Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Silicone, the good, the bad, and the oil free.

There has been a lot of talk about silicone in bath and beauty products in my world lately. Mostly as it relates to primers and facial lotions, so I began to do a little research.  What are they, what do they do, the pros and cons of this very common ingredient. Silicone is often used as a generic term for nearly all substances that contain a silicon atom, commonly used as implants in cosmetic surgery because they resist body fluids, and are largely-inert, man-made compounds with a wide variety of forms and uses. Typically heat-resistant, nonstick, and rubber-like, they are commonly used in cookware, medical applications, sealants, adhesives, lubricants, and insulation. Silicone comes in many forms and in my searches I cam across this very comprehensive list of the names and properties of each. So thank you The Beauty Brains for your great list.

In facial products silicone can create a layer that smooths the skins surface, create a barrier to protect makeup and keep in moisture. Consumers have become accustomed to the silky feel that silicone can give a lotion or cream containing oils. In hair products they smooth down the cuticle and weight down the strand making hair heavier and less prone to flyway's and frizz.
Silicone and my skin don't seem to get along though, just my opinion. This barrier that protects your foundation can also trap oil on your skin and in your pores. I have found that some products that have silicone in them can cause me to break out more frequently (lovely cystic type acne, and annoying little white heads). I have tried drugstore and department store brands and if there is any silicone in there after a few days the breakouts start.

As for hair products, I am reluctant to give up the 'cones. I have thick, wavy, colored, long hair and silicone helps me tame the mane. Some of the con's that many people say about silicone's are just not true. For instance hair doesn't breath, it is a dead keratin cuticle, so silicone cannot suffocate your hair. It can however smooth together split ends a bit making it more difficult for you stylist to see the damage. Though I have been noticing  more acne on my neck and back, leading me to think that I should lather rinse and repeat more often, and use my facial scrub on my neck and back to remove any stray products.

I have also read that oil based cleansers may help remove the silicone and remove the build up, which I would think would reduce the break outs as well. So this week I have begun using a cleansing oil, Jojoba mixed with some essential oils that I originally blended for my scalp. I will let you know how it goes.  For me I will refrain from silicone in my everyday facial routine as much as possible, even if I have to deal with an oily feel every now and again. On the infrequent events where I need my makeup to last and last, I won't hesitate to use a primer with silicone because they do work, but I will be sure to remove with oil cleanser and may even use a little mask to clean up what ever is left in my pores.

Smart is beautiful,
Head Bather

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