Why We Love Silicones
Posted on November 01 2020
Silicones are a class of cosmetic ingredients found in deodorant, hair conditioner, makeup and soaps. They make the formula more spreadable and fluid, which is why your deodorant glides on effortlessly. You might remember a time where white-stick deodorant chalked off. That was before we started religiously using silicones in formulas.
Silicones repel water, which is why they are excellent in hair conditioners. Products with silicone will coat your hair, locking in the moisture and preventing water molecules from invading and frizzing your hair. It will protect your hair from heat damage from a blow dryer or hair curler, since those things create water vapor.
The same goes for skin. We love silicones in foundations because it traps the moisture in the skin, so humidity or rain doesn’t wash it off, but you still stay hydrated. If you are looking for a waterproof foundation, you must get one with a silicone. In fact, most often a silicone based foundation will list "waterproof" somewhere in the advertising.
Silicone foundations gently fill in the fine lines and wrinkles, virtually plumping up the skin. It doesn’t get stuck in your lines making them more pronounced.
In cosmetic terms, silicones are occlusive, so they protect your skin by coating it. Other occlusives are mineral oil, beeswax, jojoba, and olive oil. Each one has a different molecular size, so they react slightly different. Silicones have a larger than usually molecular size, which means they don’t penetrate deep into the skin, but they also don’t allow many toxins into the skin either. The larger than average molecular size means silicones don’t clog your pores. Oxygen and vitamins can still get through, so your skin can breathe.
Silicones are derived from the naturally occurring element silcon which is on the periodic table under the abbreviation Si. It is completely natural and abundant. All of the silcon mined is found in the compound silicone dioxide, or otherwise known as silicates/silica. Quartz is an example of a silica.
Silicones have names that end in -oxane like cyclopentasiloxane or the suffix -icone like dimethicone.
Some people complain that silicones won’t allow moisture into the skin. If you are using a foundation, then you should hydrate really well. In general, this is a good tip for applying foundation; the more moisturized your face is the better the foundation will sit. Don’t be afraid to gob on 1-2 tablespoons of moisturizer before your foundation. This way, if you are using a silicone based foundation, your skin has all the moisture you need for the next 12 hours.
Our Favorite Products with Silicones
This award winning primer is an all time favorite. I wouldn't go on camera without it. Truly makes photos look fabulous.
Currently, the official Inglot website has these marked down by %70. I hope they restock because when I used my SmashBox Photo Finish Primer with Inglot Foundation, I have seamless, doll-like skin.
Since Inglot is in low quantities, our second favorite silicone based foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. With 55 shades, you can be sure you’ll find a perfect match.
This leave in conditioner coats the hair strands making the hair look silky and healthy. When I was sporting blonde hair this was my lifeline for smooth, damage free blonde tresses.
If you have a dog, then check out the dog shampoo from biosilk. My morkie (yorkie + maltese) appreciates her soft hair, brushable hair.