the one hand, the harm of using products with silicones is clearly exaggerated: the connection of these substances with the risk of developing cancer, judging by the studies, is a myth. In addition, cosmetics manufacturers choose not such a high concentration of silicones for their formulas.

If you want to avoid products with silicones "just in case" , there is a way out: natural substances such as wax (it is added to decorative cosmetics), silk proteins and keratin (appear in hair products) act like silicone. Make sure there are no silicones in the composition, and then find these components in the list of ingredients - then you are completely safe, without a doubt.

Do you avoid products with silicones in the composition when it comes to facial cosmetics? Write in the comments.